Just a couple of observations about caring I've noticed over the years...
1. When you meet someone who really cares about their work, about people and about helping their customers, well, that experience is usually very remarkable. It is infectious and you can't get enough - it keeps you coming back and telling others about your experience. There is almost nothing I can think of that is better for your customers than genuinely caring about them and the work you do. Not a sale price, not a bonus offer, not branding or packaging. Caring about another human and caring about your work is a very difficult thing to compete against. At best, there may be a company that could care as much as you do, but the deck is stacked heavily in your favour as a micro business owner.
On the other hand...
2. Caring too much is a possibility that is likely to lead to low profits, lots of stress, and less than ideal customers. Caring too much will lead you to working evenings and weekends. Caring too much will lead you to working for people with unreasonable expectations. Caring too much about your work could lead to perfectionism (a bad thing). Caring too much can lead you to taking on other people's stress.
Some of the most successful trades people I know have a slight air of indifference. They don't need you as their customer. They don't need your next project if it doesn't fit them. They are not willing to work after hours, and if they do help you out this way, they will charge you a premium for the service. They don't always return every phone call right away. It seems counter-intuitive, but I think the lack of desperation that comes from not caring too much, makes them appealing and allows them more control in the transaction. It tactfully communicates to the customer that we can do this for you, but it will certainly be on our terms, and if that is not agreeable to you, well perhaps another company might be a better option for you. And customers often respond to that because it projects competency and makes you the prize.
This is a difficult thing to fine tune. Some are naturally gifted at this subtle art. For others it must be learned. Develop the fine art of caring a lot, but not too much.
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