Saturday, May 21, 2011
CAMBRIDGE BEAT: RED WINE & POPCORN
CAMBRIDGE BEAT: RED WINE & POPCORN
By Mandy Richardson for Echo Weekly
January 14 - 20, 2010
How many of you can say that you’ve landed a kickass business deal by lounging on your couch enjoying a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn? Me neither. But I know someone who has.
Her name is Laurie Soper, she is a good friend of mine, she is a Cambridge dweller, and she is the author of my favourite business Bible, ‘Red Wine & Popcorn: Doing Business Like A Bohemian’.
As a small business owner who hates the business aspect of managing a business (yep I said it), I felt I had found the holy grail of business management strategies when I found this book. It focused little, if at all, on traditional things like advertising and promotion, and focused instead on the importance of doing work you love, doing your work with love, and making the relationship with your customers the highest priority.
It also outlined Laurie’s strategic move that garnered her best results; chillaxin' on her couch and trusting that her contentment was the magnet that would attract the best business deals. It worked for her. It has worked for me (though I opt for cranberry juice and steak). So why can’t it work for you?
Sure it sounds a bit strange to lounge around for those who are used to ‘making things happen’, but there is something to be said about the concept of letting go, of not trying so hard, and allowing things to just fall into your lap.
I believe life really wants to spoil us, but sometimes we get in our own way by forcing things that would be better left alone. Maybe your business needs to go in an exciting, new direction but you’re so stuck on the old way of doing things that you miss the opportunity to expand yourself, your business and your clientele. So at least be open to the possibility of a new way of doing things, and if you already are, ‘Red Wine & Popcorn’ is your first stop along the path to your much anticipated paradigm shift.
I honestly could not put this book down. It is not only informative and cutting edge, it is witty and personal. Laurie’s view of the world and business is unconventional and forward-thinking. She shakes up any ideas you have about how to make money, how to start and thrive in business, and even squashes age-old beliefs about savings and investments. I love her outlook, I love her spirit and I really love her ability to put into words the way I think, live and conduct my own business.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter entitled, ‘Making A Loving’, just to give you a taste of Laurie’s take on things:
“If you're just starting out, you might think your success, or even your niche, depends on your level of expertise. Think again. Yes, you should be among the best in your field. You should be confident nobody provides a better product than you do, nobody can replace you by providing a better service. But how do you gain and retain, the best clients? If you think it comes down to expertise, think again.
It comes down to building relationships with people. It comes down to being yourself. It comes down to engaging with your clients with integrity and verve, so they enjoy your company and miss you when you're not around, so they're always happy to see you. Yes, I have a radical view of true professionalism. I call it making a loving. In a way, when you share yourself, you are loving someone. Yes, in very real ways, I am loving my clients. As Kahlil Gibran writes, work is love made visible.” I love it!
I’m happy to say that in 2006, shortly after I got my hands on a copy of this thought-provoking book, I was lucky enough to meet Laurie and she inspired me just as much that day as she does today. Laurie challenges the way you think, both in her book and in person, and she is the go-to gal for inspiration and direction in business. I urge you to check her out at www.lauriesoper.com if you’re ready to expand your ideas of what it means to do business well. And the next time you’re feeling stuck, how about you just sit back, relax, pour yourself a glass and munch away while life delivers your next treasure.