In the last week a 13 year old boy, launched a lawn care business, designed a direct mail marketing piece, created a landing page, created a Face Book Page, opened a Google places account, wrote a book, obtained his first 5 customers and is in current negotiations with a Spanish speaking (even
though he doesn’t speak Spanish) lawn care company that is interested in him handling their marketing. Oh yeah, he’s cut about 5 lawns too…
You know how I know, you may have guessed it, he’s my son (proud father beaming).
So, I have two sons, Justin age 11 and Michael age 13. Unfortunately for them, they both take after their dad in different ways. Justin loves movies, loves to read and has a great imagination and Michael loves
business and taking action, now. Justin has some excellent stories and we’ll take lessons from him in another post but for today, let’s look at what Michael did.
One day, about two weeks ago, Michael said to me “Dad, I’ve decided to start a lawn care business, what should I do first?”
Here’s how the conversation went:
Michael: Dad, what do I do?
Dad: What do you know about this industry, marketing, competition, pricing, service, equipment required, partner or no partner etc..
Michael: Dad, I appreciate your questions, you’re really on your game today, but honestly, just tell me what to do, today.
Dad: Hmm, ok. What do you need more than anything else?
Dad: Exactly. So, how do you get customers?
Michael: Find people that need their lawn cut?
Michael: Ok, I’ll be back
Dad: Where are you going?
Michael: To make a flyer and then to walk the neighborhood to find people with tall grass
If only all my consulting contracts could go so smoothly. Most times I have to sell, convince, cajole, arm bend and beg (forget that, I don’t beg) my clients to do what I’m telling them to do. And they still give me 101 reasons why their business is different. Why their customers or clients won’t respond. Why the limitations in their own mind will not allow them to do what I ask.
Maybe, as we get older, the world has contorted our brains into this “stink’n think’n”
God only knows I've been there myself and it took hours of dedicated meditation, self “medication” and sucking my thumb in the corner to finally “Get It”. Action kills fear!
All I know is, if we as business owners could act in the same matter as this 13 year old boy, we’d all be a lot better off. We’d have more money, less stress and more hair (well for me anyway)
Here’s the rest of the story. Once Michael obtained his first customers by cold knocking on doors (well, not really cold, the neighbors are accustom to Michael selling them something) he proceeded to use my electric mower and yes, he killed it. That’s ok, it was time for a new one anyway. The day it died, he had me helping him search for a new one, negotiated with me to pay for it and he was back in business.
He realized that if the flyers worked by handing them out, maybe they would work by tossing them in a bag with a rock on driveways…(ethical swipe and deploy from other local marketers)
Once he designed the flyer he understood he needed a call to action. He got a free tracking line from Google, designed a free landing page, created videos of himself and his partner, got his current customers (after only one service) to give him a testimonial and captured all sorts of data from the new customers about their kids name, dogs name birth day’s etc. At thirteen, are you kidding me!!
He heard me talking to a client about the use of a free book as a lead magnet, so in one night, unknown to me, he wrote his first book, “The 10 things you need to know to keep your lawn green”. He published the book and is currently generating leads with it.
He also heard me talk to a client about selling his leads that he couldn’t service. So he asked how to do that. Before I knew it, he called 10 local businesses and asked if he could place his flyer in their store, 5 said yes. Then he called ALL the local lawn care companies and completely freaked them out by offering to sell them his leads. Can you imagine the look on the face of the Mexican American lawn care company that receives a call from a 13 year old telling them he can get them customers?
Well, one said yes and is considering paying Michael a monthly fee to handle their marketing.
What does all this mean?
It means if you want to make things happen in your business, take action, now! Not later, not tomorrow, not next week, right now!
Create bunches of activity and good things, unexpected things will happen.,
I’m so proud of both of my boys, as I’m sure you are of yours. I’m also a little sad because I feel I created a monster.
Building a better business, one child at a time…