Kruz is a delightful man with a round belly that got to know while I spent a week in 2009 in New Orleans.
Kruz owned a shop at 1301 Decatur Street at the far corner of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
He sold eclectic items such as belly dancing supplies, incense, Middle Eastern clothing, and cards.
I was there with several MBA students from NC State University providing free consulting services to businesses in the French Quarter who had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
As you can imagine, at the time the whole economy of NOLA was challenged. Much of the economy was based on tourism, and very few people were visiting the Crescent City.
The first day Brad Davis, my MBA partner, and I met with Kruz.
As I remember it, Kruz had his 150 square feet shop on Decatur Street for around 30 years.
He started as a vendor at the NOLA farmer’s market and gained enough business that he was able to set up a shop in the charming French Quarter.
As Brad and I interviewed Kruz, we asked him where he got his business and how he wanted to gain more business.
Kruz wanted to get more of the tourist business.
We asked Kruz how he got tourist business.
He replied that a lot of the local hotels on Canal Street would send their guests to Kruz’s shop.
These guests were looking for unique items and gifts they could take home with them.
Brad and I then spent the next three days walking from hotel to hotel and interviewing the concierges. We told them that we were working with Kruz to help him grow his business.
We must have visited at least 30 hotels during our endeavor.
Here are some of the comments I remember:
- I love Kruz’s shop
- Is he still in business?
- I would definitely send customers to Kruz. He’s great!
It was a delight to hear this fantastic feedback about Kruz. We found out that many regarded his shop as a jewel of the French Quarter.
Brad and I had to come up with a low-cost idea that would grow his sales.
I knew that the best people for Kruz to sell to were people with whom he already had a relationship.
They already knew him. They already trusted him. They had a good experience.
Our recommendation to Kruz was a monthly newsletter sent to his existing customers and the concierges at the hotels.
This would enable Kruz to share information about his shop and the products that he sold.
He could reinforce the positive experience he had with them, and this would lead to return visits to his shop.
His existing customers would start referring guests, friends, and family to return to his shop.
I then looked at myself. Did I have a newsletter?
Well, I had better practice what I preach. That was the beginning of the Orange Star Newsletter.
I wrote it so I could start to get my name out in the market.
I knew that as a “soon to be” Certified Public Accountant I was in a business that required my future clients (I say future clients because I only had one client at the time) to trust me.
I had to nurture a relationship before they would be willing to trust me and hire me.
I had no money, so I needed something that would start to put my name out there in a way that I could afford.
The Orange Star Newsletter went out monthly for a number of years.
I have fond memories of my time writing and sharing my thoughts, tips, and business beliefs.
I loved hearing from people how much they enjoyed my writing.
My business grew, and I got busy with work.
I went to an accounting conference, and I was sharing with someone I just met that I had a monthly newsletter that I sent out to my clients.
I talked about how much people liked my newsletter.
That lady, whom I had just met, said the following to me, “You shouldn’t be writing a newsletter. That’s not a good use of your time! Your time is better spent doing something else.”
The lady had a strong personality and had high confidence in herself.
I don’t quite remember why, but I believed what she said.
She planted a seed of doubt in my head about The Orange Star Newsletter.
Shortly after that conference, I got busy and partly because I listened to that lady who said it wasn’t the best use of my time.
That seed of doubt grew a little bit. I rationalized that she must be right.
Shortly after the conference, I stopped writing The Orange Star Newsletter.
Now looking back at the decision, I made, I regret that I stopped writing The Orange Star Newsletter.
If I had continued writing The Orange Star Newsletter, I would be in my eleventh year of publication.
However, I’m not.
It was stupid for me to so quickly abandon something I loved doing because of some random advice I received from a stranger.
A complete stranger who knew nothing about who I was or what my business was all about.
That is the way things go in business. Sometimes we win, and other times we learn.
I’m now in my fourth month of blogging.
Writing again is has reawakened something that I absolutely love.
I have a group of blogging friends that I talk with every couple of weeks.
It’s fun to hear how they are progressing on their journey.
In the three and a half months I’ve been blogging, I have published more than 70 blog posts.
On May 1, 2019, when I wrote that first blog post for Ideal Money Life, I had no idea that come August, I would have over 70 blog posts.
As I thought about it a bit further, I had another thought. I now have more blog posts in the short amount of time I’ve been writing than many people have after writing for one year.
There is a sense of pride that comes with having an accomplishment.
My blogging friends were talking about some technical aspects of blogging.
They shared with me some thoughts about how I could do this or that.
My response to them was. The most important thing for me to do right now is to write a blog post every day.
Those technical aspects that you’re referring to would get in the way of me publishing every day.
I’ve got other avenues of traffic that I’ll use to drive traffic to my blog.
My blog will grow because I focus on writing content that is valuable in a way that people will enjoy.
I don’t need to have all the technical details correct right now.
Granted, I could probably get some of Google’s search engine spiders to waltz through my blog.