“Would you like a bag for 10 cents?”

“We’re out of the bacon-wrapped jalapeños… yes, I know, we run out of them a lot. The kitchen manager needs to order more I guess.”

Customer loyalty cards…. Worse, customer loyalty apps. I just want the best deal you can give me. Please don’t make me prove that I shop here.

No business owner decides over morning coffee to irritate customer number 5 on any given day. They know business exists and thrives with, not against the people walking in.

A change of hat and all business owners are customers too. How come we forget?

We had checked every pocket. The bottom of every bag and purse. Cushions were pulled off the couch and we had dug beyond and behind where the dry crumbs were hiding from the vacuum.

Quarters were best, but nickels and dimes were not to be sneered at. Occasionally, there was a carefully folded 2 dollar bill in a zippered haven waiting patiently for us to gleefully grab it. Sometimes, what we thought was cash was a forgotten till receipt that deceptively had the same flirty texture as paper money. Not the kind of bill we were looking for.

If we said we were broke, we had checked all those spots, and a couple more.

A fistful of coins and we were suddenly rich. Rich enough for a muffin and maybe, a coffee too.

One girlfriend had a savings account with over 10K in it. We knew because she told us. When she said she was broke, she meant something different than me and my sister. Our friend always let us pay for lunch and coffee without blinking. And somehow, she never used her car.

I love the story – legend actually… of the Candy Lady.

Back when the world was black and white you could visit a department store, riding the escalator downstairs, and usually right beside it was a plastic rainbow wall of bins holding every possible candy available in both The World and Your-Mind-Blown-Imagination. In one such department, legend has it, one gal always had a lineup. People wanted her to scoop their chosen candy. Many a pre-diabetic customer pointed at their favorite bin and with a smile the sugary treat went from scoop to wax paper on the scale and into a paper sack.

There were other smiling ladies with perfect lipstick and plastic scoops ready to go – but it was her line that was always longer.

The manager finally asked her what was up. She had no idea.

So he watched. Perhaps, in his snap-on tie, he imagined she was sneaking a bit extra, or charging a bit less to her favorites.But the trick was no trick at all. All the gals scooped the candy pointed at and put it on the scale. Our candy crusher heroine always puts some candy on the scale. And kept adding little bits of more. Meanwhile, the other gals scooped a big scoop full- and then took a bit away. And a bit more. Until the weight was exactly right.

All the Candy Ladies were giving the correct amount of candy. But it felt like the favorite femme fatale was giving more. The rest were taking away. Even though it was the exact same amount at the end of the scoop, weigh, and pay transaction.

And so her line was busier. And Saturday morning, just before the doors opened, I imagine the manager gave a training session with new instructions on how to scoop, just a bit more properly.

It would have taken a few weeks, but the lines, eventually, were about even for each of the Candy Ladies.

Perception of extra. Belief in what you have and how much. And how to share it.

How do you define how you do business? Do your customers agree?

I once asked a very successful business owner what he might have been interested in doing had he not started working in the family business.

I still find it sad because he truly had no idea. Another possibility had never actually crossed his mind.

Which would have been fine had he been passionately raving to me about all that he was doing as a 2nd generation owner. But, he obviously didn’t really care, one way or the other. He did what he was doing because that was the thing he did.

We all have a spark for doing something, even if we are not doing it.

And sometimes, that something is as simple as making a living for the family we love.

Decide to do it from a position of Joy, Sparkle, Wow, and More.

It might be hiding between the cushions, or maybe you need a brilliantly colored scoop instead of an old, scratched metallic one. Embrace it and you will be able to show your employees and your customers. It will be a brand new everything!!

I doubt you’ll charge 10 cents for a bag, and I really don’t think you will run out of the customer favorite on your menu ever again.

Don’t worry about industry standards – create the standard for your business.

Adding just a little bit with every scoop with a smile because ….

… finding your because is finding a forgotten, carefully folded 20 dollar bill. You were hoping with every fiber of your being for even just a five. And now you can buy yourself – and someone else – a coffee on a chilly morning. You are rich.

You feel beyond fantastic. You can do more for everyone….customers, employees, and even, yourself. People will look at you in awe, and wonder why they are never that lucky, even though they scrimp and save and keep their lips tightly pierced when the bill comes.

They are not lining up for a sale or a free hotdog with purchase.

You have given them a reason to like doing business with you. To want to do business with you. And so they line up, with a smile.