Three Counter-Intuitive Practices That Have Made Me Piles of Money

Sometimes the darkest moments in life are when you get the biggest breaks.

Here’s a story about how I learned a 3 very important lessons about marketing, right in the middle of a DISASTER.

These 3 suprising ideas.. and the counter-intuitive practices I adopted as a result… have made me hundreds of thousands of dollars.ss101 principle one

A Dark Day

Late 90’s, Colorado Springs: I had taken a second job to make ends meet.

Cleaning windows in Littleton, Colorado about 65 miles north of my house.

But this morning my boss called and said, “Kurt, it’s over. Sorry… we just don’t have enough work to support the whole crew. I’m letting you go.”

Numb, but still needing a caffeine fix I went to the coffee shop.

Now, I don’t want to over-spiritualize what happened next. But I don’t want to under-spiritualize it either:

Nursing my coffee and wondering how to make ends meet… I earnestly asked God what to do next.

First Principle: An Inspired Voice

So, take this however you will: after my prayer I distinctly heard a voice say, “Go wash these windows.”

Huh. Okay.

I asked the manager,“Hey, your windows are making my eyes hurt. Okay if clean the windows? No charge.”

“Knock yourself out.”

This was the first principle… when you think you need to hustle, you really need to SLOW DOWN and LISTEN.

‘Disaster’ doesn’t mean curtains… it may even mean opportunity.

I read somewhere that ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ are expressed by the same chracter in Chinese.

‘Crisis’? Time to stop and listen.

Ask, seek, knock.

It will be given, it will be found, it will be opened to you.

Second Principle: Service First

Now, obeying the impulse to do the coffee shop windows, I didn’t think of that moment as my big break.

I just was kind of, you know… paying it forward.

Rendering service without necessarily requiring payment of any kind.

Just taking pride in the privilege of work.

As I squeegeed the third of four windows, a gentleman stopped on his way out the door. “Do you do residential?

“Yes I do.”

“Give me your business card.”

“Um… don’t have one on me.”

Which was kinda true… I didn’t have a card on me because I didn’t have one, period.

What happened next was crucial. It meant making or breaking this opportunity!

Third Principle: YOU Get the Contact Info

It would have been easy at this juncture to blow everything. Who doesn’t have a business card?

I mean, really. How could this gentleman possibly think I was trustworthy without even a DANG BUSINESS CARD?!?

The following principle was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coming years:

“Tell you what. I said. “Give me YOUR business card, and I’ll call you to give you a bid. When’s the best time?”

Gary Reddy became the first customer of the newly formed window cleaning company, Crystal Clear Window Washing.

This secret enabled me to build a window cleaning company that not only kept me busy and fed for years… but enabled me to hire five other professionals…

Don’t give your business card away. GET a business card instead.

Giving a person a card puts the responsibility on THEM.

They may lose the card, may forget it for months… but when I have my prospect’s card, I can call them. And it’s kind of expected, even agreed to if the prospect tells me when’s a good time.

Subtle, but powerful principle.

Once Again: The Three Counter-Intuitive Principles

So the first principle in this story was that I needed to relax and call on Someone that had more on the ball than me.

Although things seemed to be dark… losing my second job (that I thought I neeeeeded)  was actually a turning point for me, to the good.

Sometimes the noise and hustle gets to be too much.

So stop and listen.

Second principle: serve without demading payment.

It’s a way to let yourself, others and even your surroundings know that YOU have abundance.

You have enough to give.

He that has, more will be given to him. He that has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Try to only get, get, get… and you’ll end up empty. Chasing “opportunities” that fly away in the wind.

But embrace the idea of serving FIRST, and I guarantee that REAL opportunities will find YOU.

Third principle. I would stop handing out biz cards willy-nilly.

Instead, collect them.

TAKE the responsibility of being the one that calls.

Not everybody gets the subtlety of this shift, but if you do… it will be worth piles of money to you.

Wouldja Ask a Girl if YOU… Could Give HER… Your Phone Number?

Nawwww, shoot.

That doesn’t sound right at all, does it?

So for that reason, I don’t print out business cards for myself. Ever.

I DO print out business cards for my employees, for reasons I’ll make clear in another post.

Now, if in YOUR business it’s kind of expected, go ahead and print them I s’pose.

But if I did hand out biz cards… I would be sure to ask for my prospect’s card first.

Remember that the POWER is not in supplying your own information.

It’s in capturing your prospect’s information and driving the interaction.

Okay Steppers!

Thanks for joining me for today’s triple-shot latte of marketing wisdom.

Ask nice in the comments below,

…and I’ll send you a PDF of how I was able to turbo-charge the “get their card” strategy, in two different but wildly profitable ways.

Til then,

Keep Stepping!


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