One day there was this kid, and he lived in Starton, Nebraska. In the summer Starton gets so hot that if you stand in one place too long, the bottoms of your shoes will start to stick to the pavement. And actually, now that I think about it, I suppose he wasn’t really a “kid”, but a young man, because after all he was 19 years old, and his facial hair grew faster than most fully grown men.
He grew up poor. His mom was a single teacher. She made a fine salary for a single woman living alone – but not nearly enough to comfortably support herself, a son, and a daughter. But now that her son was in college – he wanted things to be different. He hated going to the cafeteria and only being able to afford a few side dishes. His stomach would grumble all day, and he never felt perfectly happy because he always had that uncomfortable feeling that comes with hunger. It was hard to make friends when he could barely focus.
So he decided to make a change. He wanted friends, and he wanted money. He wanted to be able to buy as much food as he needed to stop being hungry, and still have plenty of money left over. And he wanted to make a difference in people's lives all at the same time. So he began to think about how he could do this…
He’d been playing piano practically his entire life. He was a genius on his piano. Every time he sat down in front of it, something beautiful and inspiring came out – and later you would find out that he had made it up on the spot. “I never like to play the same thing twice,” he would say with a smile.
He decided to started a piano lessons business. And he quickly noticed something… Every time he put up flyers, or posted ads on on-line classifieds sites, he would get clients. Every time he focused his energy on making his lessons more powerful, and a better experience for his students – he would get clients. Every time he read books on becoming successful, and studied marketing and business-growth – he would get clients. Now, here’s the thing… When he posted flyers and ads – he didn’t always get a response. But no matter what – he would get a client from somewhere. And even when he didn’t post any ads – but just focused on making his lessons the best lessons possible – he still got clients from the strangest places.
He realized that as long as he was doing something – his business would grow. And it didn’t really matter what that something was. It just had to be something that made his business better. It had to be something with the intention behind it that it would grow his business, and lead to his success, and the joy of others through his lessons.
And so everyday, just about, he did at least one thing (though most days many things – he was very excited about his business) to grow his business. He would post flyers, call his clients and see how they were doing (randomly throughout the week – even when he wasn’t meeting with them), he would call other clients and ask for referrals, he would come up with incredible lesson plans, create new techniques to learn the piano fast, pour through books on success and marketing, etc., etc., etc.
And his business grew almost faster than he could handle. He quickly got over 20 students – and regularly saw 8 each week. And not only that – he became so confident in his lessons that he charged as much as the guys who had been teaching 20 years or longer. And he taught out of his college dorm room! Yet because his lessons truly were incredible, his clients never complained about having their lessons in a dorm room.
They simply loved him, and would have gladly had their lessons on the burning hot pavement if that’s what was required. They could feel his passion, his intensity. His eyes told them that he really cared about their success, and they felt comfortable making mistakes around him (after all, in learning a new instrument, it can be embarrassing to play in front of a professional when you can barely utter a note). Our hero later fell in love with a girl, and was happy to be able to take her out to dinner, and buy her nice things when his heart called him to do so. For the first time in his life, he was truly becoming happy.
To Be Continued…
As I'm sure you noticed, woven into this story are many lessons on both marketing, and life. (If you saw any) what lessons did you see? Do you have any thoughts / reflections about them? I’d love to hear them!