Hot Dogs Are Bad Business

If you’re alive, you are selling or marketing something. If you’re in business, I guarantee you that you’re always selling or marketing something every day. One of the great secrets to success at either is the level of vision and passion that you have for your product or service. Without this, success is not going to happen. You simply can’t listen to the naysayers and haters. You can’t listen to fear mongers and crystal ball gazers. You must believe in yourself and your mission. It might feel like it’s you against the world, but you must believe.

Years ago, I found a story stuck to the wall of a client. There’s never been an author associated with it that I can find. Just a photocopied sheet of paper taped to a wall. As I read it again, I know realize that it is a modern day fable that tells a story that is played out every day. Just read it and take notice. How strong is your passion for what you’re doing? How easy might it be for something or someone to sway your confidence.

“A man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.

He was hard of hearing, so he had no cable television or radio.

He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers or on-line news,

But he sold good hot dogs.

He put up a sign on the highway telling how good they were.

He stood by the side of the road and cried: “Buy a hot dog, Mister.”

And people bought.

He increased his hot dog and bun orders.

He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

He got his son home from college to help him with his growing business.

But then something happened…

His son said, “Father, haven’t you been watching the news?

If money stays “tight” we are bound to have bad business.

There may be a big depression coming on.

You had better prepare for poor hot dog sales.

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has gone to college.

He watches all the cable news channels, he reads all of the on-line news and business reports and listens to all of the economic podcasts, so he ought to know.”

So, the father cut down on his hot dog and bun orders.

Took down his advertising signs.

And no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell hot dogs.

And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.

“You’re right son,” the father said to the boy.

“We are certainly headed for a depression.”

The moral of this story is simply that you can’t make it a habit to listen to all the yammering about how bad things are. Face it. Good times are not news. Bad times are. And if it’s not bad, the negativity mongers will manufacture bad. Just don’t listen to it. Set your vision and goals and do not allow anyone to detour your hopes and dreams. You will find that while all your competitors have gone into a wait and see mode, you’ll be stealing all of their business from them and thriving.

So, go out and have a hot dog. It’s on me.

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