Our business lesson today, boys and girls, comes from a spider (and not in one of those hokey “Charlotte’s Web” kind of ways). A spider, whom I’ll call “Henry” because that’s what my girlfriend and I named him, has built a web just outside my front door, right by the porch light. Now, given that most other flying insects (and by “flying insects” I mean “spider food”) are drawn to light, this is a particularly good place for Henry to set up shop. And while we could draw a fine business lesson from this about going to where your customers are (and by “customers” I mean “spider food”), there was something else I noticed about Henry and his web that got me thinking:
He really “owns” his space.
I mean, look at him up there! He is supremely confident about his place in the world. (I realize I may be anthropomorphizing a bit, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Speaking of which, back when I was working in television comedy, I wrote a line that I still think is hilarious and brilliant: “My dog hates it when I anthropomorphize.” Experience has taught me that, in my admiration of that line, I am alone.)
When the Beatles ran to the stage in Shea Stadium in 1965, they “owned” the space. When you go to a Rolling Stones concert, Mick Jagger “owns” the stage. As a professional speaker, when I walk out to give a speech—no matter how large or small the audience—I need to “own” that space as well. It’s not arrogance; it’s confidence. Confidence that I’ve got something to offer that will both entertain and educate my audience—something that will make their lives better.
If you’re in business—whether you’re selling a product or a service—then you also have something to offer that (hopefully) makes the lives of your customers better (or, if you’re a funeral director, their deaths). Do you exude confidence in your work? Do you “own” your space? (And by “space” I don’t necessarily mean a physical space; I mean your place in the world, and your place among the competition.)
Why is this important? Because confidence inspires confidence. When you exude confidence, your customers pick up on it, and they in turn are more confident about doing business with you. You know this is true, of course, because you experience it when you’re the customer. Whether you’re hiring somebody to paint your house or consult with you on business strategy, don’t you prefer to do business with someone who is confident about what they can do for you?
Make sure you’re confident about your ability to improve your customers’ condition. If you’re not confident, then you need to improve either your product/service, your attitude, or both. Make sure every communication you make—from the way your phone is answered to your marketing materials to your face-to-face interactions—tells your customer that you “own” your space. It worked for the Beatles, it’s working for Henry. and it will work for you.Share