Updated: Jul 20
Strolling through a famers market on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I was approached by a short, shiny-headed man.
He stopped me with a gentle tug on my shirt sleeve and a big warm smile. He had large glowing teeth, which had to be false, and he beamed with energy and enthusiasm.
The man asked me how my day was, to which I responded, ‘Fine, thanks. Yours?’
With a thick Italian accent he responded, ‘Always a good, my young friend, always a good!’
He then proceeded to tell me the story behind his homemade baked beans, how much he loved baking them, why he prepared and cooked them a certain way, and how he hadn’t missed a Sunday market in years.
His passion was infectious and you could almost see the fumes steaming up into the air after every word. Now, I’m no connoisseur of baked beans, nor do I eat them too often, but guess what I did? That’s right, I happily handed over my hard-earned cash for his beans. Such is the power of passion and conviction!
This is how great companies are born, the Nike's, Apple's and the Amazon's of this world all have to start somewhere. They begin in Sunday markets, lounge rooms or garages. It doesn’t really matter where; what does matter is that from the beginning the business is uncompromisingly about doing what you love and captivating and serving customers — not huge profits, accolades, or what you think success may bring you.
Then when you become successful, don’t forget what got you there. Does buying a can of baked beans validate who someone is and provide them with a profound sense of meaning? Not in itself, no. But if you’re selling baked beans or plan to setup a company that’s going up against the mad bean man, you sure better have meaning, passion and purpose! Otherwise, you’re dead in the water — the mad bean man will outsell you 10:1 Whether home-grown, grandma’s secret sauce, or ‘hand-baked fresh every weekend’, make sure your beans are unique, personlised and better than the beans your competitors sell, always.
Even the smallest and simplest (often the best) business idea can grow into an unfathomable success stories, but it takes thinking and seeing things differently, loads of paaaaassssion and knowing exactly what you stand for. When you get this right, your customers will not only go to great lengths to seek you out, they may even go viral and tell all their friends about just how exceptional you are (much like I do for the Mad Bean Man).
UAI - TL