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When I was about 17 years old I had saved money working as a DJ. I wanted to reward myself with a nice guitar.
My first Martin guitar, my first nice guitar at all, a d15 mahogany guitar, if memory serves, it was about $550 in 1998.
I must have gone to Sam Ash and Guitar Center 5 or more times to sheepishly play the few chords I could to evaluate this purchase.
Was I really testing it, no. I had no real idea what to listen for but what sounded good to my ear.
At one point a sales person who clearly played only electric guitar, and was much cooler than me came in to the room I was playing and told me ‘acoustic is simple because you get what you hear, just buy it.’ I understand he was saying that because there were no effects pedals to alter the sound but in that moment I felt stupid.
No one wants to feel stupid or unappreciated.
Each of us has chosen to specialize, whether that’s understand how sound equipment, company payments, food prep equipment or anything we all now have the distinct joy and privilege to provide that depth and knowledge to our customers and partners.
Yes I know, the Sam Ash employee was factually correct but he had no empathy that this was a big purchase for me and instead of teaching me he pushed me to not want to stay or buy my guitar at Sam Ash.
This is your millionth time explaining what you do to someone, but it’s probably the customers first time hearing it.
That’s a powerful lesson to remember sometimes. We are all specialized and stuck in the higher level classes, but most people don’t need to know the combination of metal and polymer that makes Elixir strings better, they care that is sounds good and is softer on their hands.

How can you impart your love and passion for what you do to each person you speak to?

If you don’t have love and passion for what you do, I’d recommend evaluating how and where you spend your time since, to my knowledge, we only have 1 life to live.

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