Only in Baltimore. It’s 2AM and we’re sitting at a red light watching a drug deal. The craziest part? I’m sitting in a marked police car with a uniformed officer.
No shame, no fear. I get scared if a cop passes me going the other way on a highway with a 6 foot wall between us. Not this guy. He was conducting business as usual.
It got me thinking.
I’m a big believer in learning lessons anywhere I can. This is a perfect example of what a drug dealer can teach you. Here’s 3 business lessons I learned at that traffic light.
#1 – Pick A Niche
It’s a sad reality that Baltimore is the Heroin Capital of the US and no stranger to drug trade. Every product has a market and drugs are no exception. Leaving out the ethical side, this dealer was a businessman working a market. He recognized a need for his services and he stepped in to fill that void.
As a business owner, find your niche. As a startup, find where your services would be needed most. There’s opportunity everywhere if you’re keeping an eye out.
#2 – Know Your Crowd
Drug dealers don’t hang out where they won’t make money and neither should you. Go where you’re needed. Don’t waste your time networking in the wrong circles. Find your referral partners and refine your customer profiles so you get the most bang for your buck. (Pretty sure that’s also a drug term!)
#3 – Don’t Fear The Competition
This was the funniest part to me. We were sitting in a MARKED police car with a UNIFORMED officer inside, less than 30 feet away. This was the perfect example of competition but that dealer had a product to sell. And he kept on hustling.
You will have competition – that’s guaranteed. Don’t be scared of it. You have two options:
- Keep looking over your shoulder.
- Make eye contact and earn their customers’ business.
What will you do?