Teresa and I went on a honeymoon retreat in the Amish Country, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was so quaint and beautiful. The rolling country hills with farms, horse and buggy, small antique shops, and farmer's markets were such a breath of fresh air to our normal busy and chaotic life. We planned multiple day trips from our wonderful bed and breakfast called the Barn at Strasburg. Sight & Sound's Esther was on the list for sure. We've been eager to see one of these captivating representations of the biblical account. We booked that. We found many covered bridges that we arranged on a map to visit. We even found a working Amish farm to visit. We checked out the pictures and reviews on Google and decided to make a few hours of it! We were excited to see the Amish make butter, see the schoolroom, the farm. The pictures and stories online really painted a story of what the place would be like. We were excited to see it! But, oh man... the TRUE story did NOT match the pictures.
The pictures showed the house and the farm and the covered bridge out front. You go into the house for a 45-minute tour and then walk around the farm or get a tour of the countryside with a bus. We went to visit and followed the GPS. "Teresa, why is the GPS taking us to Target?" Teresa was perplexed as we drove into the Target parking lot. She spotted a few of the buses. "There. I see some Amish Farm buses parked. It must be close." We drove closer to Target and then it hit us like a ton of bricks. This Amish Paradise (shout out to Weird Al) was right in front of us. It looked exactly like the pictures on Google and the website. It was quaint, beautiful, and very Amish, except for one small detail. IT WAS IN THE TARGET PARKING LOT, 40 FEET FROM TARGET! That's right. You heard me. The Amish Farm was as advertised, but apparently, Target moved in right next door. The covered bridge was off to the side of the Target parking lot. We stopped the car and looked at the Amish Farm. We looked at the Target. We looked at the farm. We looked at Target. "Teresa, we can't go here. This is ridiculous!" As we left, we noticed one more irony. Here's this Amish Farm with home-cooked country food that is next to a Target. And across the street was a Cracker Barrel. You can't make this stuff up. On the whole, we were both very disappointed with the Amish Farm and didn't do the tour. They lost our business because they were dishonest. There was NO hint of Target in their pictures. Somehow, they got the right angles to miss the gigantic Target building 40 feet away!
I learned a lesson from this experience. The story did not match the pictures. How does your story, your true story of what you offer in your solo cleaning business match the pictures you are putting online? Do they line up? This is called integrity and excellence. Are your customers getting discouraged when they hire you because the story doesn't match the pictures? If so, you better fix that quick.
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