The other day I was driving down the freeway, listening to the radio. Suddenly a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a long, one that reminded me of my university days. My friend that was riding with me was eating some bread that he had just picked up from a new bakery that was down the street from his apartment. It was one of those places that is trying really hard to establish itself, giving out free samples, trying to get as many customers as possible. He hadn’t planned on buying the bread, but couldn’t help it when he was drawn in by the aroma as he walked past.
The lady that runs the shop is particularly interesting. I think this was her fourth or fifth business that she has set up. All of her previous businesses were very profitable. What she does is she has an interesting way of identifying food-based niches in small neighborhoods. She figures out what kind of restaurant or food shop would likely be successful based on what other shops are already in the neighborhood, and have already been successful. Then she sets up a shop, generates a lot of loyal customers, and the turns the shop over to one of her assistants in kind of a franchise deal. Her assistant makes half the profits, and she takes half the profits.
She then goes to another neighborhood, and does the same thing. Other that go around and set up businesses based on what they like don’t do as well. For example if somebody only wanted to open up a hamburger shop, sometimes they’d be successful, other times they wouldn’t. Some neighborhoods have a real need for a hamburger shop, while others don’t. Because she is very flexible in her approach, and provides what the market demands, she always seems to make a lot of money.
I remember when I first moved into the dorms in college. We had a party, and snuck a keg of beer into the room. While we were drinking, a friend of mine started telling me about his philosophy professor. He was saying that those that are the most successful in life are the ones that figure out what they want, and then figure out how to mold reality around t heir desires. He said the most important thing is to look underneath want you want to find the underlying desires. Most things that people think they want are really based on an underlying desire, which can be applied to most anything. The mistake many make is trying to fit their surface wants into society, without focusing on their underlying desire.
If you can figure out what your base desire is, you’ll be surprised when you find that almost anything can satisfy it. Which is why we had the party in the first place. And as it turned out, my friend actually did have some left over bread that he could share with me, until we finally go to our destination.
I even remembered what that song was, so I could down load it from iTunes when I got home. I like it when stuff like that happens, don’t you?