If you’re in business, what is it that you do? If you work for someone else, what is it that you do?
About 30 years ago or so, I used to get a little booklet subscription called Bits and Pieces. I loved it. I’ll never forget one short piece about what workers were doing. The interviewer came across a construction site and there were three guys laying brick. He asked the first what he was doing and he said that he was laying one brick on top of the other over and over again in a specified sequence. He asked the second one the same question, and he said, “I’m helping to build a wall that will be so many feet long and so many feet tall.” The third bricklayer was asked the same question, and he replied, “I’m building a school where kids will learn and play.” Each were doing the same thing but had dramatically different views of what they were doing. Which ones do you suppose were happy?
In the last few years, I’ve seen many businesses close their doors. The recession was blamed far more than it had capacity to accept, I’m sure. And, there were many reasons that may have contributed. This week a restaurant is closing after 23 years. I’ve been there recently and it was my first time. They claim it is the economy and in particular that there are too many restaurants in their area to compete with. There’s always more to the story, of course, but this is a perfect example of how it’s something outside that is out of their control that is to blame. That’s rarely the truth, but it sounds so good.
In this case, they probably thought they served food. After all, it is a restaurant, right? But, this I know about myself: I love to eat out and I never go for the food. I go for other things. In fact, I can cook better, fresher, healthier food at home. I go for the experience, the feeling, the atmosphere, the comfort, the convenience, the service, the cleanliness, the consistency of quality. The actual food is down the list. If this restaurant would have considered the question above and really thought about it, they might have approached it as the third bricklayer rather than the first and second.
This idea can be applied to any retail business and probably every business on the planet. Many car dealer probably think they sell cars. Many auto body shops probably think they fix dents, hair salons cut hair, bicycle shops sell bicycles, mortgage companies sell mortgages, booksellers sell books and so on. All that is first bricklayer stuff. Maybe you think you work for such and such and do a certain duty for them. That’s all first bricklayer stuff.
What do you really do?
I Am Building A School Where Children Will Learn And Play . . .
Spread Some Joy Today–Today is love yourself day. Just do it.