My fiance Suzanne and I went to a movie last week and wanted to purchase the tickets before grabbing a quick dinner prior to the show. It was a boutique theater that plays "artsy" films which we love (the film we saw is Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary on the New York City public school 5th grade program of ballroom dancing competition, and we both LOVED it).
It was an hour prior to the show and I asked for two tickets. The young man at the cash register informed me that they were going through a "shift change" and I would have to wait a few minutes. I was concerned about fitting in our quick dinner (Mexican – tacos, cheese enchiladas and a margarita) so we decided we’d head to the restaurant right away and get the tickets later. As we walked out the door of the theater, Suzanne and I discussed our situation. Since we hadn’t yet purchased the tickets ($17) we had the option of having a leisurely dinner and not see the movie. Good plan, we decided. It’s a date on Friday night and we don’t want to feel anxious or rushed.
Then the entrepreneur in me started to consider what just happened. We walked up to a small business with cash in our hands and said, "Please take our money." And the small business said, "Go away." I began to blame the young man that I had spoken to, but then settled on the opinion that it is the theater owner him/herself who has set the stage for that to have occurred. We did finish our dinner and get to the movie in time, although we had to wait in line 10 minutes for our tickets at that point.
Now I’m thinking about the ways that I act like that theater owner. Nick Swinmurn of Zappos.com says that the key move to his business success is focusing on service. This movie theater experience can help me be a more successful entrepreneur if I decide to learn from it.