I just returned from a bucket-list vacation to Scotland to play some of the oldest and finest golf courses in the world. You can feel free to ask me what it’s like to tee it up at the Old Course at St. Andrews or Carnoustie or any of the other magnificent courses I played. But be forewarned…I will give you a shot-by-shot recap and it will take a while.
Yes, the trip was both memorable and magical. But while I was there, I also re-learned a valuable lesson that I didn’t expect. The lesson of “NICE”.
For example, there was the banker who wrote down her husband’s favorite golf courses while exchanging money for us; the golf caddie who tracked us down for our business card so they could call us when they visit the U.S; the restaurant owner who introduced us to his chef with the promise that if it wasn’t the best food we had on our trip we didn’t have to pay (it was!); the young lady who walked ½ mile with us to show us a store so we wouldn’t get lost…the list goes on and on and on.
The Scots just have a way of making people feel like “friends” instead of “customers”. As a result, I bought more “things”. I gave bigger tips. And, I will tell lots of people about my experiences.
I guess I’ve always known the value of being nice to others. Niceness is returned to you many times over; good fortune tends to come your way; new customers seem to appear out of thin air.
But, being really nice is hard work. It needs to become a habit.
I am still working on this “being nice” habit. I’m not there yet. But, after seeing how the Scots have mastered it…how much I enjoyed my trip…and how much additional business I gave them, I can’t wait until I do.