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Extra Points – Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish for Business

My Shoe Shine Pal in Houston

My Shoe Shine Pal in Houston

Whenever I can, I like to get a shoeshine in a new place. I’m kind of weird that way. When I was in Houston in transit to South America a couple of weeks ago, I had some free time between connections and a vacant shoeshine spot. I enjoyed a lively conversation with Paul, a professional shoe polisher sporting a vintage Houston Oilers cap. I asked about the shoe shine business in airports, as it seems like it’s always light. He explained that since 9/11, shoe shines in airports have dramatically decreased. The reasons – more people traveling in athletic shoes or sandals due to security; less planes meaning tighter times between connections; and the complete loss of non-travelers. This one surprised me. He said that in the “old days,” non-travelers would have business meetings with clients or associates who were traveling. They would meet for lunch or coffee; maybe do some shopping; and very often just stroll over and get their shoes shines while they were there. He said that completely disappeared overnight and they have never recovered from it.

Does your business have an unforeseen or unimaginable foe lurking out there that could cause the same amount of collateral damage as airport procedures did to shoe shiners inside security gates? How have technology and laws affected once impenetrable industries like newspapers, office supplies, and video stores?

Change happens constantly and quickly in business. Instead of being on the bad end of the equation, why don’t you work on being out in front of it and creating the change? In other words, avoid being buffed out…be the shiny polish!

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 This week’s quote – 

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

~ William Shakespeare

Join my new weekly  Unleashed Google ON AIR Hangout today at 12 pm PST / 3:00 PM EST. This will be our topic of discussion. It’s free, it’s cool; and your invited. Come join us and bring your questions and observations to this week’s topic.

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  1. Debbie Wardrop
    April 28, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Funny – I’ve wondered about this for several years…….thanks for another terrific take on change.
    How about a call this week to “wrap up” our conversation – options:

    Tomorrow (Tuesday after 3pm)
    Wednesday between 7:30 and 9:30 am
    Thursday between 7;30 and 9;30 am

    Thank you.

  2. May 6, 2014 at 3:27 am

    I’m reminded of Danny DeVito’s speech in Other People’s Money about the Buggy Whip companies. I have a friend who is a handwriting analysis expert. I’ve wondered what will happen to his industry with nearly everyone sending emails these days. Great article!

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