Once there was this guy who was a professional auto mechanic. Not just a professional auto mechanic, but he was considered the best in his area. He had built up a huge clientele base through several years of dedicated service. One thing that made him stand out was his brutal honesty.
He usually had a flat fee to inspect a car, and then would lay everything out as clearly and specifically as he could. He wouldn’t make any suggestions, he would merely let his experience and the prices speak for themselves.
For example, if somebody had a problem with their engine starting on cold mornings, he would charge fifty bucks to take a look, and then give a full report. He would say exactly what it would take to get the car fixed to the point of starting ok on a regular basis, at a bare minimum cost, and explain exactly what the chances of and how long this “fix” would last.
He would then give another report about how much it would cost to virtually guarantee that this problem would be completely fixed, and how long that would last (usually two or three years, which was the life expectancy of the parts he would replace).
He would then give another report of other problems he found with the car, and what the chances is that they would be a problem, and how likely they would to be happening. Of course he would explain exactly how much this would cost to make sure the problem didn’t happen.
He would, naturally, fix specific problems, to satisfy specific requests. For example, if someone came in saying only that they wanted their timing belt replaced, he would do exactly that.
Because he was so honest and upfront with his costs, he never had any want for business. It wasn’t uncommon to find that you needed to wait a week to have your car even looked at because he had so many customers lined up.
There were several other auto repair businesses in the neighborhood that didn’t do so well. One of the reasons was they because they were always worried about their business, they would sometimes make repairs that weren’t really necessary, or they would rush through and not do a thorough job, making it necessary for some people to come back to get their car repaired. It was no wonder than these other shops didn’t get a whole lot of repeat business from loyal customers.
A lot of people wondered why this guy didn’t branch out, and open up shops that operated on the same principle, as he certainly could. Perhaps it was because he really, honestly enjoyed working on cars so much that he didn’t want to spend time in an office trying to manage multiple businesses and people. He seemed to be extremely happy, and was always quick to remember a customer’s first name when he saw them at the grocery store.
If there is any moral to this story, it’s that if you can combine honesty, a needed skill, and sincere pleasure in performing that skill, you can make a lot of money, and make a lot of people feel satisfied because of your work.