I’ve just returned from a fantastic weekend in Madrid with my wife, my brother and his wife.
On one of the days we found ourselves in a beautiful square (Plaza Mayor) which had everything a square should have – monuments, beautiful buildings, loads of eateries and drinkeries and some street entertainment (it was rectangular but I can forgive it that).
One of the street entertainers aptly called himself “fat Spiderman”. We watched him wandering around the square for quite a while, chatting to people and noticed that he seemed to make them laugh.
Sometime later he stumbled across us at our table, as we were sitting on the outside, closest to all of the action. Foolishly we made eye contact and he was in.
I’m so very thankful that we did. He was hilarious. One by one he talked to us, then got my brother and I to our feet so he could talk to us (attack) us a little more closely, then my wife and my brother’s wife to do the same. He made us pose for pictures with him – strangely I’ve just realised he made us pose like Superman flying through the air – I didn’t even notice at the time because I was crying with laughter so much, but whatever he did he had us all in stitches.
It was the funniest 10 minutes I have had for a long time. I gladly tipped him – he had well and truly earned it.
There were dozens of street acts there that day. A miserable electric guitar player ruining the peace, a terribly dressed centurion, a strange goat head in glitter that just clapped it’s mouth shut.
Spiderman was the only one working his socks off to ensure that everyone he spoke with had some fun.
Robin Sharma always says to be world class at whatever it is that you do.
If you are going to sweep the streets, be a world class street sweeper. If he had met him, I am sure Robin would think that fat Spiderman was a world class fat Spiderman. Fat Spiderman was the best street act in his square. He owned it. I bet he gets the most tips every day that he is there.
Now I am not for a moment suggesting you head off to Amazon to buy a Spiderman suit (and lots of chocolate), but in a world where you can still well and truly wipe the floor with your competition just by being slightly better than them, here are my thoughts:
1. Be the best you that you can be. Even on the days that you haven’t slept well, are tired or just not at your best, your clients deserve the ‘best you’. I have found, when I am in a bad place/ having a bad day, being the best me with my clients often lifts me up. I am sure fat Spiderman has bad days but I bet the people he entertains never know it and I expect that the mixing with so many people and making them laugh gets him going again.
2. Be the best solicitor in your town or city. Just do everything one percent better than your competitors and you will achieve this. Make your website better, add more content to it than your competitors, follow up new enquiries (you don’t need to do this better than your competitors, just doing it even once is enough as I know none of your competitors do this), send at least one email a month to your email list etc. Just doing a little bit more leads to dramatically improved results in time, so long as you do that little bit more first thing every day before emails, staff issues etc. It is the only way to achieve the momentum that you need to smash your competition.
3. Do everything you do with 100% conviction. Your clients pay you for advice. When you know your onions, as I am sure you do, deliver that advice with 100% conviction so that they feel confident and reassured by you. Fat Spiderman sailed close to the wind with some of his comments, but he delivered them with a smile and total confidence and, as I say, made me cry with laughter. Give your best advice and do so confidently.
4. Have fun! I fully appreciate that the legal world can be challenging but try and build some fun into your working day. I know someone who every day gets his staff to dance at 2pm to lift them after the lunch break when energy levels are at their lowest. I know a solicitor who has a table tennis at work. For you it might be something else but remember to build fun into your day and into your office.
Fat Spiderman, thanks for the entertainment and the business lessons. I am off to fly like Superman now…..