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Marketing Minute

Ham, Done Momís Way

December, 2018

Jeff Pinyot

I think it’s safe to say that we are all creatures of habit. We do things that we are comfortable doing and we do them in the way that we were taught. We drive a certain way to school, work, etc. because the results are predictable and within our control. 


As parents, we have an amazing impact on the behavior of our children. As a father of four, I see myself in my children, in obvious and obscure ways. Sometimes it’s a compliment and sometimes, unfortunately, they copied something I wish that they hadn’t, like impatience or a quick tongue.


My third, Jonathan just graduated from high school and at his open house, it was nice to hear rave reviews from the adult guests who know him well. Stan, an attorney friend whose son is a friend of Jonathan’s, cornered me and told me that we did an amazing job in raising Jonathan. He said that without a doubt, Jonathan is the most respectable young man in his son’s life and a great influence on him.


In business, in many ways, it’s marvelous to have a great mentor or a great method, but it still is important to step back and look at things from a distance. It’s not a bad idea to put on your client’s hat and see if they understand your story, loud and clear. If not, get back to the drawing board. 


Methods do change and it’s important to have an open mind as to new ways to sell your product or service. In lighting, manufacturers of lighting fixtures don’t also turnkey the installations. Why? Because it’s just how the industry has always done it. We challenged the conventional wisdom. Not coming from the lighting world allowed us to start with a blank piece of paper, without conceptual limitations. We didn’t know the “rules”. Have you ever taken the time to sit down and process the methods to your business madness? 


Consider this story about a mother who was cooking with her daughter:


A mother and her young daughter were enjoying time together in the kitchen making a nice Christmas meal of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and more. The mother sliced about an inch off the end of the large ham and set it aside. She then placed the ham into her baking dish and placed it in the oven to cook. Her daughter was watching with curiosity and intensity. 


To get it right, she asked her mother, “Mom, why did you cut the end of the ham off before you placed in into the baking dish?” Her mother chuckled, as she recalled learning that trick (preparation) from her own mother. 


She thought about her response and said, “My mother taught me how to do that, she always cut the end of the ham off before she baked it.” The daughter asked, “But why, mom?”. Her mother couldn’t explain it to her, so she decided to call grandma and ask her why. 


 Here’s how the call went: “Hi Mom, I’m making dinner with Caroline, we are baking a ham. Hey, I was wondering, why, when you bake ham, is it important to cut the end of the ham off before placing it into the baking dish?” 


Her mother replied, “So it fits into the dish. I cut the end off because all I had was a small baking dish and the ham never fit into my dish.” 


Wow, if that doesn’t hit you between the eyes. There are so many business lessons in that story.


• Are you copying things that your competitors are doing just because they are doing it? 


• What are we doing too much of that doesn’t fit into our business dish? What needs to be cut?


• Maybe you can fit the whole ham or a bigger ham into your dish. What more can you do?


• Do you need a different dish? 


One of my favorite examples of commitment is breakfast. I love a piece of panfried ham and eggs, or very crispy bacon and eggs. Either way, ham or bacon, a pig is involved in the meal, and so is a chicken. When it comes to the pig versus the chicken, and their commitment to the breakfast meal, one is all in! Whether you work for yourself or work for someone else, go all in today!


 



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