Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Choice Paralysis

Have you ever stood at (or in many cases IN) your closet staring at your clothes unable to decide on what to wear?  Recently I was standing in front of my dress shirts trying to decide which one to wear.  I realized that I had a lot of choice so picking a nice one should be easy.  I counted and realized that at that moment I had over 50 clean dress shirts to chose from.  I was stuck there for a while, not able to decide on which one to wear.

In the video below Barry Schwartz explains two negative effects of having so much choice.

1. Paralysis instead of liberation
2. Lower satisfaction once a choice is made

We’ve all experienced the first effect. The closet question outlines how often this may happen every day. Standing there in front of my rack of 50 dress shirts I waste 5-10 minutes in the morning just trying to make a simple choice. Finally, I chose the blue shirt. The light blue shirt, french cuff, 100% cotton, classic straight point collar with custom monogramming. I insert my collar stays, that choice was easy. I reach for my cuff links and freeze another moment as I chose between the fancy ones or conservative ones. Finally, I’ dressed.

The second effect follows about a few minutes later. Walking out of the room I give myself a quick once over in the mirror and it hits me. What if I wore the white shirt. The white shirt, cotton/poly blend, designer texture, medium spread collar and normal cuffs without the monogram. Who doesn’t look good in white, I think to myself, but then a sound jogs me back to the reality that the 10 minutes I burned picking out a shirt have set me behind schedule and I must go as there are more choices to be unhappy about awaiting me.

“Opportunity costs subtract from the satisfaction of what we chose even when what we chose is terrific.” – Schwartz

Why this topic?

Think about whatever it is you’re working on.  When Henry Ford started selling the Model T he offered the car buyers a choice.  Said Ford, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  Sometimes, less is more.  I remember seeing a picture of a small coffee house that had added, over the years, a host of other services.  Soon it was Coffee, ATM, Lottery, Toys, Taxidermy and Nails.  I don’t think those were the actual services but the point is they were shooting for too big of a market, everybody.

Don’t sell to everybody.  Sell to somebody.  Pick a market and be ok with occasionally letting a customer pass by.  The same goes for my closet.  I’m getting rid of over 30 dress shirts this weekend, and the idea of fewer options already makes me smile.


Balancing Work and Family

Ever since the birth of my oldest daughter 3 1/2 years ago I have had to really focus on the balance I maintain between work and family. It certainly is not an easy thing to do. This week I traveled up North with my wife, kids and parents to visit my Grandfather. My Dad’s Father is 93 years old and is battling 3 types of cancer. My Granny couple of years back so my youngest two were never lucky enough to meet her. To add to the importance of taking this trip, my son is the only Male Jorgenson of his generation from my Grandfather’s line, none of my Jorgenson cousins had boys. We felt it was very important to make sure they met at least once and take a 4 generation picture.

We’re staying at my Aunt and Uncle’s beach house in Capitola, which is like living in a dream because it is so beautiful. The challenge is that I had to travel and be here during the week, so I am still fielding work calls and emails. I don’t mind being accesible for my clients because I understand that we are dealing with time sensitive matters and financial issues that can be very stressful. Other than the fact that my cell phone doesn’t work in the house I have been responding to emails and calls promptly. But then I see this sight, taken yesterday evening, and put the phone away and remember what is most important.

I love my clients, and count many of them as friends, but nothing trumps my wife and kids.

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So close!

The Mrs. and I were getting a bit stir crazy in the house today with all of the kids running around so we decided to go get a cookie and then play at the park. There is a new cookie store, the Nestle Toll House Cafe, here by our house so we went to try it out. The staff was polite and courteous, the store was clean and the overall presentation of the store was positive. We ordered some delicious looking cookies (that were as good as they looked) and then went to pay. The total came to $9.44. My wife asked if we could get a cup of water for the kids and the reply by the cashier was “we don’t give out cups of water but we do have bottled water for sale.” After she heard me chuckle at what I feel is a huge marketing blunder the cashier said sheepishly, “sorry, it’s not my call.” She was really sweet so I made sure she knew I wasn’t laughing at her and that she was doing a great job.

I’ve been a small restaurant owner and I know the importance of the up sell. In trying to get the customer to put avocado on their sandwich and get a large drink. I understand that completely… but are we missing something. I just spend close to Ten dollars on cookies and the last thing I remember as I leave the store is that they just wanted more from me. I wonder how much better the customer service would have been if the policy were to give out cups of water for free (or even 10 cents to cover the cup, lid and straw).

