What I Learned In a Tourist Trap


Whenever I have passed through pier 39 or walked past the line for the cable cars at Powell Street here in San Francisco, I have thought, “these tourists need to know about the more interesting parts of San Francisco. I should really tell them about my neighborhood and all of the other interesting spots they should visit instead of these tourist traps.” I’m an introvert, so I’ve never actually offered this unsolicited information. Today I walked by pier 39 on the way to a Ferry, and I looked up at the people’s faces. They were having a wonderful time! Almost to a person, they were smiling, chatting with their companions, and appeared to be enjoying the moment.

Not everyone is craving what I have to offer. That’s true about my advice to tourists, and as a business owner it is true about what I offer my clients. For my ideal clients, my services and my message are spot on. And there are people looking for something else. Not everyone is craving what YOU have to offer either.

Every customer or client or consumer is driven to get what he or she likes and need right now. It is your job to offer your unique gift to the people you understand best, and who are hungry for what you have to offer.  Let’s pretend you’re a spot in San Francisco. If you’re still reading this, you are probably not pier 39. You are more likely a small quirky café or bookstore frequented by locals as well as some tourists. What you offer isn’t appealing to everyone, but YOUR people love you. So don’t waste any energy conforming to what you think most people need, or trying to reach out to people who aren't looking for YOU. Focus your message towards the people walking around looking for you.