by Lori Milner: author, entrepreneur, thought leader and founder of Beyond the Dress
One of my favourite authors is Derek Sivers, he started the company CD Baby as a passion project which was later sold to iTunes for over 20 million dollars! He released a book called ‘Anything you want: 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur’. I have shared the most useful excerpt which has made me think differently about how I run my company, Beyond the Dress, enjoy!
When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws. It doesn’t matter how things are done everywhere else. In your little world, you can make it like it should be. When I first built CD Baby, every order resulted in an automated email that let the customer know when the CD was actually shipped. At first this note was just the normal “Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business.” After a few months, that felt really incongruent with my mission to make people smile. I knew could do better. So, I took twenty minutes and wrote this goofy little thing”:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th. I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
That one silly email, sent out with every order, has been so loved that if you search the web for “private CD Baby jet,” you’ll get almost a thousand results. Each one is somebody who got the email and loved it enough to post it on his website and tell all his friends. That one goofy email created thousands of new customers. When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts and come up with world-changing massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you.’
So, think about how you can apply this to your business. Even something as simple as your auto-responder can be used to highlight your expertise and passion. For example, if I am training and not available, I leave a message that tells people what I’m doing with a useful nugget of information for them to think about.
Here’s to building your empire one tiny tweak at a time,
LORI MILNER is the engaging facilitator, thought leader and mentor known for her insightful approach to being a modern corporate woman. Her brainchild, the successful initiative Beyond the Dress, is the embodiment of her passion to empower women. Beyond the Dress has worked with South Africa’s leading corporates and empowered hundreds of women with valuable insight on how to bridge the gap between work and personal life. Clients include Siemens, Massmart, Alexander Forbes, Life Healthcare Group, RMB Private Bank and Unilever to name a few. Lori has co-authored Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman in conjunction with Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer. Own Your Space provides practical tools and insights gleaned from workshops held around the world and from interviews with some of South Africa’s most accomplished women to provide you with tried-and-tested techniques, tips and advice to help you boost your career, enhance your confidence and truly own your space on every level. Own Your Space is the ultimate ‘toolkit’ to unleash your true power. It’s for the woman who wants to take her career to new heights and who is ready to fulfil her true potential.
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