You might have experienced this already. If not, let me describe it for you. Have you ever tried so hard to make a project successful but no matter what you did it just failed miserably? You might have not figured this out for yourself yet but I know exactly why your project failed and why so many of my own did. It’s because they weren’t designed to be of good to others. Believe it or not, but companies like McDonalds are successful because they have teams of people trying to figure out how they can be of more service to their customers.
One of my latest personal projects wasn’t successful at all and I had to re-educate myself to realize why I wasn’t getting the success I thought I deserved. Well, I didn’t deserve success at all because my project had been, arguably not solely intentionally but so nonetheless, to use others to serve myself instead of using myself to serve others.
This has been my biggest thought for August of 2021, so far, that many failures in life can be directly attributed to our own personal failure to be a source of good for others. So I just want to remind you that if your project isn’t going as planned, to ask yourself if you have the right intentions. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it to help others or to help yourself? The answer to that question will have a humungous impact on the results of your project.
Here are 3 ways to help your local community. By doing these 3 things, which aren’t too difficult, you’ll be improving the lives of those around you, and your own life as well.
Way #1 – Host a Block Part, Frequently
Host a block BBQ party every two months, so that all your neighbors have a chance to meet each other. You’d be surprised how long people can live next door to each other without ever chatting. When neighbors know each other, it makes watering the lawn all that much more enjoyable as you get to wave hello and put smiles on people’s faces. The best way to get your neighbors in contact is to print off an invitation letter and slip them in the mail box of everyone on your block. Hopefully, more than a few of them will show up to your BBQ and then you can let the connections flow.
Way #2 – Clean the Exterior of Your House
Keep the exterior of your house in clean condition, as this creates a ripple effect across your community as other homeowners nearby compare their mildew-covered paneling to your freshly pressure-washed façade. This is called the broken window effect. If one window is broken on your street, just wait and eventually another one will pop up. Scientists studied this phenomenon with graffiti in the New York subway. They found that after vigorously combating graffiti for long enough, it eventually stopped showing up altogether. You may or may not have moss on your roof or salt on your windows depending on where you live, but by calling exterior home cleaning companies like this one https://www.google.com/maps?cid=13805652943928513512 (click link to see) to pressure wash your driveway and siding, you’ll notice the houses around yours gradually becoming cleaner as well. It’s science!
Way #3 – Neuter Your Pets and Take Them to Designated Parks
However convenient it is to walk your dog around the block and let him or her pee on things as they pass, let alone not pick up their poop, it creates much unmentioned strife in your community. Most neighbors won’t come out and say it if they’re polite, but of course they don’t want your dog pissing in their bushes every morning at 7:30 AM. Dog pee is very bad for lawns, and once one dog starts being on a spot suddenly all the dogs that are walked down that street will pee there and the grass will begin to die. Also, not neutering your cats and letting them roam astray is what causes those vile-sounding cat fights in the middle of the night. I get so mad at neighbors who have more than one un-neutered cat because the sound of them fighting at night keeps me awake. Help your community by taking your dog to the park – it should only take an extra fraction of an hour to do this – so that they aren’t peeing all over your neighborhood.
This weekend wasn’t very eventful, if you consider thinking uneventful. But after watching several documentaries on success stories of small businesses I had to wonder for hours on my porch why some small businesses grow faster than others. We’re not talking about large companies or major corporations here, just small businesses like coffee shops with five employees or mobile mechanics with twelve employees. Why do some of these small businesses grow so fast compared to others? Well today I’ll be attempting to explain the conclusion I came to when I was thinking for hours on the porch this weekend.
To make it easier for me to wrap together concisely for others to understand, I developed three reasons why some small businesses seem to have better luck than others, though we’ll soon learn luck or chance has nothing to do with it. But first, a small disclaimer: I’ve never owned a small business before. So keep that in mind. It’s always best to remember that this isn’t a peer-reviewed article either. Thank you.
My 5 Reasons
- They hire the right people. But what does “the right people mean?” For an analogy, I’ll use an appliance repair company. Imagine that you have a new business and are finally ready to hire your first few employees. Would the right person be someone you can train to fix a fridge? Maybe the answer is “yes” if they’re dedicated and loyal. But for faster growth it would be best to hire a highly experienced appliance technician. At a company called The Appliance Repair Pro which does appliance repair Victoria, BC, services, they’ve done just this. They’re one of the fastest growing small businesses on Vancouver Island because they took the short cut of paying a little more initially to hire experts from the outset rather then save money by hiring unexperienced workers to train. Of course, if you can find a worker to train who will in the long run become a loyal employee for many years, this could help growth in the future, but not right away. It’s also a risk of investment to train unexperienced workers because people you train could end up working for your competition.
- Good marketing. For an analogy of what good marketing would look like, it’s easier to explain if we look at local food products. In every city there are mothers making jams to sell at fairs and farmers selling their beefs and cheeses at the markets. But which ones sell more are often a result of word of mouth and returning customers, but a good marketing campaign combined with novelty can create a momentum that never stops and this is why small local brands end up becoming national brands sold in grocery stores mere years later. A good marketing campaign could use humor that only locals would understand, or using local wildlife in their branding. But either way, it might be safe to say that any marketing campaign is better than none at all. I’ve heard of a grandmother who had been selling her homemade bread at the market for over 30 years who was suddenly put out of business because a young lady started selling her bread at the same market. The one difference was the grandmother relied on a few loyal customers while the young lady took out a loan for a major local ad campaign in her town.
