Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (1) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Prev | Next | Next Thread
Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 8418  
Subject: I am too nice Date: 5/26/2012 2:57 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 5
An epithet hung around my neck (and probably to be inscribed on my tombstone) is that I am/was too nice. Not said as a compliment but as a character flaw. Nice, according to some, is a state in which I am ripe for the taking. Taken by the not-so-nice, a target.

My defense is I love tourist traps. Yes, I buy the inflated price of a cheap t-shirt saying. ‘Muana kedo mungo mungo,’ in a blaze of florescent colors but I had a really nice chat with the seller (a 14 year-old working weekends at her parent’s stall and is doing well in math and geography but not so well in chemistry and English grammar and is somewhat overshadowed by her older brother who has a talent for writing and, yes, she will on my advice, learn a word a day but what she would really like is an iPod).

I am too nice. I had a business partner who thought lambasting employees was the way to get them motivated; I bought the staff a commercial Bunn coffee machine so they would not have to cross the street to get coffee. My partner sneered. Eventually he threw up his hands and left. Know what he said? “Michael, you’re too nice.” My employees stayed: we had the lowest turnover in the industry.

My estimate is three percent of customers you can’t be nice to. Don’t even try. The ninety-seven percent remaining, well, they also suffer from nice. I guess that’s their character flaw.

So what is nice? Being pleasant? Sure but more than that. Being accepting is maybe better. I taught all of my employees to treat someone in a first meeting as if they had already met them (and liked them). It works.

But to many being nice is to be a doormat. I don’t care. I have this return: cheat me and I never come back. I have refined this to ‘under no circumstances, none whatsoever, do you cheat a customer’. I built companies on that.

So am I really nice when I will never darken some companies ever again? Again, I don’t care.

In all my years running companies I have realized being nice doesn’t cost me a penny but has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Laughter may be the best medicine but being nice means I can ease my way. So I am told I am too nice – I consider the alternative and, no, I ain’t going there.

MichaelR
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (1) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Prev | Next | Next Thread

Announcements

Post of the Day:
Value Hounds

Nu Skin Showing its Age?
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement