Why small business owners need to give love not want love.

Posted on 2012-07-11 by Simon

“All was silent in the wood…”

So begins the first page of my one of my favourite children’s books, The Love Me bird, by Joyce Dunbar. It tells the tale of the Love Me Bird, who lives her life flitting from tree to tree in the wood, calling plaintively for someone to ‘Love me, love me, love me…”

No-one answers her call, and one day, in exasperation, Shut Eye, the wise old owl tells her to sing a different tune.

‘Love you, love you, love you…” he suggests she calls instead.

And guess what? The next day, she hears an answering call from another Love Me Bird, and the two of them flutter off together.

It’s a beautiful book, and one the children loved to hear over and over again; I used to read it to them to help them understand that relationships aren’t just about ‘us’. Very often, learning to focus on someone else, and understand what we can do to help them, brings us far more reward than thinking solely about ourselves.

And so it is in business. The lessons of the Love Me Bird stand the test of time outside the classroom.

If we want to inspire confidence in our potential clients and customers, then helping them to feel that you fully understand their needs is an absolute must. Taking the focus off ‘me’ and onto ‘you’ is something that every successful entrepreneur has learned to do.

There is often the temptation to demonstrate, understandably, just what you can do – ‘I can…I am able to…I have…I am excellent at…’ and so on. We need to convince potential clients that we have the skills they are looking for, and that we are competent enough to deliver the expertise or product that they want to buy. This builds confidence in those around us, that we can walk the talk, and do what we say we can do, there’s no doubt about it.

But how often have you taken this approach and been like the Love Me Bird – left fluttering around, making lots of noise, but getting very little in return?

Have you ever tried taking the wise old owl’s advice and tried singing a different tune? What if, instead of flitting between different branches asking people to ‘Love me’, you concentrated more on showing them ‘Love you’ instead? Wouldn’t this be a wonderful way of building confidence in what you can offer, by showing clients and customers that you’ve taken the time to understand their needs?

How could you make your customers and clients the focus of your attention? What could you do to build a relationship in such a way that it became less about you, and all about them? What new ways of working, what ways of keeping in touch, of making them feel appreciated, could you find, that would add value to what you do?

Building confidence in your services doesn’t have to be confined to showing or telling others what you’re capable of, but rather building strong relationships built on ‘Love you’ principles. Watch what happens when you do.


This was a guest post by Susan Ritchie from Make yourself Matter – The Confidence Mentor.
I help you & your team to be confident, successful & happy at work.



What love have you shown to your clients?
What love have you been shown by a supplier or a shop in the past that has made you remember them and speak about them to others?

Love to have your comments and feedback so please leave them below.

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To your onward success


Simon Jordan Marketing – Brand building and growth coaching

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About Simon

Branding and Marketing Consultant, An Amazon 5 Star Rated International Author, International Speaker, host of Simon Jordan.TV and OnePlanetOnePlace.com. Father of 2, partner of 1 and huge coffee fan.
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  • Anne

    This is a lovely post Susan and I really enjoyed it. It story illustrates the ‘be of service’ of service approach beautifully and also the underlying lesson that when you take the focus off how you feel, your needs and wants and focus on those of your clients, you become more present and have greater clarity as to whether you can help them or not. Brilliant!

  • http://twitter.com/susanjritchie Susan Ritchie

    Hi Anne,
    Thank you very much for your kind comments – learning to shine that spotlight on someone other than yourself is a lesson that really needs to be learned isn’t it? And one that I find needs a reminder every now and then too :)
    Best Wishes,