(Dave Bacon is one of the owners of a crazy successful swimwear company in Canada called Swimco as well as a friend. A very wise friend at that. A while back Ryan Patrick wrote a blog post about “That Guy”. While in the original article “That Guy” was a negative term, Dave had a different take on the term and we were lucky enough to have him drop by and share his thoughts. Oh, and who taught me to properly appreciate hockey? He’s My Guy.)
I know a guy. It’s not “that guy”.
Everyone needs a “guy”. You don’t need your guy everyday, but when you need him, he’s your guy (or gal).
I ran into a friend of my son’s last month. Like all old guys, I grilled him on what he was doing and where he was working. He told me about his new job with a great company. I asked him, though I already knew the answer, how he managed to land such an awesome job.
“I know a guy.”
Yeah, I know that guy. That guy is a Senior VP with that firm. That guy is his dad.
Do you think that this young man working for his dad’s company makes the extra effort to make him proud? It’s not just because he’s his dad, it’s because he’s his guy.
Having a guy in your corner goes both ways. There are obvious benefits for you. It’s also a big responsibility. You can’t take advantage of your guy. You respect your guy, both his time and his value, and you never let your guy down.
Often you will refer your guy to others to help him build his business, or make him look good by speaking highly of him. Your guy doesn’t expect anything for helping you out, yet he still appreciates a random act of kindness. Maybe like offering him tickets to the hockey game, or a 6 pack of craft beer at quitting time.
I’ve got a tire guy. I’ve got a physio guy. I’ve got an HVAC guy. I’ve got a millwork guy. Everyone needs a guy!
You use your guy for everything he does. I never even look at tire ads, or the shop across the street. I know my guy will treat me right.
And when that emergency arises, or you have a tight deadline, or your friend needs help, your guy steps up and makes it happen.
Recently, I had a sudden issue with my teeth. It was the weekend, and I was in pain. I’ve known my dentist, Howard, for over 30 years. He’s my guy. I look forward to my regular check up, our easy banter in the chair, and I know that he cares about my teeth. I suffered through the weekend and called his office first thing on Monday.
I was in the chair by 10:30am. It was a bigger problem than I thought, and he needed to get me into his guy. His guy was the oral surgeon across the hall.
I got a call from the office manager for the oral surgeon, Susan, who told me that Howard had called and said that he would do anything to get me into see her. I was operated on within two days.
Because I had a guy. And my guy had a guy (in this case a gal).
On Thursday, Susan got flowers. Howard got bonus points with Susan. I still have a guy, and now new guy (gal), Susan. You never plan for emergency oral surgery, and when the need arises, you need a guy.
Now, wouldn’t you like to be “The Guy” for someone else? Someone who thinks of you when they need a business or service? Someone they think of when they have an extra ticket for the hockey game?
You can grow your business, grow your friends, and grow inside by being someone’s guy.
It’s good to be the guy… just don’t be… “That Guy”.
(Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Dave. Also, for being awesome in general. If you’re interested in submitting a guest essay, we’d love to hear from you. We’re looking for stories about management, marketing, or motivation that would be helpful to people who own or work for family businesses or nonprofit organizations. Contact us with your submission today!)