how to not succeed in business

Walking back to the office, just now, I passed a massage therapist with a massage chair out in front of one of our local spas. Here’s the scenario. It’s cold: I’m wearing a long-sleeved shirt and fleece vest and I was chilly. It’s rush hour and there is a fair bit of loud traffic on the main street of our, admittedly, small town. Not the prime location for offering or especially for receiving a quick massage.

And then, as I walked by, expecting him to smile, to engage me in conversation, to somehow open the door to a dialogue that could lead to business, he sat there, legs crossed, engrossed in the paperback book he was reading.

Not the best example of a successful entrepreneurial attitude!

Here was a man, for all I know a very talented massage therapist, putting himself out in the world in the exact place where he was most likely to get zero business. And on top of that he seemed to be intent on actively avoiding making contact with his potential customers.

So I wandered past, shaking my head, wondering if he would make any money at his post this evening. But it also got me to thinking about my own business.

In what ways am I “setting up shop” that might be sub-optimal for my intended audience? Are there ways that I’m avoiding making contact with potential readers, clients and students?

These are powerful questions, and I have no immediate answers. But when I experience such a blatant example of self-defeating behavior it always makes me stop to explore the lesson in it for me. I’m going to do so over the next few days. And perhaps you can as well.

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