Everything for a reason

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This morning, I got up at 3:15am to head off to Boston’s Logan Airport for a 6:30am flight to Long Beach, CA via Salt Lake City.

Sounds easy right?

Turns out the crew from Salt Lake got in late and the flight was delayed for “crew rest”.

It was delayed long enough that I wouldn’t make my connection to Long Beach and they didn’t have anything else that would get me in there today.

Okay, let’s try Orange County airport…nope, no go.

Okay, LAX it is. 45 min away from my hotel, but at least we know flights will get there today.

First one they could get me on leaves at 10:25am. YAY! 5.5 total hours at Logan with the bulk of it before anything opens. (yep, sarcasm here.)

So I hunkered down writing emails, sipping water and listening to my iPod.

Turns out I was next to a shoe shine stand and couldn’t help hearing the owner as he interacted with clients.

My thought…here’s a very smart businessman. Talk about engaging with clients and Extreme Client Care!

And since I had some time to spare, I got my shoes shined. 🙂

His name is Dana and he owns Classic Shoe Shine.

He started it when he was homeless and his “why” was to earn money for food (pretty strong motivator). His goal was to have a stand in Copley Place.

He achieved it…first minority and youngest person to do it.

Flashforward to today: Shoeshine stands at Logan, in two convention centers (and they have events booked until 2020 with guaranteed traffic for him), over 20 employees, and more.

The more includes getting sponsorships for his shoeshine “lounges” (which include massage chairs, laptop tables and cupholders as part of the chairs) from companies such as Charles Schwab and Prudential.

His “secret”?

Treating his business as a business, relationships first, investing in his business and working smarter rather than harder — all with the acceptance that it takes work, not magic pills, to build a business.

I learned all this when Dana asked what I do and I told him about Escalator Marketing (www.EscalatorMarketingPlan.com).

At one point his phone rang, it was a client who was in town and invited Dana to court side seats for a game tonight.

And I lost count of the number of people walking by who said “hi” to him and who he responded with “hi” and the person’s name.

Relationships first.

And now? We’re working to take his business to the next level.

Escalator Marketing: Business Success By Design — no matter your business.

And yes…everything happens for a reason. Time to board where I’m off to speak at one event and host another. 🙂