Part Two of Two
One of the best things about business, in my opinion, is that good business tips also make good life tips. In one form or another we are often trying to make an impression on those around us, trying to “sell” some idea of us to them. Well this can be cast in a negative light, it is simply the way the world works, especially in a day and age with so much competition.
Here are more sales tips from the BBC show, The Paradise starring Emun Elliot and Joanna Vanderham:
You can never know too much about your product.
Denise, the shopgirl in The Paradise has a lot against her, mostly jealousy from her rivals who are also after Mr. Moray’s attentions, romantic or otherwise. Nevertheless, knowing (or at least sounding knowledgeable) about the dresses she sells helps her get out of a sticky situation in which a rival shopgirl has her try on a dress for a lady. The dress given to try on is purposely too small on Denise, so the lady says she won’t buy it. In a fine moment of triumph, Denise delivers a sensual speech stating that it doesn’t matter how the dress looks on the shopgirl, but how it will look on the lady. She describes the dress as the perfect item to wear if you wish to attract a suitor, and the lady falls for it all with Mr. Moray (the boss) looking on.
You can never know too much about your product, whether you sell buttons or gourmet dinners. Customers are impressed by knowledge and confidence. The same can be said for, yes, romance. Confidence impresses. Also, you never know who will be watching. Employers are duly impressed as well when it’s clear their employees have taken the time to know the product. Those employees are usually hard workers and marked for success.
The brightest and best will always be resented.
Speaking of success, if one wants to be one, it’s best to note from the beginning that if one is good at one’s job, or especially blessed with good looks or talent, one is bound to experience resentment from others from time to time. As a society we continually fall prey to the idea that the rich and successful are to be resented merely because they are rich and successful. We don’t seem to care about all of the hard work and sacrifice that came beforehand to get the person to that state. Thus, to be a success, note that the resentment exists, and move on.
In the series, The Paradise, both Mr. Moray and Denise have people set against them due to their successes. But the shops dying out because of the glittering mammoth department store aren’t even trying. They seem to expect that customers will come to them “just because.” Instead of finding ways to work with The Paradise, or new and interesting ways to appeal to a niche audience, these shops are decaying. The shopkeepers make almost no attempt to even improve the look of their stores. It is only when Denise takes the time to help them, that they even try. It is sad that so many of us in this world think we are owed something, for that attitude will continually bring us heartache. The truth is if we are to gain anything in this world, we must bring something to the table. (Love is something apart from business, in that we can’t ever truly earn another’s love, though we might gain their attention).
It is interesting to see that even though at this point in the series Denise is actively encouraging the shops to take custom from The Paradise, Mr. Moray isn’t alarmed, but impressed by her ingenuity. So we can say as well that the brightest and best don’t spend time resenting the other brightest and best. They learn from them and consider them (in the age old words of Captain Hook) “worthy opponents.”
Find a way.
“If at first you don’t succeed…” A good idea is a good idea. A good product is a good product. Sometimes barriers, whether of funds, pride, or spite get in the way. Denise is a shining star of a shop girl, and as such, her supervisor, Miss Audrey, is alarmed that Denise may take over her own position. Instead of bettering herself, Miss Audrey’s solution is to snuff out the burning light of creativity in the girl. She insists that Denise stop having ideas altogether on how to improve sales, or if she has any, that she bring them solely to Miss Audrey and not to Mr. Moray who is so encouraging of her.
Denise respects Miss Audrey and doesn’t wish to make her feel threatened, nevertheless, she finds a way to go through an alternate third party to get her good ideas where they need to go, to the boss who understands their worth. The best businesspeople find a way and they try to do it without crushing others in the process.
Sam, a plucky Paradise salesman played by Stephen Wight, gives this an an answer to anything that ails a person. Denise’s uncle, Edmund Lovett (Peter Wight), is gloomy because his business is dying out thanks to the booming department store across the street. Cheering up in and of itself doesn’t really solve a problem, but it definitely improves one’s outlook, and outlook is key. Pessimists and people sunk in depression and gloom are rarely the movers and shakers of the world. To have ideas is to have optimism, or cheer. How can one win either in business or in love by throwing pity parties? People are not owed business or love, but must seek it out.
It is disheartening, that especially when it comes to love, those most desperate to have it are scorned for that same desperation. But, people are most attracted to those who are rays of sunshine and who show cheer and confidence. Somehow, for those of us who are down in the dumps, we must fight that depression and put on a brave face. Put on makeup and curl your hair if that helps. Cheer up even if there’s not much cheer to be had. Highlight your strengths as much as you can, putting your best food forward. It’s not fair, but people respond best to the prancing peacock, the blondes who appear as if they are having all the fun, and those who bring excitement into a room.
Success is not guaranteed, but at least you now have cheer. And cheer brings so many possibilities with it. It sees the best in people and the best in every situation. It can even look beyond the peacocks and blondes and see the quieter attractiveness of “nice” girls and guys who only want a little encouragement to shine and to wow you. Cheer finds a way where gloom can scarcely conceive of one good idea.
True love isn’t fickle.
This is more of a life tip than a sales tip, but it can be applied to business as surely as romance. If you love to do something, you’re not going to do it half-heartedly. If you truly love someone, you’re not going to love them while keeping an eye out for someone better.
Confidence is the supreme importance in a lover (and in a businessman). Mr. Moray and his on and off relationship with Katherine Glendenning is one of the most infuriating story lines in the show. Both are fickle and neither show confidence that the other is what they want. Moray exudes confidence in his business, but can only pretend at love, until, that is, he finds someone he actually does love.
The best romantic advice I ever learned was that if you aren’t sure that the object of your affection likes you, cares for you, or loves you, they probably don’t. That isn’t to say that you can’t win them by impressing them with your love and confidence, but if you are “loving from afar” it is likely destined to be only a one-sided love.
This is not always the case. Some love stories take their time, just as some businesses need time to grow, but the truth is: If you have to ask if they love you, the answer is in the question. If you have to trick or cajole someone into committing to you, their heart isn’t in it. If a person can’t decide that it’s you they want, they likely don’t want you. But, cheer up, the world is full of billions of people, billions of possibilities for love, just as it’s filled with billions of different customers. What repels one person attracts another. The right person will love you in confidence and joy. They will be eager to commit because true love wipes away all fear. True love is willing to take the risk. In the words of William Shakespeare:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.