At the corner of 52nd Street and Fifth in New York City, there is a gentleman named Vinnie who sells newspapers. From sun up until late at night, Vinnie has toiled on the corner for years. Each day he sells his newspapers. Over the years, he has come to know the names of his customers and they all know Vinnie. He has never missed a day of business. People count on Vinnie to be there with his papers. He has never let them down. His customers are loyal. They have always bought their newspapers from him. Being very busy all day long, Vinnie never has time to read the newspapers he sells.
A few weeks ago, the manager of Cartier's jewelry store, a regular customer, said, "Vinnie, watch your business. With all the lay-offs and closings on Wall Street, business is really going to slow down." Vinnie asked the Cartier's manager, "What are you going to do about?" She answered, " We're going to buy less jewelry, because we will be selling less jewelry." All day long, Vinnie thought about what Cartier's manager had said. When it came time to order papers for the next day, Vinnie decided he would be smart. He cut back on the number of papers he ordered.
The next day, in the middle of the afternoon rush, Vinnie ran out of papers. This had never happened before. Vinnie found he had nothing to do, so he read the paper.
He read about the lay-offs, the closings on Wall Street and the people out of work in New York city. He thought, "The Cartier manager is right, business is going to really slow down." That afternoon, Vinnie cut back even more on the number of papers he ordered. The next day he ran out of papers earlier. For the second day in a row, some of his customers had to go elsewhere to get their paper.
At the end of the month, Vinnie did his books. He saw that his business had really declined. Though he had bought less papers, he had sold less papers. He had made less money.
Vinnie continued to read the papers. He read about the economy, the lay-offs, the people out of work. Vinnie could testify to the slow down in business. His newspaper sales were way down. He, too, was a victim of the bad economy…. "Tomorrow," though Vinnie, "I will order a few less papers. Business isn't getting any better."
A block away at 51st., Joe was selling papers. Unlike Vinnie, Joe always read the papers. He knew the economy was bad, Wall Street firms had closed, and people were out of work. For some reason, Joe's business was growing. He was selling more papers. A few weeks ago, he actually ran out of papers, so he increased his order. In fact, Joe had to increase his order more than once, to be sure he didn't run out of papers. "I don't understand it," Joe thought, "but everyone is talking about bad business. My business is better than ever." Joe was enthused and happy. He greeted every customer with a smile. He began to learn their names. "Hi, I'm Joe," he would say. "Thanks for buying your paper from me." Joe's attitude was contagious. People walked away with a paper and smile….. His business is growing…He has many new customers.