Learning never ends. Growing pains don’t either. The latter breeds the former. I’ve had my share of both over the years. As I look back over my quarter century with my sign business, a number of these experiences stand out. Here’s one of them:
Nobody Likes Me
My father in law purchased a small struggling sign shop. Soon after, he suffered a serious heart attack. That is how I got into the business. He needed help; I was willing to provide it. A nobly generous offer, wouldn’t you say? I thought so, but not after that first day. What I found was a group of sign-people who could care less about the ignorant son in law who knew nothing about signs.
They did, however, have some fun at my expense, like the day they put some obscene magnetic messages on the side of my car as I went about my sales calls all day to eventually find them once I reached the safety of my home. Yeah, that happened.
From there began my journey to eventually becoming president, buying into the company, and winning over the employees.
The early lesson learned was that being liked is not as important as gaining respect—by earning it. Likeability should not be the goal. Rather, focus on earning respect through a dedication to your work, to the trade and to the industry.
Scott Franko is a solutions provider for business, brand and image through his firm, Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at www.FrankoDesign.com.