Taking care of business

June 16, 2022

By Jeff Becraft


About 25 years ago, when we were trying to get a yard started, I had an old-time, used, reel lawnmower.  There were parts of it that were actually held together by duct tape (the remedy for many of life’s woes).

We were a single-income family with 3 young kids and so money was tight.  My wife (a fine woman)… on her own… had a garage sale and took the money and went out and got me a real lawnmower… with an engine.

That boy has been running for the last 25 years.

But recently, it started leaking fluid.  I took it to a nearby repair shop called Sandhills Power Equipment Repair.  I trusted these people because several months earlier, I had taken in a broken weed whacker and they told me in 60 seconds, “By the time we fixed this, it would be better for you to just go out and buy a new one.”

So, instead of making money on me, they pointed me in the direction that would be best for me.

When I took the mower in, they looked at and said, “If this can be fixed, it is worth fixing.  They don’t make engines like this anymore.”… which I am sadly finding out.

This was at the end of the day and I was the last one in their lobby.  The owner (the mechanic) and his wife (who worked the front desk) stood there and talked with me for 15 minutes… and most of it was not about lawnmowers.

We talked about everything – we talked about life, about how they got the business started, I told them how Brenda had given the lawnmower to me… I even told them about Rev. Joe.

When it was time to close up the shop, I think all of us were greatly refreshed and we talked about how great it was to meet and talk with one another.

As I was heading out the door, I stated, “All right… I’m going to go home and see what else is broken that I can bring in here.”

I realize you can’t take 15 minutes to talk with every customer (or talk with every business owner), but the principle can still be lived out – treat people like people.  We can always have a positive influence on their lives, treat them the way we want to be treated, and put their interests above our own.

For this couple, they weren’t in business to simply make money… they were in business to genuinely help people.  They sincerely enjoyed what they were doing; they weren’t simply doing a job.

And in my mind, that is a better way to do business.


Jeff Becraft is the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].