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When did you decide to be typical? #sponsored

Asi nace una nueva arepa...
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Note: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. See full disclosure at the bottom of this post.

Donald Trump has repeatedly been quoted as saying “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

It’s easy to read his comment as cold words from a billionaire bent on grinding through another interchangeable cog in his machine, but I think it means something different altogether.

I think it means that his decisions aren’t driven by emotion.

If you’ve spent much time studying him, it’s easy to see that he works as if he believes that Business is Personal, as I do. Look into the standards his properties are held to and the way he evaluates work done for him. Everything has his name on it… how can he not take it personally? It reflects directly on him.

Think Beyond Trump

The relationship formed with your business by virtue of a customer’s purchase is taken quite seriously by them. If you talk with them about it, you’ll find it far more important than you expect. There’s a “reason why” that they choose and stay with you.

A car battery purchase on a Saturday afternoon in May seems like just another generic transaction until that customer’s car won’t start on a rural Montana road during a blinding snowstorm, hundreds of miles from help.

If that car’s failure to start strands your kids on a dark night or causes you to miss your daughter’s graduation, a battery gets personal in a hurry.

When it impacts a customer’s family, it’ll never be “just a battery”, no matter how rushed or ambivalent the purchase was during that warm May afternoon. Never forget that when helping a customer choose a product or service.

Accountability is Personal

The long-term accountability of a purchase can change your business, as can the tiniest effort of your staff.

That’s why it’s so critical that every member of your staff is carefully selected and trained, even if they are performing what you see as the most routine, entry-level work. Why critical? Because it’s often the work actually seen by your customer and it might be the last interaction that the customer experiences with your company’s staff – and the last impression you make on them.

The housekeeper who prepares a customer’s room is often the most important staff member to their visit. If the customer finds hair or bugs in the shower, their opinion of your entire facility is damaged.

A fabulous week at your bed and breakfast can be destroyed, reputation-wise, by a few ants, a cockroach, an unexpected surprise in a guest’s salad or a snide comment from a staff member as they load luggage into the guest’s car.

Everything is Anything

I tell clients “Anything is everything and everything is anything”, because they’re just that.

What I mean is that everything that happens while using your products, consuming your services or on site at your restaurant, motel, campground or store is as important as anything else you do. Likewise, any single thing done on behalf of your business is as important as everything else you do because in the customer’s mind, the last thing you did might be the only thing they remember.

Imagine that your restaurant has the best organic food raised on your own farm, prepared by the finest chefs in the land and accompanied by the best wine selection available. Your reputation for quality and impeccable service dominates Trip Advisor.

All of that is history if your visitor steps on a piece of hot, sticky gum as the doorman welcomes them through the front door of your restaurant.

So what is a typical business owner supposed to do? Stop being typical.

Being Atypical

The typical business owner thinks they can’t control the gum, the snarky employee or the cockroaches.

The owners of amazing businesses can’t control them either, but they take steps to minimize and manage those things to the best of their ability:

  • They invest more time and energy into the hiring, selection and training of every member of their staff than the typical business owner.
  • They hire for attitude because it isn’t a trainable attribute.
  • They build processes into their business that are designed to avoid, prevent or quickly resolve the issues a typical business owner grows to accept.

How do they do all that? They decide to be something other than typical.


DISCLOSURE: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business.

The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently.

Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit

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