Life Lesson From A Fudge Shop

The best sales pitch I ever received wasn’t a real sales pitch. Last summer in Atlanta, some friends and I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness at the Atlantic Station outdoor mall. We allowed some extra time before hand to explore a little bit. Good thing too, since we spent more time than expected getting lost in the gargantuan underground parking garage (my fault).

One of the shops we visited happened to be a fudge shop that also sold just about every other form of sugar imaginable. Right inside the door, an older gentleman (presumably the shop owner) was making fudge on a large marble slab like they do on Mackinac Island. He glanced up at us briefly and said, “Freshly made ice-cream is right over there guys,” pointing toward the back of the store.

He didn’t push, but he spoke as if he read our minds. The smooth, laid-back tone of his voice was reminiscent of my grandpa offering me a cold ginger ale or an ice-cream bar after a hot afternoon of gardening or weed whacking. This shopkeeper made me feel really good about life – the weather was perfect, the shop doors were open, and the sidewalks were filled with music and laughter. The way he went right back to his fudge made me think he absolutely loved his job and that beautiful Georgia evening too.

I didn’t actually buy anything that night. We wandered briefly toward the back of the store, then melted back out into the crowd. It took a lot of willpower, but a college-student budget will do things to you. I almost feel bad, though, because that shopkeeper taught me an important lesson. Lots of people can make great fudge or delicious ice-cream, but a warm personality like that makes people feel guilty for not doing business with you.

I guess the real question I’m still working on a year later is how to make sure I have the same glow about my own work and day-to-day life. Any thoughts or suggestions on the best way to achieve that?

Banner Image: A Mackinac Island fudge shop. Photo from Claire P (cropped from original). Creative Commons license, 2008 . 

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