Marketing is less about what we say and more about what we do.
Anyone can say they are great with customers.
But it is our experiences that differentiate between the liars and the truthsayers.

Here is a snippet of my life as I try to connect the dots with business.

Our cat Shiver is what some would call a Fat Cat.
He was born in a barn and raised into the riches of my home.
He’s never eaten a mouse or gone hungry for more than a moment.
Shiver takes for granted what I give him and forgets where he could’ve ended up without me.
He lounges at the top of the sofa soaking in the sunrays.
Moving only to grab a bite to eat or a trip to the bathroom.
As I pass him, I occasionally try to pet his soft blue coat.
But he looks at me with indignation as if to say, “Keep your hands to yourself. I’ve worked hard to look this good. Do I touch your hair?”
Shiver is supposed to be my cat.
But he doesn’t see it that way.
He thinks of me only as his food supply.
In the hierarchy of our kingdom, Shiver is King and I’m the guy who cleans his bedpan.

Our dog Calypso was rescued from Corpus Christie, Texas.
Aline found her through a non-profit organization and had her delivered to Canada.
We like to think she wandered the streets looking for food under benches and ate anything she could find.
She never stops eating.
As she adjusted to the Canadian Winter, she wouldn’t stray far from the front door for her morning business.
As summer approached the weather resembled an early Texas Spring.
Calypso loves to run.
That’s how we probably got her. She got lost on one of her adventures and her owner never went to the shelter looking for her.
She’s a mix of Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua.
She cuddles with Aline or our daughter, Marie-Soleil, every night.
When I work in my office, she waits for me at the top of the stairs. She climbs the air, reaching to the sky with both paws trying to give a high ten.
Her tail waggles from left to right. Her ears tuck up. And her eyes glow like I’m the most important person in the world.

The cat glances over to witness this foolishness and turns his head back for extra rays.

Calypso’s goal in life is to give us love.
Gone for five minutes and she greets me like she hasn’t seen me in two weeks.
Her love makes me want to love her more.
She brightens every one of my mornings.
Wandering into the kitchen, she’ll look up over her chew toy, and wait for me to sit down for my morning tea.
She catapults herself out of her bed and she launches onto my lap to tell me about her doggy dreams.
I love her kisses and stories.
It makes me feel special and it makes me happy.
Even when I’m tired, or preoccupied with a problem, she shows me things aren’t as complicated as I make them to be.
A little kiss, a touch of love, and a couple of giggles with my cachorro.

This story isn’t a glimpse into my life.

Businesses are laced with employees who either act like Shiver or Calypso.

Too many Shivers leaves a stink in the hearts of the customers.
They are inattentive, self-serving, what’s-in-it-for-me type of people
Shivers wants one thing – to be fed.
Feed them too little and they whine.

Calypsos make things better – for you and the customer.
They’re happy, helpful, friendly, and loving.
There’s no such thing as too many Calypsos.
Calypsos focus on one thing – to spread love.
Take too little and they come back looking to give more next time.

Shivers need you.
Calypsos want you.

Your customers will think about their customer experience based on the quality of your staff.
Served by Shiver, clients feel used, mistreated, and unimportant.
Served by Calypso, they feel full of energy, happy, and important.

Hiring the right people is the Rosetta Stone in business.
Your process is only as good as the candidates and your current needs.

However, the wrong people serving your customers will do more damage to your revenues than your advertising can wash out.

Jim Collins wrote in his book, Good to Great, “Get the right people on the bus”.

Your reputation and most importantly future earnings depend on your ratio of Shivers to Calypsos.

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