147. What Trader Joe’s Can Teach Us About Business [foot soldiers, decision fatigue + keeping it quirky]

What Trader Joe’s Can Teach Us About Business [foot soldiers, decision fatigue + keeping it quirky]

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Today, we’re diving deep into the world of Trader Joe’s. Whether you’re an ardent fan of their cookie butter or just an occasional shopper, there’s no denying that Trader Joe’s has made a mark in the grocery world. But beyond our personal shopping lists, what can we, as business owners, learn from them? This episode marks the beginning of a special series where I dissect the strategies of big corporations and tease out the lessons we can apply in our own businesses, regardless of their size. And, guess what? I’ve boiled down my findings to five major takeaways from Trader Joe’s. So, stick around till the end, and let’s learn from the pros!

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Why online business owners should look at other successful businesses for inspiration
  • What Trader Joe’s does to stay competitive in their industry
  • My top 5 takeaways and how they apply to online business

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Why look at Trader Joe’s for inspiration?

Every time I stroll down the aisles of TJs (that’s Trader Joe’s for the uninitiated), the wheels in my head start turning. “How can I draw parallels from here for my own enterprise?” The trap in the online business world is that many of us limit ourselves, mirroring only what peers in close proximity are executing. But, why think small when the world is vast and filled with inspiration? There’s a whole universe of groundbreaking strategies beyond our immediate surroundings, and Trader Joe’s is the perfect testament to that.

 So what can we learn from Trader Joe’s that applies to online business?

Did you know that Trader Joe’s consistently ranks as one of the top grocery stores? What’s their secret? Here’s some of what I’ve noticed:

  • Efficiency with Space: Their smaller store footprint not only reduces overhead costs but creates a cozy, accessible shopping experience.
  • Direct Purchasing: By liaising directly with manufacturers, they cut out intermediaries, often leading to cost savings and unique product offerings via private labels.
  • Trendsetters & Innovators: They’re always on the ball, introducing quirky, seasonal items that resonate with the times and their audience.
  • Loyal Advocates: Their customer base isn’t just loyal – they’re evangelical, acting as organic promoters on social media.
  • Minimal Advertising: Surprisingly, they spend little on traditional advertising, leaning heavily into the buzz created by their ardent fans.
  • Breaking the Mold: You won’t find the typical deli counter, loyalty cards, or even online shopping. It’s a deliberate deviation from the norm.
  • Decisive Choices: Fewer product options curtail decision fatigue, streamlining the shopping process.

Think about how some of these tactics could apply to your business!

Top 5 Takeaways

Overall, here are my personal top five takeaways from what online businesses can learn from Trader Joe’s:

  1. Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize your customers. When they’re happy and valued, they become your best marketers.
  2. Decisions on a Silver Platter: A streamlined product or service offering makes decision-making swift, leading to quicker sales.
  3. Own Your Trends: It’s one thing to follow a trend, but making it distinctly yours? That’s where the magic happens.
  4. Stay Authentic: Trader Joe’s success lies in its self-awareness. They grow at their pace, embrace their quirks, and don’t buckle under industry pressure.
  5. Inject Fun: Beyond just business, they ensure an enjoyable environment. From quirky product placements to easy returns, they prioritize the customer experience.

So the next time you step into a Trader Joe’s (or any successful business for that matter), take a moment. Look around, absorb, and consider. Every thriving business is a repository of lessons, waiting for the creative and the curious to understand, adapt, and implement. Happy learning, and here’s to your business success!

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen:
Hey. This is Sam, your host of On Your Terms. I’m so excited that you’re here today to chat with me all about Trader Joe’s, everybody’s favorite grocery store. Or maybe not. Not everybody’s a Trader Joe’s fan. But the point of this episode is to dive in and it’s going to be part of a series that I’m going to be doing diving into big corporations or big businesses and looking at what they’re doing so successfully and seeing what we can take from them to use in our own businesses. No matter what kind of business that you have, I think that there is so much to be learned from people doing it on a bigger stage. And Trader Joe’s is such a good one and I’m really, really excited to kick this series off with them.

