I have two awesome kids, Gabby 15 and Nicholas (Nick) 13. I have been sharing news with them about the progress of Spink and Edgar from the beginning and they have both shown a lot of interest so my wife and I decided that it would be a good idea to let them see things first hand. So this week I took Nick with me on a trip to Boston to visit Jordan’s stores and get a look at what the mattress industry is all about. Here are a few things that Nick learned during his trip.
- If you are going to be in business you have to separate yourself from everyone else. That means your personal brand and that of your company. You can wear a Micky Mouse neckties to help start conversations or learn a magic trick to share with people so you are more memorable. Whatever it is, you have to be different. When Nick walked into Jordan’s and saw a ropes course and Imax Theatre, he understood that your company needs to be different as well. (A BIG thank you to Peter Bolton at Jordan’s for delivering a first class experience at the Red Sox game and for investing in Nick. A good lesson for us all; have other people coach your kids because they can make a different kind of impact.) Peter made Nick feel like a real businessman and I love that he did that.
- Many in the mattress business build their product lines with fancy stories in a language that is difficult to understand. Here is a good test for your brand…have a 13-year-old go in and read all of your point of sale, look at your website and interface with your product. If it doesn’t come together to the degree that they TOTALLY get what you are trying to say, then what you are doing is probably too complicated.
- Connect with people. We had an experience where a few retail sales people needed clarification on certain aspects of our program so we stayed late with them one night and talked to them until they were more excited about Spink and Edgar mattresses. Nick learned that it is important to make an effort to ask good questions so you can understand where other people are coming from. If you do that, you can overcome just about anything. Seek FIRST to understand.
If you haven’t already done something like taking your son or daughter to work, I highly recommend it. Nick and I went to a Red Sox game, took a tour of TD Garden, visited Yale University in New Hampshire, hit Time Square in New York and saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. We also did a LOT OF WORK. 🙂 We were very tired at the end of it all but we made some incredible memories. Many thanks to Peter Bolton, Josh Tatleman, and Brad Graham along with everyone at Jordan’s that was so nice to Nick. You guys made the kind of impact on Nick that he will never forget. That WE will never forget. THANK YOU, it meant more than you know!