Focus on What You Love

printers, marketing ideas for printers, small business, passion

Have you ever been called a “People Pleaser”?

I have.

Early in my career in the printing industry, I had aspirations of my company being the largest printing establishment in the Universe! To accomplish this monumental task, I had the mindset that I would never use the word no when a customer or prospect asked if we could produce their product, no matter how ridiculous the request was.

In those days, printing 50 wedding invitations were just as important to me as printing 5,000 full-color sell sheets.

Circling the Energy Drain

It was evident to me that some customers were more profitable than others.

However, I couldn’t help but think about those I would help with their tiny little jobs may eventually turn into something bigger. You never know who someone knows that may be the decision maker of the big insurance company down the street, and we know that they do a lot of printing!

Therefore, I would spend a lot of time and energy on tiny little projects for “consumers” hoping that one day my ship would come in as a result.

Taking A Hard Look at Our Customer Base

One day a couple of decades into my career, I sat down with my team, and we looked at our customer base.

We identified our most favorite customers and our least favorite. We also looked at who were the most profitable customers and who were the least profitable. We learned that in both cases, the businesses that we served were at the top of the list and the consumers were at the bottom. I realize that this may not be the case everywhere, but it was for us.

A New Mission

That was the day that we decided to serve only businesses, and no more consumers.

As a matter of fact, we rewrote our mission statement to reflect the change. Here it is:

Brandywine Printing Inc. exists to help businesses succeed by providing printed materials that improve their image or make them more efficient.

That’s it. It’s that simple, and that one line of text changed the way we do business. That statement not only defines what we do, it also clarifies what we don’t do.

If someone contacts us to print some foam board for their son’s science project, we ask ourselves, “Would providing this product be helping a business succeed?” If the answer is “no”, then we kindly refer them to one of our friendly competitors down the street.

Put Your Focus on What You Love

Here’s my advice to all you people pleasers: figure out what you love doing, and what you’re good at.

Then, see how that thing you love doing contributes to the world around you and focus on that! Don’t waste your time and energy on projects that don’t fulfill you!

We have a limited number of days on this planet, so use them wisely and be fulfilled!


Written by

Derek Brooks

Owner, Brandywine Printing

Derek owns and operates Brandywine Printing Inc., a family-owned business founded in the early 80s. Brandywine Printing helps businesses succeed by providing printed materials that improve their image and make them more efficient. Derek and his wife Kathy have been married for 21 years and have one daughter, Shiloh, who is pursuing a degree in music education. They are enjoying the empty nest life!