I was reading Life and Def by Russell Simmons and something really caught my attention. At different points throughout the book he mentions different business deals. It was very obvious that when a contract is negotiated properly the artist involved or the players, owners of small record companies etc. come out doing very well. Two artists can be doing the exact same thing. They can both be very famous with a lot of sales, and one can be living prosperously and making good money, while the other is in the poor house, depending on the deal they have made. A good deal means everything.
I thought about this with my gutter and window business. We have a lot of customers and business deals going on everyday. They are all small deals. A good deal may mean that we charged $20.00 extra to clean a difficult window. Or it may mean that a difficult gutter job is $240 instead of $160.00 Sometimes it means charging for each window rather than letting a few just be thrown in. It never means cheating the customer,but it does mean making sure that I charge enough for my crew being out on a job for a certain period of time.
It’s so easy to make a bad deal. The customer doesn’t want to pay extra for something that takes extra time. The customer wants to pay my company the same price they pay someone else who does not pay as much attention to detail. They still want us to do the work, rather than the other company, but they want to pay less. Sometimes the price may even sound high to me, but I know how long the job will take and how much the crew must make per hour. Sometimes $500.00 sounds like a lot to clean moss and stains off a roof but the client is happy to pay the price.
I have found that the key for me is to be true to myself. Most of the time I do this, but still too often I do not. Just recently I threw in cleaning a big two-story picture window for a regular customer free of charge while we were out cleaning the gutters. It may not sound like much but it takes extra time. I still had a very profitable day, but days later I had an unpleasant dream connected to the experience. In the dream my company kept doing all this free work and being taken advantage of. In real life the customer was not trying to take advantage. I chose not to charge for the window. The interesting thing is it did not cost me much, but those $20.00 here and $30.00 there add up. More important than the money is my peace of mind. The situation showed up in my dream, reminding me I must be true and showing me that in my heart I was not and did not even realize it.
My next thought was that we not only must make good business deals, but good deals in life. We must make sure that the deal is good for both us and the other party involved. This goes for our marriages, friendships etc. If you want peace of mind make good deals. I was fortunate to be alerted by my unpleasant dream that I was heading down a road that takes away my peace of mind. But just think how many times we get up and don’t feel good or start the day feeling uneasy. Could it possibly be that we are carrying bad deals with us, not being true to ourselves, and it is secretly effecting our peace? If so let’s regroup, and make good deals.