Every business has to make a decision of how good it wants to be.
People forget that the people who run the business decide this. Just like picking which product or service to make was a decision. Or which people to hire. Or what colour to paint the walls was.
It’s not luck. It’s a show of hands. It’s a board meeting. It’s written on the back of a beer mat. But, someone,somewhere makes that decision.
And once your intent for the business has been declared, you follow that path. You hire accordingly. You choose your products or services accordingly. And yes, you even paint the walls accordingly.
If you choose to be good at something, you take the left turn in the road. And if you choose to be great at something, you take the right turn in the road. They are two different businesses on two different journeys.
Around a year ago, I helped to start a Local Eating House called The 25 Mile. It would source the main ingredients from within a 25 Mile radius, hence the name.
It bugged me that on a Sunday in a local lay-by from the back of a lorry, you could find some of the finest fish in the world. The fish was on its way to Spain, Japan and North Korea. But there were no fishmongers in town.
And it bugged me that a pub on the high street had been closed for close to 3 years. I just felt the town needed a place to show off all the great ingredients that it is surrounded by. So we took the plunge.
Like any business in its first years, it has not been easy. But the desire from day one has been to be great at it. That’s our map. So we hire people who want to be great, we work with the best growers, we buy only the freshest, tastiest ingredients that we can find within our 25 mile circle and cook it as simply as we know how.
And it's beginning to take off. But, everyone in the team knows how much harder we have to push to become great at this thing. Most people would settle for where we are now. But our decision was to be great. So we can’t stop here. We have to push on.
So when I am sitting in a meeting at The 25 Mile and someone mentions that some of our customers are stealing the Salt Pots. I love it. I know we are doing something right.
The salt is from the iconic Halen Mon. The ceramic pot comes with a little dinky wooden spoon. And the salt inside is amongst the best in the world. It’s crazy good. People leave The 25 Mile and tell their friends about the salt. They remark upon it. So in the true sense of the word, the salt is remarkable.
So I tell everyone in the meeting why I think this is great thing. And we shouldn’t be concerned by it. In fact, we should be proud of it.
But, I tell them, we should be very worried that no one is stealing the pepper pots.