We all get tons of e-mails forwarded to us from people we know and often from people we don't know. Most are deleted as a matter of course. The following story, however, was passed on to me a few days ago.
The article was entitled "Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!" I searched the Internet and found the author to be best-selling author and motivational speaker Harvey MacKay. I had read it years ago but with today's economy it seemed like a great to time to pass it on to the contracting world. Every company needs to differentiate itself from its competition but in this economy differentiation is even more important. This is McKay's story about a real life cab driver named Wally:
McKay was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing he noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door.
He handed over a laminated card and said: "I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement." Taken aback, McKay read the card: "Wally's Mission Statement: 'To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment."
Mckay said this blew him away, especially when he noticed the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally asked if McKay would like a cup of coffee, since he had with him a thermos of regular and one of decaf. McKay joked that he'd prefer a soft drink. Wally said that would be no problem because he also had a cooler with sodas, water and orange juice. Almost stuttering, McKay said he'd have a Diet Coke. Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."
As they were pulling away, Wally handed McKay another laminated card that listed the radio stations the cab could receive in the city and the types of programming they featured.
McKay was understandably impressed, so he asked the driver whether he had always served customers like this. Wally smiled into the rearview mirror.
"No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do," Wally said. "Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd."
"I take it that has paid off for you," McKay said.
"It sure has" Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.
Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like the ducks and start soaring like the eagles.
OK, you've heard the story. Now the choice is up to you. Are you willing to change and, more importantly, will you follow through and do it? If you do make changes, give me a call and we will share how you doubled your income with the rest of the industry.
"This article was originally posted on ww.reevesjournal.com."