- Quality. Last but perhaps most important, quality is what ensures your customers come back a second time and tell their friends about your product or service. If you’re a small business who doesn’t put any effort into being competitive when it comes to quality, then it may be very difficult for you to compete with those who make quality their number one priority. Imagine being a customer of the abovementioned appliance repair company and you’re very pleased with the services you received. Then, when you’re neighbor needs an oven repair and asks you for a recommendation, what are you going to say? Are you going to recommend the company that just gave you quality service or another one you’ve never used before? When you provide quality it stays in the memory of those you serve and this results in faster growth as word of mouth speeds the process of becoming a reputable business in your area. Perhaps this is most important for restaurants, as people will give bad reviews and never return to restaurants who make mistakes with their food preparation.
Like I said above in my disclaimer, I’ve never owned a small businesses, but I’m fairly sure every small business owner who received great success in their local area will agree these three factors above are a major reason why they surpassed their competition. Thanks for reading. If you have anything to add to this please get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to update our post.
Welcome back to our Deep Thought Series. We all have deep thoughts, I believe, even when we think stuff like “Oh, someone must’ve thought of this before” or “I can’t possibly be the first one.” In this way, we’re all philosophers. And this is my biggest thought of June, reminding myself of the fact that, yes, each and every human on this earth is a philosopher. When we wonder at the stars, the vastness of the ocean or remember the past, we’re philosophizing. I think thus thought is big because I know many people who consider themselves small. They look out into space and instead of thinking “I am a creator, an influencer in this universe” they think “The universe is so big, what could in possibly matter to it all.” Instead of being proud of being human, they’re cynical and think human life is a speck in the dust.
If I could get one point across to the word this month it would be a reminder of this. For every child whop thinks they don’t matter. For every old person who thinks their life was wasted. It’s impossible to gauge just how much of an impact we have on the universe, but it’s safe to say it’s more than we think. In a matter of saying, this is another reason why all lives matter.
Thanks for tuning in to June’s big thought.
My deep thought for today is that all lives matter and that should be the end of the story. Rather than just disagreeing with Black Lives Matter people who seem to think that other lives don’t matter or something, and that all white people are racist because of a thing called ‘white fragility’ without giving a reason I’ll say this: I’m black, raised by a poor black family and poor black people are the most racist people I’ve ever seen. Countless times I’ve seen kind white people try to give help to our community but they’ve always been shunned because they’re white. “I don’t want your help,” they’ll say. “Don’t push you ways on us.” They say stuff like this and then one bad apple on the other side will cause fury and rampage.
At the end of the day, all lives do matter and that’s the end of that!
This post is the first of many in the my new series “Deep Book Reviews” – I’ll only be reviewing books that are “deep” in the sense that they make you think.
For me, nothing has summed up the year 2020, with everything from the coronavirus and BLM to political discord and transgender issues, in one place better than a book I found by accident called “Virgin Killer“. It’s being promoted as “the world’s first COVID-19 pandemic satire novel” and for good cause in my opinion because this book reveals the insanity of public affairs that still penetrate our lives today.
I bet the last thing many of you want to do is be reminded of how messed up the year 2020 was, but Virgin Killer goes about it in a humorous and refreshing way and offends both sides of the political spectrum, not just one or the other. It reminds me heavily of Animal Farm except it’s way more “2020” if that makes any sense. It’s way less tame and meant for an audience who is already desensitized to sex and violence.
If you want to laugh at the pandemic, because I think this whole thing has dragged on for way too long, reading this pure insanity of a book is a great way to do it.
It made me think about where I stand politically and who I can place my trust in when things turn astray. It’s really powerful and I bet in a second read through I’ll be able to pick up on even more symbolism because the book is full of it. Enjoy!
My first big thought to break things out on the right path has a lot to do with my bad shopping habits. I recently have been reading an old dusty phycology textbook a kid left in the trash by my house and I feel like it was divine intervention because this thing is changing my life! While reading it I realized the power that advertisements has been having over me for many years. Did you know that if a grocery store plays French music that you’ll be more likely to buy French foods? It’s true! Advertisers are ware of effects like this and use them very effectively. Social engineers are paid big dollars to share their secrets to corporations, to find new ways to increase sales.
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Sometimes stuff like this is done by accident. One example in the book is that when the first Mars Rover mission was a success, Mars candy bars noticed a huge increase in sales. Strange, isn’t it? Another example is that in April more babies named April are born. Do you think this is a coincidence. These things are called “triggers” and they’re all around us. The smell of popcorn can be a trigger to watch your favorite movie again. Or the sound of a motorcycle outside can be a trigger to play your favorite racing video game.
Once we’re aware of the effect of these triggers we can prevent them from controlling us.
Well, that was my deep thought. Check back for more soon!