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What Really Makes The Difference - Change or Consistency?
The subtle differences between change and consistency, two words that wreak havoc on the business world. Plus a boho boutique.
This one’s about selecting wisely.
A Story For You
At the end of our street was a pocket-sized boutique store run by a kindhearted 72-year-old lady, a self-proclaimed and proud hippie. It specialized in Bohemian-style clothing and accessories, something so alien that the neighborhood hadn’t seen anything like it before. She was paying tribute to her history - living and traveling the world in an unconventional way.
I took up reading around the same time as the inauguration of her store. I had finally caved into my folks’ broken record-like phrase: “children are sponges”. I liked to learn through experiments and observation. Reading without applying the knowledge I had just “soaked in” like a sponge would have been, in my opinion, a waste of time and effort. I would go as far as to call myself an obnoxious smart-ass.
My father gifted me my first non-fiction book. The first chapter was about consistency and the second was about changing with time. ‘What a contradiction,’ I thought. How is one supposed to change if they are consistent? And how are they consistent if they’re changing with time?
None of it made sense.
Anyhoo, I galloped away to the nearest park to play. On the way home, I stopped by the boutique store. It was hard to miss.
“Hey there,” her radiant smile had won me over as she sparked a conversation.
“Hi,” I reciprocated the gesture, “The store is really beautiful.”
“Aren’t you sweet? I hope the others are as kind. Otherwise, I’ll have to make some changes.”
Out of nowhere, the obnoxious smart-ass side of me rose to life.
“Hey, can I ask you for something?”
“We have a project at school. It’s more of a practical thing. Approaching new businesses and seeing their growth and things like that. Would it be possible to pay the store a visit every weekend and spend some time? I promise you’ll never even know I’m there.”
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She agreed. Every weekend, I went over to Anne’s and spent some time with my notebook, pencil, and observational skills. It was just observation in the beginning, but it slowly grew to being more investigative and proactive in my approach. There were days when I didn’t want to, but for whatever reason, I was committed to the cause.
In half a year, Anne’s little boutique store had taken off. Everything had changed. Gone were the flowy Bohemian decor pieces, now the store spelled modern sophistication. Anne shifted from just being a brick-and-mortar store to adopting e-commerce, selling way beyond our street to people all over the world from her website. And although the residents of the locality didn’t take to the style well, the young social media intern Anne hired found a niche community on Facebook and launched an Instagram page too. The products grew and the newly added knit bags were a massive success.
But there were two things that remained constant. The Bohemian-style products she so dearly believed in. And her effort to keep changing and stay fluid.
Everything else had changed.
A Story From You
We’re all aware that patience and staying true to the core of your business, is the key to long-term success. Amazon started with books and now sells almost everything available on the planet. Netflix took ages to become the mammoth of an organization it is today, but they all believed in their idea, their core!
But, what if the core of your business is in one way or another, flawed? What if you’re patient with no result in sight because the original idea has to be tweaked?
What do you do in that case?
Reply back to this e-mail, tell us what you think, tell us what you believe and let us listen to you.
In #52 Who Are You Made Of, we asked you, our readers and our community, to tell us who you are made of.
Sunil Jain had this to say:
Totally agree, those little things grow on you. Even the music your friends and grandma listen to is still part of you. We grew up in the 60/70/80 acid rock, Elvis rock and roll, James Hadley Chase, PerryMason , Batman, Archies, Indrajal comics Sgt. Rock and all that, but it became an interesting part of us.
Old teachers and friends were respected and remained forever. Catching up with them is nostalgic, cycling trips, mountaineering, and riding beautiful days, today can’t walk a mile, without the knees giving away. However, not all of us, I speak for myself only, that first love and how beautiful was that. Believe me, those feelings will never come back, lost forever in time.
I couldn’t agree more, but Elvis is always timeless.
Till next time,