For many, the dream of being successful, rich and admired is what drives their everyday.

While some want to simply make a difference, and if a little fame came a long with it, then so be it.

Others want to conquer, monopolise and crush their competition.

I like to make something grow. I enjoy the logistics of running a business, the relationships and the chance to learn.

I desperately want to help, I want to bring value, and as I have on many occasion, I want to meet fascinating people who open my mind to new possibilities.

Most of all, I want to feel purpose. I want to be busy. I want as many thumbs in as many pies as possible…

Customer Thumbs Up

With the rising popularity of work based disillusionment and the increasing ease of which information flows, came an overwhelming appetite for a better way and realisation for millions of people that the road to self employment and the entrepreneurial way was within reach, and the ability to market their product was within their grasp.

With this came the rise of the “business guru”. People such as, Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandberg and Mary Barra, complete with the Madonna cheek mic and the black curtained stage, these highly educated, apparent Goliaths of industry, sold out venues across the world, banged out book after book, sat cross legged on chat show sofas and sold us all on the way that we could integrate their brand new, tried and tested, no other way but my way works, scheme

Guru Customer Talk

Now don’t get me wrong, education comes in all forms, and the motivation that these people are able to provide is off the charts….


I think its caused a little damage also, a rip in the continuum if you were.

What it, and many similar examples of guruism have done is to cloud and discolour what should be quite a simple process, well, simple in its infinite complexities, but simple never the less.

This guruism has lead us to believe that the approach to what we do as business owners, as entrepreneurs, and as those who are integral to their running and wellbeing, is far more complicated than it actually is.

A sticky mess of over complication.

This guruism has brought on a distinct divide between the business and the customer. A divide that dictates that, not only should every business adhere to unobtainable and often hugely unrealistic levels of service, but that the customer be held as a deity, an often unapproachable and unaccountable entity.

Unaccountable Customer Entity

The first problem with this divide is that we have made it so that every business be seen as a large organisation. Every company must provide the best customer service, every company must have the best image, the best website, the best social presence…. Every company must be flawless, and if not must have failing leadership.

The second problem is that the deity status of the customer is now weighing our businesses down with not only the sophisticated phycological hoops that are now essential and must jumped through in order to acquire new customers, but also the very real, untouchable status that this gold encrusted figure has. Add to this being given carte blanche to treat you, your employees and your business however they feel fit, including not paying for goods and services, and we have a gift that keeps on taking.

Customer Diety

The third issue is that our products and the services we provide have been almost cheapened, as if they are a close third or forth. If the customer isn’t happy, for whatever reason, then it doesn’t matter how great your company is or the goods or services you provide.

Similarly, if you ain’t cutting it in your grandiose or rank high in your social importance, then how can you possibly be a viable option for any customer?!?!?

Business owners are lead to believe that everything is and must be over complicated, especially from the customer up. We are told that we must master special techniques and spend more time than we have in a day, in a week or year, learning to be better at what we do than we actually are.

We must read the 5 latest Elon Musk favourites. Nourish, enable and satisfy our employees everyday or they will leave our withering work environments. We should be creating affirmation posts and studying the analytics of every social platform to ensure greater interaction. We must educate and inspire the masses, write blogs, do interviews, podcasts and network as much and as often as humanly possible.

Domesticated Small Business Customer

We must not only be fully customer-centric but heavily focus on the message our business puts out into the world…..

We must do all of this and more, whilst pretending not to be a regular human, whilst not showing our worries or frustrations.

We must do all of this on the stress induced 2 hour nights sleep.

Often, we must do all of this while we sit in our car in Starbucks car park, drinking a rough approximation of coffee and extremely overpriced, cold in the middle, molten on the outside, rebadged McDonalds egg McMuffin in a Starbucks wrapper, alone in our thoughts, underpaid, overworked, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders with no-one to talk to who understands.

And then we must run our business, the real business, the one that employs people, the one that pays for our colleagues children to go to college, and for our managers health insurance which allows for her cancer care. The business which has more sacrifice woven into its fibres than you care to think about, the one that has allowed for the success of countless people directly and indirectly involved.

So what’s the answer?

Let’s get back to basics, cut out all of the nonsense and see the customer in the simple terms as someone who wants what we offer…. Or not!

As customers, we need to start to see businesses in a more realistic light.

Customer In Reality

The majority of companies that you will deal with on a regular basis are small businesses, and as such employ your family, friends and neighbours.

These businesses are what make up the fabric of our communities and greater society. It is these same businesses which drive change, inspire others and often fund development and improvement at what is known as the grass roots level.

As customers, we need to start to show a new level of professionalism of our own and take greater responsibility instead of relinquishing all sense and sensibility.

As business owners….. We need to blinker out all of the nonsense and run with our own gut, our own ideas and the ideas of those within our organisation, and stop treating everything as a must do item.

We need to bring the customer back into focus and see them as someone who wants what we have to offer and not someone that we must learn how to trick, how to convince and someone who must be deceived in order for them to want what we have, this is too much on its own, never mind running the business.

This practice, as a business, of being faceless and untouchable simply isn’t getting us anywhere. If anything its stunting the growth of the majority, deeply hurting our economy and driving everybody slightly mad.

We need to to cut out all of the Bull S#!t!

Dont Demand Great Customers, Command Great Customers

If you liked this blog post, why don’t you connect with me, Gavin Hesketh on LinkedIn, let’s set up a conversation.