I recently had a stopover at JFK airport and decided to have my cowboy boots polished. I’d always seen people stop and do this and for once I wasn’t sprinting to catch a connection so I decided to indulge.
I was traveling with my friend Anita and she was doing some shopping so I told her I was going to get my boots cleaned and call my husband.
When I arrived at the polishing station I went to pull out my phone and realized how rude it would be to have a warm body in front of me, working on my boots while I had a conversation with Simon.
Practicing what I preach I kept the phone off and decided to be fully engaged with the shoe shiner! We had a great conversation about where he was originally from, what happened to the gentleman who used to work the station before he took over and I walked away with a reminder of a huge life lesson!
As he worked on my boots, I asked how business was going. He sighed and said, “Everyone wears sneakers these days, no one wants their shoes polished”. I listened and then observed. I watched loads of travelers walk by with sneakers on yes, but I also watched hundreds of people bustle by with gorgeous Italian loafers and black shiny shoes!
I was reminded that as entrepreneurs a huge part of our success is how we see the world. I saw opportunity for this gentleman at the same rate he saw misfortune. Not “everyone” wears sneakers and not “everyone” has spent their budgets in your world.
2008 was a banner year in my business because I blocked out the news that said “No one is buying” and I went looking for the people who were! Look for the people who are willing and able to use your services, who need your help and just need to be found!
Unless you’re selling rotary phones, the world is literally your oyster with unlimited potential!