Elves, Shoemakers and Modern Day Business
Today I’m going to share with you the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker.
It’s a story some of you might have heard as kids, but I think it’s even more relevant now as businessowners, at least the way I tell it!
A story of what’s possible…
A hardworking shoemaker, by no fault of his own, became so poor that he had nothing left but enough leather to complete one pair of shoes. So that evening he cut the leather in to the shape of the shoes and left the pieces on his workbench ready to finish the next morning. He lay in bed that night tossing and turning, worrying about money, his business and how he would continue to provide for his family. Feeling full of despair said a silent prayer for help before finally falling asleep.
The next morning he awoke to find a completed pair of beautifully crafted shoes sitting on his workbench. He had no idea how it had happened but just as he was marvelling at the handiwork, a customer came into the store and was so captivated by the shoes that she bought them then and there, offering much more than the usual asking price.
The story goes on that the shoemaker then had enough money to buy enough leather to make two pairs of shoes, and went through the same process, buying the leather and preparing it the evening before, going to bed full of doubt and worry and waking again the next morning to find two pairs of beautifully crafted shoes sitting on his workbench. Having been so impressed with the quality and fit of the shoes she purchased, the customer showed them off and raved to all of her friends about them so the shoemaker was delightfully surprised when that day two more customers showed up and purchased the two pair of shoes, again sold above the asking price.
This process continued, essentially solving the shoemakers financial woes and spreading his reputation far and wide as the place to go for well made ladies shoes.
Of course, wanting to find out how this amazing gift was possible, one night the shoemaker and his wife stayed awake hid out of sight in the workshop only to discover that each night magic elves were sneaking into the workshop and making the shoes
The reason I tell this story is because I often wake up with the same feeling of wonder and gratitude that the shoemaker felt each morning when he saw a new pair of completed shoes sitting on his workbench. Not because I am a great lover of shoes but because I have my own, secret automation elves that help me out in my business while I sleep.
I have magic automation-elves that work for me and my business 24/7:
- responding to website enquires
- scheduling appointments
- sending and following up on contracts, invoices, forms and questionnaires
- adding contacts to my address book and email marketing lists
- reminding me of regular tasks I need to complete (and how to complete them)
- and even posting to my social media accounts
Now, while all of these tasks are not onerous and cumbersome individually, the time each one takes to complete manually quickly adds up. The deal clincher for me is that most of these automations happen either while I’m creating and working on other aspects of my business or while I’m out of my office doing other things I enjoy such as studying, relaxing or spending time with my family or friends.
Automation for everyone…
The best part? Anyone can use automation in their business, you don’t need big expensive programs with all the bells and whistles, there are lots of simple free options that you can use to free up your physical and mental time so you can spend it on other things.
So the moral of MY story is that automating your business doesn’t need to be a big and complex monster, just automating small, simple regular tasks can make a big difference to your business and life.