Cash-Only, Neighborhoods, The Mafia, And “This ain’t Boston”

Cash-Only, Neighborhoods, The Mafia, And “This ain’t Boston”

October 21st, 2010 // 2:13 pm @

Cash-Only, Neighborhoods, The Mafia, And “This ain’t Boston”

Well fresh off my trip to Boston, I’ve got to tell you, it was fascinating…

It doesn’t take a whole lot to fascinate me because I just love exploring new places, but to say Boston was interesting would be an understatement.

I’ll get to a business, money, marketing lesson in just a minute, but you really don’t want just another tip, do you, you want to hear about my trip.

The highlights – other than a wonderful new relationship with a client who I told you about last week, and a very successful event (meaning sign-ups and money), on Friday – I spent the rest of the time doing what any savvy entrepreneur with two days of ‘sightseeing’ would do, try to get into some trouble.

I managed to find what had to be the cabbie with the most knowledge and history about the mafia and their current happenings (yes, they still exist) in the city who gave me the low down on several top joints to go to in “Little Italy” or the North Shore, I think.

Whenever I go somewhere I look for the most interesting tours, because in general I try to avoid anything that any other tourist would do.  As example in Chicago there is a very fun and informative Gangster Tour… so when I ask the Cabbie for some input on something like this, he quickly responded, “man, mafia, you crazy, no tour, stay the f’ away from those guys.”

Anyhow – After my last latte from Starbucks after my meeting we managed to avoid any chain of any sort, until we hit the airport Monday morning.

Friday night we went where the cabbie told me and sure enough, it’s was amazing and run by the mafia.  Oh don’t ask me how I knew, it was obvious.  Partly because everybody in there knew everybody else, but it was more the feel in the environment and the owner of the place who was a great host, and very familiar feeling to say the least.

For dessert we found one, two, three, no, probably 5 different pastry shops, which I guess is something Boston is famous for… they all seemed to be owned by the same people, in one way or another, but they were incredible, so we did what any good capitalist would do, we bought something from every one of them.

One of the coolest things I noticed was big hand written signs in most of the shops and low-ticket-item-places, such as the pastry shops and a few others, that said CASH ONLY.

When talking with an old-timer from the area, he said they just started doing that a year ago or something like that.  And I thought, well of course they did, these people are the real deal, their resourceful.  They don’t care about the credit card processing fee, I figure it’s their way of protecting their territory, something to do with paying hide and seek with the government, if you know what I mean.  The lesson, they all followed suit…

On to something else I found very cool.  It happened first when I met Stever and his team, I either mentioned to him or someone the night before about “being in Boston” and they said, “you mean Charlestown”, and then “Cambridge”, and so on and so forth.

If you’ve not been there, Boston is made up of many different cities, but believe me, these aren’t just suburbs, they are their own special places with their own character and distinct places, personalities, and people.

Each very proud of where they live and where they call home.

And, by the way, that’s the moral of the story – You want to give your customers a place they call “home” when doing business with you.  I often teach people that it doesn’t matter what you say about your business, it matters what your customers say about it.  That’s the true test of a “unique selling proposition” You’ve got to be unique, not just another ‘whatever’.  And what you do, how you communicate it, represent it, and share it with your customers is critically important.

It’s the magic behind marketing and the experience you give them.

Same reason we always go looking for “local” places to patronize and experience, because it’s where you find the unique spots, the special people, the things that make the city – the city.

Are you doing enough to create your own Character, your own feel, environment, and special Place your customers go out of their way to experience and talk about – probably not, none of us do.

So go to work on it will ya.

And go to Boston sometime, I know I’ll be back.


PS – I did manage to track down an old Mafia Headquarters and got a picture of the front door, I haven’t figured out how to get it off my phone yet, and it was dark, but it’s 98 Prince St, if you must know.

By the way, there’s one sure way to make certain you’re doing all you can do to grow your business, create your character, and make as much money as possible… it’s to be at our Place, THE Place for Prosperity in Indianapolis each month at our Chapter Event.  Where you’ll find everybody there to be supportive, family like, just like the neighborhood in Boston, we’ve got your back – and you like everybody in our group is Proud to belong, to be a member, to be a GKIC Indy Entrepreneur.

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