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I’m Not Bragging

I had two conversations with two potential clients today. They contacted me after reading my books and wanted me to help them with their businesses/brands. So we get on the phone and I attempt to figure out how I can help them, or if I can at all, free.

The first conversation is with a gentleman who wants to build a large directory site for a certain medical industry. For example, if you searched for “foot doctors” on Google, you’d find his site, which would be a country-wide directory of foot doctors. We’ve all seen these sites.

To build the site the way he wanted it, I estimated it would have cost him about $15-$20k at least. That was my quote. And frankly, he was ready to buy. But I talked him out of it.

What? You talked a potential client out of spending that much money with you? Yes, because his business model is borked. It’s not his fault; it’s just that Google has declared war on directory type sites like this, through both the Penguin update and Google Local/business pages. You see, I explained to the gentleman that if it was me, I wouldn’t build a site like he wanted because he’d be in direct competition with Google, and guess who’s going to win that battle?

He actually sounded deflated and said, “I feel like you just dropped a big bucket of water on my head.”

I did, and I’m not sorry about it. I’m not going to take someone’s money and build them something that I think is going to fail. Sorry, I won’t do it.

The second person I spoke to today was a woman that was in her retirement and had a DVD product she sells online about diabetes (curing it through good health). When I quoted her my monthly rate, she said she couldn’t afford it. Why? Because years ago she took the advice of a person who basically ripped her off for years and drained her husband’s retirement fund and produced nothing.

Sigh. I hear this once a week at least.

So I’m going to help her out by getting her a free blog setup and I’ll do a logo for here and some other stuff. She was practically crying on the phone in joy that I was going to help her.

I’m not bragging. This isn’t about that. This is about how you live your life and how you handle your business and how you build your brand.

Are you in business to make money at all costs, even from people who can’t afford it? Lame.

Are you in business to rip people off? You’re an asshole.

Are you in business to over charge people for things that they can get cheaper in other places? Go suck an egg.

I know you people exist and I loathe you. You may call it good business, but I call it being a complete douchebag.

I ask you, everyone else, what’s your reason for being in business? Mine is to help people. Plain and simple. To teach them and guide them and see them succeed.

What about you?

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8 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. hullfinancial
    August 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Do well by doing good. At my old company, we had several future clients who we turned down because they didn't need/weren't ready for us, and they wound up coming back when they *were* ready and could use our services.

    Bankrupting customers is never a good business practice.

    Good for you for using such strong language! I like it!

  2. Mary
    August 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Thanks, Jim. I am that lady with the DVD and I can say that your reporting of our phone meeting today is 100% accurate.

    I am now in the process of following your instructions. I can't tell you how excited I am. It's like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. No one can say how well our DVD and web site will sell, etc., but your understanding, advice and direction has taken me over a huge hill that has been blocking my road…a hill that until I talked to you, I had no idea how to climb.
    From the bottom of my heart — Thanks, Jim!!!!!!!

    • Jim Kukral
      August 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      You're welcome Mary. We'll take care of you.

  3. Joel Libava
    August 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Totally agree with you, Jim.

    I could charge a lot more for some of things I do.

    But, I won't.

    Only pigs do that.

    And you KNOW what happens to them?

    Yep.

    I just do my thing, Jim. It will work out fine in the end.

    The Franchise King®

  4. Greig Aitken
    August 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    You are "right on the money" – good luck and keep it up. We consult with clients and make them millions- ONLY if they "take care of their employees", treat people right and service their customers. Sounds simple – but – it is just as challenging to find good owners as it is to find good employees. we are just starting Veteran Reporters which will train, intern, employ them within 90 days, strictly veterans since their unemployment rate is 18-22% and seem to be "looked over" far too often. We will do this for veterans, spouses and caretakers and we will set it up as an ESOP so within three years the employees will own their own firm. Of 53 work years – 11 have been corporate with the other 42 as an entrepreneur. I will keep you posted as I believe that you are one of those "good people" and I will have the honor of meeting you at some point. We own 237 acres/48,000 square feet of buildings (www.historicjordansprings.com) and I will try to sell off/option to buy back property in order to "self finance" this project in order to keep the "slow processes" out of the picture as if we do this independently we can reach over 350 employees within one and a half years versus getting government involved (outside financing) and it would take 5 years to get to 200 people, go figure, eh?
    Thanks
    Greig Aitken

  5. Mike Volpe
    August 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Wow Jim, what balls! I love it. I hope the people who rip people off online get a front row seat in hell for taking advantage of good, decent, and completely innocent people of their money. Like selling all this up-sell BS that you just "gotta have" if your going to commit to some outdated bullshit program. Your're one-hundred percent right what "Douche bags" they are. Your a man of integrity Jim, and I'm honored to know and do business with you.

  6. Dorothy
    August 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Great post. I can identify, though in my business (PR) I think it’s crazy to let a client have unrealistic expectations – it will never end well.
    Yet people tell me I’m too honest. But the stress and reputation damage just isn’t worth it.

  7. Rex
    August 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    I usually don’t like strong language, Jim, but it seemed to sound just right in this context.

    Being nice and helpful is just good business.

    Thanks for showing us how it’s done.