Our conversation turned eventually to movies. More specifically, to our favorite crime films.
Not too surprisingly, we started talking about Reservoir Dogs.
And a few moments later, we were inside the house watching John’s DVD copy on his big screen.
If you haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino’s first-ever movie, made almost two decades ago, be forewarned. It’s not for the squeamish. Lotsa blood. Lotsa potty language. But for fans of the crime genre, it’s magnificent.
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Edward Bunker, and Tarantino himself play crooks hired to run a diamond heist.
None of them know each other, and they’re given aliases to prevent betrayal and other likely shenanigans — Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Orange, and Mr. Pink.
Of course, things go horribly wrong, and it all ends up a bloody mess anyway. That’s what makes a great crime movie.
But it reminds me of small businesses I’ve seen go wrong because their owners have hidden behind walls of phoniness, posturing as something they’re not.
Know what I’m talking about?
These are the one-person businesses both online and offline that try (not so well) to project bigness or importance.
I knew a guy a few years back who worked solo out of his bedroom with nothing but a phone and a desktop computer, but he always spoke in first-person plural.
“We’d love to do business with you,” he’d say on the phone. “We’ll send one of our people over to see you tomorrow.”
Instead of putting himself out front and projecting his own personality and skills, he hid behind a big-sounding business name, a fancy logo, stationery, and business cards.
Then, just like in Reservoir Dogs — but without quite as much bloodshed — things went horribly wrong.
His business tanked.
As I pointed out in The Quick Start Guide to Fearless Freelancing, in whatever business you pursue, you’re selling your know-how, reputation, personality, reliability, integrity, uniqueness, authenticity, sincerity, believability, sense of humor, charm, intuition, gumption, resourcefulness, and initiative.
In this case, it’s all about YOU.
Don’t hide behind a façade that rings shallow and bogus.
You’ll attract more customers and clients. And you’ll more likely keep ’em, too. (With minimum gore.)