“Cookies for the Blind Man”


Several years ago, while working for a company 75 miles away from where I lived, I found myself having dinner one night at a restaurant I’d been to many times before.

At the end of the meal, the waiter brought the bill, along with a small plate of delicious Italian cookies — a perfect complement to the espresso I ordered.

As I glanced down at the bill, I realized that I couldn’t read it. So I reached for the reading glasses that I had begun to carry with me a few years earlier.

“Ugh, I’m so blind,” I thought to myself, now hating that I couldn’t read restaurant menus or checks at the end of the evening.

And then the strangest thought came to me… “Cookies for the blind man,” I thought — they’ve brought cookies for the blind man!

Now, I no longer work 75 miles away from home, and I haven’t been back to that restaurant in years. But “cookies for the blind man” has stuck with me.

As business owners who must market ourselves constantly, all too often we are blind. Marketing is such a struggle for some, but it is so easy for others.

What I have learned about marketing could fill many books (indeed, it does fill many books!). One of the most important things I’ve learned about marketing is that it isn’t about growing your business — it’s about helping others grow their businesses.

Since starting my own agency, I’ve worked on more new projects than ever before. So what has changed?

I think what’s changed is that someone brought me cookies. Cookies that I wasn’t expecting, and had not ordered.

Today, I have an unending source of new business referrals and prospects. I’ve learned how to communicate the value of what I have to offer, and I’ve learned how to listen to the value that others offer.

“Cookies for the blind man” may be one of the strangest thoughts that’s ever come in to my head, but I am convinced that everything happens for a reason!