Heart: Interview with Michele Miller, Part 2

In part one of my interview with noted expert on marketing to women, Michele Miller, we discussed focus, saying ‘no’ and Sweden. Today we look at who’s doing it right and what it takes to – at the end of the day – lay down your head with happiness.

Tim: Who gets it right, Michelle if these young ladies that I’m going to be talking to in about a month or people who regularly read my blog and are interested in seeing some examples of people who practice what you’re preaching. Some companies, whether they’re larger organizations or smaller businesses or even other bloggers or writers, who could people look to as an example of somebody who gets it?

Michelle: Well I’d say in terms of maybe companies, people who are lucky enough, do you guys have Whole Foods in your area?

Tim: In our larger area, sure.

Michelle: As far as taking care of employees, any company that puts it’s employees first and it’s customers second is tops in my book because they’re not only taking care of the people that work for them, they also realize that when they have happy employees they end up with happy customers, that it translates that way rather than thinking ‘well I’m going to make my customers happy at the expense of my employees’, that doesn’t work, it blows up on you.

Tim: I had a client who once said to me in our very first meeting and we’ve been together ever since and we’re coming up on six years together now, she said ‘our employees are our first customers’, and I thought you’re wise and are plugged into something that a lot of people, you’re reminding me of Whole Foods, I think you turned me onto a book written by David Wolfe and others called Firms of Endearment, did you turn me onto that?


Michelle: I think so, yep.

Tim: That’s a fantastic book about this very notion.

Michelle: Yes, that would be a good book for these students to read because it takes many of these companies and sort of dissects them a little bit to show what they’re doing and why they’re doing it and the success that they’re having. I think in terms of who to read, boy they’re so many great bloggers out there, of course your blog which I truly believe in because I think it’s more holistic, most successful bloggers bring in parts of their personal life, we tell personal stories.

Tim: The transcript right here should reflect a spit take on my end.

Michelle: You know that’s true and I think it comes from your heart. I think that one of the hardest working bloggers out there is Chris Brogan. I think he did a series if your students do nothing but go back and look at what he calls the overnight success series when he recorded these series of one minute videos of him getting up at three o’clock in the morning to go make a plane of him riding down in an elevator in a hotel to get out and get the rental car back, things that it doesn’t happen overnight, the hard work.

But it’s hard work about something that you need to be passionate about, passionate was I think a very overused word in the ‘90s and into the 2000’s and I was very guilty of using that myself and I think it’s time for it to come back a little bit about what passion really is and it’s really what makes the day fly by and what makes when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day do you feel good about what you did or do you feel like well that was 12 hours that I just wasted.

That is sort of my call when I go to bed at night it’s like well how was this day and if this day wasn’t so great and I have a couple of those, I need to look, it’s like what Steve Jobs said in that great, great when he gave the commencement address at Stanford and he said everyday I look at myself in the mirror and I say in the morning, ‘I look at what kind of day is ahead,’ I say ‘is this the kind of day that if this were my last day on Earth I’d want to spend?’. And he said every once and awhile you have one when you say ‘no’ but if you have too many of those in a row you need to rethink something. It doesn’t take a genius; it doesn’t take a Masters or a Doctorate to figure that out.

If you can’t look in the mirror, you can’t go to bed at night and say was this the kind of day that was really great? If you have too many of those in a row then something needs to change and only you can change it. I think that would be the other piece of advice is nobody’s going to change it for you, you change it all on your own, it’s your responsibility, it’s your life and there it comes back again to saying no to people, yes you’ll disappoint people, yes you may make some people mad at you because you weren’t there for them when you needed you, when they thought they needed you. But you have to go by your inner ticker about what’s most important.

Thanks again, Michele, for your time and inspiration. Michele Miller’s an international speaker and her blog, Wonderbranding, is a fantastic resource for understanding what makes women do the things they do.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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