Most businesses are not unique in the product or service they deliver. When a product or service becomes standardized and not easily differentiated because it can’t be (oil for example) it becomes a commodity. Oil is oil. Plumbing is plumbing.
In service industries sole proprietors who do the work have a unique opportunity. Even if the same basic service is also available down the block, one still has a way to differentiate themselves that is truly powerful. He/she becomes the brand. How one relates with their clients is what makes them standout. Or not.
I do most of the public facing work and client interactions. Over the years I have been told that people appreciate the work I do and how I work with them. Many of the things they will say are that I am reliable, honest and fair and good-natured (positive, sense of humor!). By serving others genuinely, I have found customers become lifelong colleagues, even more. And they refer me business and we look out for each other. That is something special.
If you are in a similar situation, remember, the greatest thing is that your clients want to be listened to, taken seriously but also want to know you take what you do seriously. And it really doesn’t hurt to let a client know you are not the expert but you will find the answer for find a good referral for them.
There’s no amount of money that makes up for sleeping well at night.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Funny enough. That’s makes me very happy : )