In the small towns of America, nothing escapes the view of the inhabitants. Gossip spreads like wildfire, and people mentally itemize your actions and comments. The perception people have of you may or may not match your mental construct of who you actually are. In small towns, when you leave a place, you can be sure people will talk about you when you are gone. Mom and pops owned places continue to thrive because of their dedication to the community, and the way in which people are treated. If you treat people well, your business will continue to grow.

Jon was nice to let me escape the heat of the day in his ice cream parlor. He has been open for a month, and business has been good. He transplanted his family all the way from Long Island, NY to the tiny little town of Quitman, TX. Two weeks after he opened, a franchise restaurant 2 doors down decided to start selling ice cream as well. Jon says it hasn’t hurt business though because people recognize in this tiny town of 1809 people who is out to make money, and who is out to serve the community.

Jon is a 6 foot 2 African American male in a tiny little town in rural East Texas, he speaks with a heavy New York accent, and his heart is made of gold. He may stick out a bit in this small town, but Jon is the head chef at an award winning restaurant in East Texas, and he works 8 hours a day at the ice cream parlor as well. He has 4 daughters and a wife, so it is no wonder he works two full time jobs…he needs to stay out of the house. 🙂 Every customer feels as if they have been treated to ice cream, rather than purchased some. Jon goes out of his way to accommodate all his customers and give them what they want. When I asked him what his business model was he said simply, “I try to treat people the way I like to be treated.”

If we only applied Jon’s business model to every aspect of our lives.