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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Do It Different And Do It Better

Ron Bowman grew up poor and put himself through school.  He was fascinated by an architecture course so he started fixing up houses for people.  Today he owns commercial space that he developed himself.

Key Question:


All of the owners in this episode do it different and do it better than others in their field. This is the only way to build a strong, small company.

Q:  Why do you have to be different and better? Why not one or the other?

A:  Doing it different will get you a customer and doing it better will keep the customer coming back. Ron started in the construction business on his own by using some unique techniques. However, when he decided to stop building and start managing his own properties, it took him four years to finish the work he had promised customers he would do. Ron believes that the word-of-mouth and goodwill he accumulated was due to his ability to listen to customers and to his desire to achieve perfection.

Think about it

How do you attract customers now? What could you do that would help you stand out in the crowd of competitors? How can you improve your product or service? If you're not a perfectionist, can you hire one to help you tweak your product or service?

Clip from: Home Alone - 17+ Million Sole Proprietors (USA)

In search of an endless summer

Bend, Dallas, San Diego and Santa Fe: In this episode of the show, we take a look at nine people who work and live within the same physical space. It has its own special challenges. 

We seem to be making the circle, back to a pre-industrial lifestyle, but with knowledge tools -- the integration of broadcasting, information (technology), communications, education and publishing -- that challenge us to look deep within ourselves to craft and sculpt our unique gifts to give back to the world.

There are about 17 million sole proprietors in just the USA; they are all unique and most have returned home to work.

We all must prepare today for the invevitable tomorrows.

Small Business Owners Everywhere in the world, We all will exit our business someday.

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Do It Different And Do It Better

HATTIE: (To Ron Bowman) Did you ever dream when you were 16 years old in Kansas that you would be sitting on top of the world in San Diego, California?

RON: I recall sitting in college in one of the lecture classes and thinking if I can make $15,000 a year, I'd be on top of the world. That is like nothing.

HATTIE: Well you did that a long time ago, right. And you achieved that goal very quickly.

RON: Yes.

HATTIE: And you just kept setting new ones.

RON: Yes. You've always got to have goals.

HATTIE: There's got to be something you're doing right that would be instructive to people watching this in terms of building a business.

RON: I did something. That first home I did was different than what everybody else was doing in the area. It was some things that I learned from the architect that I worked for while I was in high school and I brought some of my previous learnings along with me.

HATTIE: So was it so different when I'm driving down the road and I stop and slam my breaks on and go, "Wow, that's so different." It looked different?

RON: It was a different type of construction, not the standard frame construction that everybody else was doing in the area.

HATTIE: Okay, so maybe one key to success is do it different?

RON: Different and maybe better than the other guy. I mean you can't just be different. You've got to be, I'm a Type A personality. I'm very insistent on perfection. And everything had to be just perfect and consequently, in the construction business that gets you lots of points.


RON: But I had a lot of clients who waited years to have me do work too, so. When I shut down my business, it took four years to work off the list that I had accumulated.

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