The First Thing You Are: In Business

Years ago, I spent a summer working at an outdoor sporting company.

My job was to be concierge, mechanic and driver. Most time I spent driving a 24-seater mini-bus, taking tourists up into the mountains.

They would get into a kayak, make their way down to the valley,
and there I would pick them back up.

Fun job, though it wasn’t easy: That was the last year I lived in the monastery and I was technically still a monk.

During that summer, I saw far more shorts, legs, boobs and bums than any man should see in one summer.

Regardless of whether or not said man is under a vow of celibacy.

But I digress.

One morning I get into work, and the owner is there: “Remember we told you about Adam, who had your job last year?

This is him, he’s just gotten back from Poland. He’ll be your assistant from now on.”

I can tell you, there has never been a better worker than Adam. Indefatigable, honest, doesn’t complain, gets the job done. With a smile.

It’s now 7 seven years later, and we’re still very close friends

He and his wife Ewa live in Dublin, they have a little girl, and last year they opened a cleaning company.

When they first told me of their plans I cheered. After all, I know them well.

I know how much they excel at whatever they do.

They also had the perfect market, the right work ethos and excellent connections. Set for success.

Of course, they would need to do some marketing and some selling, but that wasn’t a problem for them.

The other day the two of them called me from Skype, and we got to talking about their website.

At some point I asked about their website traffic.

I got a blank stare for a reply.

Did they have analytics installed, I asked while trying not to sound condescending (and probably failing)

Ewa heaved a little sigh and then sat up proudly: “Martin, we’re cleaners. You know? Those things, we don’t really know how it all works.”

To which I replied: “Actually, you’re businesspeople first, and cleaners second.”

I didn’t have to explain more: she understood that as professional cleaners, a degree of marketing, prospecting and selling was unavoidable.

Put it this way: If you want to succeed in business, you need two things to start

1. A skill or product that’s worth money

2. A professional, business-minded attitude that will make people want to give you money

Can’t have one without the other.

Not if you want a healthy and prosperous business.
If you see yourself as just a writer, a designer, a cleaner or a cake baker, that’s what you’ll be.

You could strike lucky and do well, who knows.

But there’s nothing like a healthy, professional, business-oriented awareness if you want to grow your business

If you see yourself as a person in business, you’ll end up owning a business.

And believe me, that will give you a much better shot at turning a handsome profit on what you do.

Talk soon,



P.s. You know what also helps turning a handsome profit? Stellar sales copy. Get it there:

I help nice people sell more

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Martin helped our co-working space get to full occupancy and $25.000 monthly revenue in less than a year.

~ Antonio Herrezuelo,
Avenida Capital

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