I have long been wondered why merchants, especially successful ones, are given some certain image of "Grumpy", "Greedy", "Cold Blooded", "Suspicious", "Sneaky", and "Prejudiced". Typical are "Scrooge" of "Christmas Carol", "Shylock" of "Merchant of Venice". Not just in classical stories, how about "Gordon Gekko" in modern movie "Wall Street"?
Even in my original cultural background, Japanese merchants also appears as greedy and sneaky money hungry bad character who always have behind the door or under-table deals with corrupted governor or politician. They always end up down the drain jailed or killed by heroes. It seems to be the merchants are more or less treated as not so good being or necessary evil, even.
For one thing, there are some historical reason that Nights or worriers govern countries in Mideaval Centuries for relatively long time. These worriers used to look down on the people who make money. In last days of Aristcrats age, even merchants were enemy to the governing aristcrats, since aristcrats needed to borrow money from merchants without any expectation to return them.
Are these bad images realty in successful merchant? It seems to me really successful merchants are a lot different from those images. A merchant is a business person. In order for a business person to be successful, such he or she can not be "grumpy", "greedy", and "sneaky" type of person. Actuality is opposite. A grumpy, greedy, and sneaky person can never be successful in business. Business is more or less personal relation based activities. If a shop owner is not friendly, open minded, and easy to talk, you will never shop in that kind of owner's shop.
Instead, if you find sales person to be "friendly", "open minded", "approachable", and "easy to talk with", you will be glad to talk with this kind of person for your shopping. Basically, the factors to be successful in business are nothing much different from being a nice person. If you were offered a same product from "grumpy" person and "cheerful" person, you would definitely buy from "cheerful" person. They are 3 easy and simple factors:
1. Be friendly
2. Be helpful
3. Be useful
Lastly, I would like to add my humble experience meeting with leaders of world class prestigious and established companies in the field of electric, electronics, computers, software. Any and all leaders, founders, bosses of these companies were polite, approachable, friendly, and open minded. So, do not worry about merchants classical images. Let's be a good "Merchant".
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