Taking candy from a 7-year old
Back when I was at junior school, there was a rule in place for birthdays.
Frankly, I don't know why we don't enforce it in adulthood.
On your birthday, you had to bring in sweets for the whole class to enjoy.
It. was. amazing.
Admittedly, this was before Jamie Oliver took the enjoyment out of things. Nowadays you'd probably have to share a single sherbet lemon between 30 children.
One year, on my birthday - from memory I would have probably been turning 7 - I brought in sweets for the class.
Armed with an assortment of refreshers, blackjacks, cola bottles and lollipops, I felt like a hero, dishing out handfuls of confectionary to my classmates.
Within moments, I was down to my last few sweets.
That's when a boy in my class, Joe, put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a shiny pound coin.
Now, when you're seven years old, a pound is a decent chunk of change.
In fact, I don't think we even had £2 coins at this point.
"I'll give you a quid for that last lolly," he said.
I didn't hesitate for a second.
Feeling triumphant, when my mum arrived to collect me from school, I shared the good news with her.
"Joe gave me a pound for a lollipop."
I paused and waited for a reaction.
"A whole pound! Can you believe that?! I'm practically rich."
But rather than share in my elation, my mum made me go back over to Joe and give him is pound coin back.
Now, I'll be honest.
At the time I was pretty pissed off about this.
But that exchange made an impression that's stayed with me and continues to influence my approach to sales today:
Just because someone can afford to buy something from you, doesn't mean you should sell it to them. Even if they're offering way more than it's worth.
I'm extremely selective who I'll work with - either as an Ink Newsletter client or to work with me personally - for a couple of reasons:
#1. Selfishly, I don't want to work with people I don't get on with, whose ethics I don't agree with, or who don't value my time.
#2. Ethically, I will not work with someone unless I'm wholly confident I can deliver value far exceeding their investment.
It's an approach that means I end up turning away more work than I take on - something Grant Cardone would probably have me executed for - but that I know will pay off in the long term.