Just ‘Cause You Bought It Doesn’t Mean You Own It

Posted on September 13, 2020

Ryan Stewman



People are continually letting everyone know how disappointed they are in customer service.  It makes sense, too, because they paid for something and expect the result that was promised.  I also see many business owners get pissed for the exact same reason, but the trouble often is that taking the time to complain doesn’t get them to their overall goals.
So what do you do to guarantee you GET what you pay for?  
I’ll share a mindset shift that has helped me and my clients find better results, and it begins with a story about Wendy’s drive-through:
Last week, we were on our way to the airport and hadn’t eaten all morning.  Although we don’t often eat fast food, we decided to hit up a local Wendy’s drive-through for a quick meal before our flight.
As I rolled up to the speaker, a voice asked what we’d like, and I said, “A number 1…ketchup, mustard, and pickles only.”
I took a brief pause, and I said, “medium (size) and a diet doctor pepper.”  Realizing that number 1’s consists of a single, double, or triple patty now, I said, “make that a single.” I paused, waiting for the familiar, “is there anything else, or will that complete your order?”
Instead, the voice said, “a number 1, single, with pickles and what else?”
I said, “ketchup, mustard, and pickles.”
She said, “and a doctor pepper.”
I said, “Diet.”
“Okay, anything else?”
I said, “another number 1, double, medium, with an unsweetened iced tea.”
As we pulled to the pick-up window, she handed me a tea.  I said, “unsweetened?”
She said, “SWEETENED.”


Honestly, it sounded a little like the Soup-Nazi, from Jerry Seinfeld…it was apparent she didn’t hear my intention, and honestly, I didn’t care anymore at this point.
As we drove down the road, it started to dawn on me how I was why I didn’t get what I wanted in the way I thought I should receive it.


I looked at my wife and said, “that was totally my fault.  In fact, I just crystallized on a lesson that keeps so many people from really getting what they want in life.”  The rest of my learning lesson is below:
How many times do we give ourselves permission to be upset at others because we consciously or subconsciously made an agreement with someone else and DIDN’T get what we expected?
There’s a common misconception in the world that because you give money to someone, you immediately become the boss of that situation.  Okay…if you are gonna’ be a boss, then I’m going to share with you what that really means.
Being a boss means YOU are 100% responsible for the results you get.
Have you ever had a boss demean you?  Call you out, show you all the ways you made a mistake, and then punish you by making you grovel, promise, or work even harder for less reward?
If so, how’d it make you feel?  Sure, maybe you did what was required, but did it propel you to more significant, more consistent achievements?
If not, then why do so many place blame on the person trying to fulfill our requests without first taking stock to see if we gave the best instructions?
See, I gave that young lady at Wendy’s horrible directions on the first order…I asked for things ALL OUT OF ORDER and didn’t get what I asked for.  Maybe if I took a little time and thought about how I ordered what I wanted, I could get a better result.
What’s even funnier is that she didn’t mess up the order that she asked questions about either.  I probably had her hitting buttons, thinking…” is it a single or what?” while I asked for a DIET doctor pepper.  By the time I figured out my cadence and ordered the double, she was already struggling to get back to mind-drifting…C’mon; you don’t work at Wendy’s drive-through because of the stimulating conversation now…
From our prospects to our employees, we have a cadence and a rhythm we follow in communication.  Often, we fail miserably to detect whether they are on our wavelength when we’re speaking to them too.  We make assumptions, mistakes, and aren’t systematic in our process of delivering critical information at the right time to the person who’s listening to us.
When they fail to deliver…it’s easy to get mad and judge them for it.
I bet you know all about what that judgment feels like too.  If you’ve been in business for any length of time with any measurable result, you’ve had a client treat you this precisely the same way.
Sure, sometimes they had a right to be upset, especially if you are out of integrity.  What about when you weren’t?  Didn’t you just wish they could see it a little bit from your perspective?  Weren’t you sure that they might just calm down if you did, and you could find a solution together?  Because you knew that you’d be willing to do almost anything to make it right…
So, next time you’re not getting the results you want, and it’s attached to someone else’s efforts, pause before you begin to tear apart their lack of integrity or process.  Take time to make sure that you are communicating clearly, in a way that they can process.
If you’re the boss…act like one and learn how to lead by showing others how to follow best, in the language and patterns they are already familiar with…
Just because you bought, it doesn’t mean you own it…yet.
See ya in the trenches.

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