Today happens to be my birthday.
My sister called this morning and I joked with her that I would make a lot of sales calls today. I’d slip in the fact that it was my birthday to guilt people into making a purchase. I promise I won’t do that. After all we run an ethical company here at Maine Magic Mud. I refuse to entrap my clientele even if it is just with societal convention. Maybe I’ll send emails…
This morning, just before I got to the office, and last night well after I left it I got a call. The call was from one of earliest, favorite, and most consistent customers, I’m going to call him Max for the purpose of the story. Every time Max runs out, or is close to running out, of shampoo or conditioner he gives us a call directly. Generally most people place personal orders online but we’ve had a great relationship from the beginning of the company and I always love to hear (and he’s happy to share) what he thinks of a new product. Early on he was extremely generous when an order got delayed while we worked out some kinks in distribution and has stuck loyally by our side ever since. It turns out when you start a business it is hard to build a reputation. A lot of people aren’t willing (with good reason) to take a leap and purchase online from a company they are unfamiliar with. A generations worth of scams and underhanded dealings has left the Internet, outside of bastions of familiarity such as Amazon or Google, feeling like a lawless and risky place. Online business success comes when you have built a relationship with the masses. This takes communal trust. To build a community you need pioneers.
Max is one.
The Internet can be a sketchy place but within the maelstrom there are gems and honest people. Out there every day weeding the wheat from the chaff are the leapers. People like Max who see a cool idea and give it the benefit of the doubt. Who have seen the darker side of humanity but still trust in strangers. They know the risks and take them anyway. These are the people who try the new thing on the menu, who trust the street vendor with a broken down cart, and who order things from a company called “Maine Magic Mud.” Without them the world would grind to a halt as the rest of us huddle beneath the umbrella of the known. Max had no idea it was my birthday but his call seemed full of portent. I think we have a tendency to push these leapers to the fringe. Their audacious courage frightens us. Little do we know as we turn our backs that they are leading.