Quote of the Week 1

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

— Steve Jobs

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The Three E’s

A couple weeks ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine over the phone discussing some business issues.  He told me he recently came to a realization over the reason his clients had chosen him over his colleagues.  This entire time he thought clients had chosen him because of his very reasonable pricing.  He was wrong.  So what was the deciding point for his clients?  What does it have to do with the three E’s?  Do you know the three E’s?

The conversation reminded me of a Fortune Management Seminar I had attended a couple months ago.  Little did I know that seminar was being hosted by a friend whom I haven’t seen for several years, Dr. Steve Schwartz, a practicing dentist for over 30 years.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Bernie Stoltz, CEO of Fortune Management and a remarkable speaker.

The three E’s are:

  • Excellence
  • Efficiency
  • Economy

Mr. Stoltz touched on the subject, stating “dentists have violated the three E’s”.  This was obviously a seminar for dentists, but I’ve found on several occasions that dentists are not the only ones who have violated them.  The rule is that a business must choose 2 of the 3 E’s in order to be successful.  Ever heard of “you can’t be everything to everyone”?

Let’s take a look at a couple examples:

  • Mercedes Benz – Which two E’s do you think of?  Excellence and Efficiency.  They’re certainly not known for Economy.  Trust me, I know how much my tires cost every year haha!  A car known for it’s German engineering…”combining luxury with performance”.
  • McDonald’s – Efficiency and Economy.  A 4 yr. old could’ve told us that.  You don’t go to McDonald’s for exceptional service and 5-star cuisine.  They’re fast, cheap, and fill us up (with who knows what).  Although their fries are quite good, if I remember correctly.

I’m sure you already know which E’s I’m rooting you to go for.  I understand the economy is still struggling.  Price (Economy) does not necessarily drive business.  When you choose a doctor, do you go for excellence or economy?  If you’re a dancer, do you go for the economical shoes or the one that is comfortable and designed for dancing?  When you build your fantasy football team, do you draft the best players or the cheapest?

Rarely do we find Excellence and Economy working together, since excellence and efficiency kind of goes hand in hand (at least in my book).  Even more rare is a successful business with all 3 concentrations of Excellence, Efficiency, and Economy.  Not that it can’t be done, but concentrate and brand yourself on two E’s.  You can not be everything to everyone.  If you try, you may find yourself being nothing to no one.  You can be successful as a Payless, just as you can as a Nordstrom.