This Customer Inspires Me
As I write this we have about 23,000 paying customers. That’s a lot of people, and I feel incredibly blessed to have earned their trust.
If you are one of them, thank you. You mean more to me and my family than words alone can say.
Over the years (about 14 as I write this) I’ve met some interesting characters. I know a man who was trapped in a mental health crisis and discovered selling information online as his way out. Today he is well, happy and prosperous.
Another person went from having no income to making six figures a month. Only the Internet can do that.
And then there are the many customers who have successfully gone from where they were to where they wanted to be by using the information they purchased, asking specific questions and taking action.
So many are well known names today. I am honored by that.
The stories are many, and I’m thankful to have been there as they unfolded.
But there is one customer who inspires me in the way she lives her life. I won’t divulge her full name to protect her privacy.
Her name is Esther. Esther is 91 and has been our customer going on about 10 years now.
In that time I have been privileged to exchange emails with Esther many times. Each time I learn something new. Each time I am inspired to be a better person.
Here are five lessons I have learned from watching Esther try, fail, succeed and persevere.
Esther is amazing. I’ve seen her do well with an idea and struggle deeply with technical skills. But in the face of both victory and defeat her attitude remains positive.
Can you imagine starting on computers and the Internet at 81?
I’m not saying Esther is a cheerleader or a Zig Ziglar “always up” personality.
I’ve seen her get down and think this “Internet thing” is not for her.
But she is wise enough to know that negative thinking, including blaming yourself or others, won’t get the job done.
So she does what she can with what she has and never quits learning, or trying.
And I’ve never seen her feel sorry for herself.
Like I said, amazing.
Play To Your Strengths
Talking with Esther is fun because she knows who she is.
She told me recently she was not going to buy a particular product because she just did not care to learn how to do another new thing. She knew I would be disappointed and wanted me to know why she was saying “no”.
How flat out sweet is that?
Esther knows what few of us know – you can’t be all things to all people all the time. Nor can you do everything that needs to be done yourself.
So she outsourced the job to a person she found online (at 90!) and the job was done.
Work Well With Others
I’ve watched Esther work with family members, outsourcers she will never meet, and with my staff. In all of our contacts she has been patient, kind and respectful.
Even when things went wrong. Even when she was so confused she wanted to throw her hands in the air.
Working well with others is so important online, and in life, and yet we see people say things in email they would never say face to face.
If there was an Emily Post of the Internet it would be Esther.
Make Mid Course Corrections
There was a point where Esther was trying to do content marketing the way most content marketing gurus teach it. Post every day. Build your list. Grow your audience.
Sound advice, but not practical for everyone.
So she switched gears and focused on other projects instead.
I remember clearly one time when she decided to go a different route that she had planned. A partner could not deliver and so her plans were scuttled.
What was interesting was watching the process. No blaming the partner. No blaming herself. No beating anyone up over lost time or money.
Just a realistic assessment of the facts and the ability to make a choice and cut the cord on Project A while moving on to Project B.
Know Your Limitations
Esther was about 81 when we met online.
She was late to computers, the Internet and terms like “multivariate testing”. As if anyone really knows what that means anyway. 🙂
At 81 Esther knew she could do a few things well, and that learning all the other things was going to be too high a mountain to climb.
So she made choices consistent with what she could do.
She could do email, and did that well. She could write posts, write chapters in a book (she is published on Amazon) and could communicate to outsourcers exactly what she needed. And she could hold them accountable, in her gentle way.
These things became her focus. Rather than spending countless hours learning to build a website she took on a partner who could do it for her.
Rather than blog about her passions she focused on writing a book. “Books offer you more room to express yourself anyway“, she once told me.
Talk about rolling with the punches.
So I conclude with this.
Thank you Esther for all you have taught me about grace, passion and style. You are truly one of a kind. The world would be a better place with more people like you in it.
Do you have an Esther in your life? If you do, count your blessings and let him or her know how much you value them. And let them make you a better person in the process.
QUESTION: Who in inspires you? Leave a comment below and honor them for their contribution to your life.