If I ever open a cookie store (don’t worry, I’m not planning on it anytime soon) it’s going to have a milk bar. Picture buying a couple of fresh jumbo chocolate chip cookies. As the cashier hands your the bag you can feel the warmth of the cookies radiating from the cute little bag. The sweet smell of the round bit of heaven rises up and you can nearly taste the perfection that is waiting for you. Just as you are about to leave the smiling baker hands you a small glass of ice cold milk (sure you can have soy or low fat if you’d prefer… you’re the customer). Now the treat is complete… you wander in dreamlike trance to the nearest table and begin to savor your snack, dipping it in the cold milk and letting the chocolate chips cover your fingertips.

I don’t know about you, but I’d go back to that cookie place a lot more than the other one. As a marketer this is, in my humble opinion, genius. As a capitalist I am still happy. Sure I lose the milk up sale, unless somebody is wants a larger thing of milk, or soda, or coffee or hot chocolate, etc. but I know that the number of customers will increase and I also know that if my customers have a positive experience they’ll be back sooner to drop another $9.44 on a few cookies.

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Allow me to introduce you

Last weekend my wife and I took off to our favorite local getaway destination. Apparently we didn’t name the place, so I thought I’d share what makes the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa our favorite local hotel.

So here’s my top 10 list.

10. They comp us in some way every time we go there. Seriously, everything from room upgrades, fruit plates, cookie plates, VOSS water, etc.
9. The staff is always exceptionally polite. The free in room amenities aren’t for making up for a lousy customer experience, they just enhance it. (sorry to end the sentence with a preposition grammar people.)
8. Pure Blu Spa. We haven’t had a bad massage yet
7. Pure Blu Spa. It has it’s own pool, away from the noise of the family pool. The double lounges under private cabanas are a perfect place to order a light lunch too after a massage and a swim.
6. Pure Blu Spa. Cold water foot bath, hot tubs, sauna, fancy shampoo, the relaxation room with tons of magazines, the individually packed combs, and the little glass Q-tip holder… the list goes on.
5. The view.
4. Location. Walking distance to all the restaurants and shops that Fashion Island has to offer.
3. Location. A very short drive to Balboa, my favorite beach town.
2. Atmosphere. The rooms are relaxing, the air is energizing, the views are inspiring and the ambiance is soothing.
1. Great memories of time ‘away’ with the girl I love.

So well done Marriott, you’ve created a stellar product there in Newport. We’ll be back as soon as we can.
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Meatball Sundae

There exists in the world a marketing genius, he goes by the name of Seth Godin and his books always have a funny title. This photo is from an interview that was done about his latest book Meatball Sundae. One benefit of the availability of information is that people can see the deceitful more quickly. When somebody comes to me for a home loan, they can click anywhere on their browser and see if it’s a good deal (I can’t give somebody a 7% rate on a ‘normal’ loan when everywhere else on the web advertises 5.5%… nor would I!). For some it is a bane to live in a transparent world. For me, it is a blessing. Either way, Godin has his own action figure so that makes him quotable in my book.

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Customer Service

I would venture it safe to say that people enjoy shopping where they feel they are appreciated and where they get good customer service. Sears has been in the news and on business blogs a lot recently as a struggling company and one that is losing customers.

My wife and I bought a new home a couple of weeks ago and I have been shopping for a new washer and dryer (our laundry has been piling up). I’ve done some online shopping and gone to the local Lowes, Home Depot and Best Buy. Last night I went online to Sears.com and compared found a good deal set. Then I cross checked them to one of their affilliated companies, The Great Indoors. The price for the same Kenmore set was much better at The Great Indoors. I must say that I think this is one of their mistakes. No customer wants to buy a product and then learn that they could have had a better price on the same product from the same store. This isn’t really where my beef with the company lies however. The Great Indoors doesn’t really carry stock, so it would take 2 days to get the appliances (you remember that I mentioned the laundry was piling up?) Earlier today I called a local sears store to see if they had the appliances in stock and if they would price match. I dialed the number that Google Maps Mobile brought up and it just rang and rang. I then went online and got the number… no answer. I called the automotive department and they gave me the same number to call… no answer. I didn’t give up too easily as I tried to call another Sears nearby. When I got to a live person the gentlemen was very polite and took the item # to look up the product. He then, I’m assuming accidentally, hung up on me. A few more phone calls too Sears, Sears Grand, K-mart (whose appliance section is Sears) and I finally went to Lowes and got great service and bought my new appliances from them.

If all of their stores are being run the way that the 4 I tried to deal with then there is no question as to why the company is struggling. Let’s hope the new CEO can turn things around.

Most companies won’t get that many attempts from their customers to let them get it right. This experience certainly reminded me to be good to my customers.

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