Do you quack like a Duck or soar like an Eagle? The secret to my business success!
People often ask the secret to my success in business and life. It’s this one simple story — Ducks Quack and Eagles Soar. I first heard this story years ago and it has stuck with me for years. At the time I was working in law enforcement and a training officer came to speak to us, to inspire us. I’ll never forget that day or this story. This story has helped me find success both in business and in life over and over again every since. I’m so thankful that training officer shared this story that day.
Ducks Quack — Eagles Soar as told by Harvey Mackay:
I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me. He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my ‘mission statement.’
Taken aback, I read the card.
It said: “Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.” This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”
I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’
Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.”
Almost stuttering, I said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”
Handing me my drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have the Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.” As we were pulling away, Wally handed me another laminated card — “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”
And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me. Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
“Tell me, Wally,” I asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”
Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’d rarely disappoint yourself. He said stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd. That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”
“I take it that has paid off for you.” I said.
“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting. Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
Ducks Quack — Eagles Soar.
When I became a business owner, I remembered this story. It’s been the secret to my success. Which business would you rather deal with? One that makes excuses as to why they can’t provide what you are asking for or one that says “I don’t have that at the moment, but I’m sure I can bring it in or provide it!” That’s the difference between being a Duck and being an Eagle. I’d rather deal with the business that’s the Eagle.
For example, one of the businesses I own is a DJ company. Because I wasn’t afraid to invest in an LED dance floor when a Bride wanted one, I am now the only company in the area to have that product, which makes us rise above the competition. Other people come to us because we have that dance floor. Imagine if I had turned that client down and not ordered that floor in… she wouldn’t have had the wedding of her dreams and I wouldn’t have guests requesting it over and over again. She continues to refer clients to me to this day.
Recently, I was planning an event and I was shocked that some businesses didn’t think the way I do. Many of them said “well, I’d really like to take part, but I don’t know if I can have brochures printed and shipped in time.” Another one “It’s an excellent opportunity but I don’t have signs made.” Instead of looking for a way to get the resources they needed (the event was one month away), they made excuses why they couldn’t take part. This wasn’t just any event but an event where all their ideal clients would be walking through to see the businesses that could serve them. Surprisingly there were only a few that said “I’ll figure it out and be there for sure!”
In my personal life, instead of making excuses why I can’t do things to improve my life, I say “I’ll figure it out and it will be worth it when I do!” This has served me very well as during COVID when everyone else is complaining about being stuck at home, I’ve never been busier taking self improvement courses to enhance my mindset, happiness and business practices.
Today’s challenge is to honestly assess the way you react in life. Determine if you are a Duck or an Eagle. Do you quack a bunch of excuses as to why you can’t take action or do you try to find ways and think outside the box to allow yourself and your business to soar? It’s never too late to change! If you are a duck, don’t worry! Tomorrow’s post will be all about how to change that.
Remember, you are only ever one decision away from changing your life and your business!
Amanda Oling is a motivational speaker and impaired driving prevention speaker from Alberta, Canada. Her book, The Impact of One Decision, is available through Amazon, Kindle and Indigo Bookstores. You can find out more about Amanda and her presentations at www.AmandaOling.com