What could you promise that people look forward to?
People used to try to stay away from physical labor. “Learn well in school so you won’t have to work as hard as we do.”
Hard work has changed. The new hard work is all about emotional labor. It’s all about fear.
If you’re not going to make these sales calls, or persist in the face of apathy, or go back to that engineering problem that you hate to work on, then you’re not avoiding physical labor. You’re avoiding emotional labor.
The great news is it’s much easier to become brave than it is to become strong enough for intense, painful, physical labor.
To illustrate a point, let’s assume that AirBnB was gone tomorrow. It would not take long until another solution has taken it’s place. The technology behind it is fairly easy to replicate.
What’s hard to replicate is the story people tell themselves about AirBnB. It has become a shortcut to something meaningful and that is what people buy these days – people want meaning. We’ve all got enough material. What we need is meaning.
Does your organisation mean a lot to me? Where does your name – a shortcut – lead me?
When everything seems hopeless then there are always options.
Do something but don’t do nothing.
I see entrepreneurs watching their companies go down. They just stare at the situation. They put their shoulders down and watch.
You’ve got to be more sophisticated than that. See it how it could be and then a little bit of effort is all you need to get there.
Today I saw it again: A company loses a customer who was about to repeat a major purchase but they insisted on a stupid rule – he ought to pay a few thousand dollars for minor damages that occurred while he was using their old product.
“These are the rules,” she says after he reluctantly agrees to pay the full amount. He replies, “You’re making good money on this but I will never buy from you again. You just lost a customer.”
This is the daily experience customers go through when dealing with selfish organizations.
You, on the other hand, are making the rules of your company. You are the owner, you interact with your customers often and you will never lose someone over a stupid rule.