It’s one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learnt. It was Sunday and I was sitting, listening to the sermon of a young church preacher. It was at a stage where I had just finished talking with a client who felt his business seemed to be stagnating . I mean it wasn’t that it was going badly; it was more that it wasn’t moving as fast as he wanted it to. He wasn’t getting closer to what he eventually wanted to achieve. While listening to the sermon, my phone buzzed. I checked it to see I had a new interview booked for next Tuesday. Then the young man raised his voice; he was talking with enthusiasm about
the growth of the church. He said that when the church was young he was just one of a handful of youth members and that he was put in charge of leading the future growth of the church. The head pastor at the church flew him up to Auckland to get advice from four other pastors to find out what it took for them to grow their churches. His intention was to take what he learnt from their growth and duplicate it with the youth of his church in Wellington.
The first three pastors said nothing unusual. I mean he was looking for ‘the answer’ but it was as if they were telling him things that he already knew or was already doing down in Wellington. He began thinking whether the trip had been worthwhile. That was until his whole perspective changed when he met the final pastor who led one of the bigger churches on the North Shore of Auckland. Th pastor asked the young man ( who was 19 at the time): ’Who are the youth you want for your church?’
The young man looked confused and said, ‘Excuse me, but I just want anyone we can get.’ The pastor then said, ‘No, what do you want for the youth of your church? You can’t create a following for the church without a vision for those who come to the church!’
This news took him aback. The young pastor had gone to Auckland to find out what other churches were doing, with the expectation he would find out what his church needed to copy in order to grow. What he left with was something we all as business owners need to remind ourselves of at times; our success isn’t determined by our ability to copy others in the market, or simply by the idea that we want ANYONE WE CAN GET coming through the door. It’s our ability and our businesses’ ability to communicate our vision to our customers.
Are your customers going to leave your store, website or consulting firm, without ever speaking or thinking of them again? Or will they leave as spokespeople of your business, sharing the vision and bringing more and more clients to you because they believe in the products and services that you are providing.
If you feel right now that you have lost that enthusiasm and drive, maybe it’s just that you are copying others in your market without really seeing a vision for your own unique business. Go back to the drawing board and think, ‘ How do I leave customers of mine with a positive vision they want to share with others?’