And you’re going to want to listen all the way through because at the end I’m giving you five major takeaways. We’re going to talk about a lot of things about what makes Trader Joe’s unique and how that applies to us. But I kind of boiled it down to my top five of what I take away from Trader Joe’s and how I apply it in my own multiseven figure business. So you’re going to want to listen all the way through for those.

So first and foremost, I just have to say that my dad, Norm, who if you’re new around here, my dad passed away last year. And my dad and I loved grocery shopping together. He loved Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s. And we went there so often together. We went grocery shopping every Friday night. We would actually go to Trader Joe’s and then we would go to Costco or vice versa. And so we just had such a nice time. I miss going to Trader Joe’s with him so much.

Every single time I go to Trader Joe’s, I think of my dad. I get really weepy every time I see them put out some new product that I’m like, oh, he would love that. Recently, I saw they put out these like breadsticks that I think were kind of mimicking Olive Garden breadsticks. And I was like, oh my God, this is my dad’s dream mash up. Like he could get Olive Garden breadsticks at Trader Joe’s. This is living. Yeah, it just really bums me out to go there. But I also love it at the same time because I love their stuff.

My dad would also be really happy to know that you and I are chatting about grocery stores right now. My dad and I used to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about food and produce and grocery stores and prices and marketing strategies and like all kinds of stuff. So I have been groomed from a very young age to focus on these kinds of things, which is probably why when I’m in Trader Joe’s or honestly any other kind of store, I’m always thinking about business the whole time I’m there. I’m like, oh, that’s so interesting that they do that. Or oh, that’s so interesting, this call to action or the playful copywriting or the illustrations or the way the store is laid out or the employees.

I’m always looking at all of this stuff no matter where I am. And I’m always thinking about what can we take away from these companies that are super, super successful, right? I’m not saying we’re all building Amazon size, Trader Joe’s size, Whole Foods size businesses, but I think that there’s so much that these businesses do that we can take and be like, how does that apply to the way that I run my business or what is it behind that marketing strategy? Why do they do that? And how can I do that in my own business?

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that big businesses do that I want nothing to do with. Like all of the plastic packaging, for example, or some companies mistreating employees or not treating them well. Like there are a million things, right, their impact on the environment, yada yada. But I’m just trying to focus on the things that they do well that we can boil down and take for our own businesses. I think also that this is a worthwhile conversation because I just tend to feel like in online business, we think too small. Like everybody just looks to other people in our space who are doing the exact same thing as them or who have a business that’s just a couple steps ahead of them for essentially like the rubric of how things are supposed to be done.

And I’ve always thought of seeing other people in our space or in online business as just an example, but not the limit of what we can do. And I think that something that I’ve shared about very often about starting my legal business back in 2017 was that I looked around and didn’t see anybody who had the kind of business or the kind of offer, like the Ultimate Bundle, for example, that I wanted to create. And I kind of came in and innovated and was like, I’m going to do something different that’s not being offered. And it’s also not being offered in this way. There were other people who were selling legal templates, but they didn’t have the same cozy approach, or they didn’t have maybe same style or weren’t doing some of the things that I knew I wanted to do off the bat.

And so I think that sometimes the reason I’m sharing that is because I want to encourage you to remember that when you’re looking around, those are just examples. They’re not the limits. It’s not the rubric. It’s not the box that you have to put yourself in. So you can think big, right, and look outside of this online business space. The online business space is a small bubble and you don’t have to stay in it even when you have a business that’s in it, if that makes sense. Right?

So I like to personally look at big picture marketing strategies that people are doing in other spaces and then bring it to my own business within the online business space. I just think we get too caught up in what other people are doing and then we just start to mimic that, even if it’s accidental or we’re not trying to be harmful, we’re not trying to copy. We’re more just think like, oh, this is how it has to be done. We have to offer courses. We have to offer a group program. We have to — now, we should have a membership. Right. That’s what we think.

So I want us to think bigger than that. And that’s part of the motivation behind these series of episodes where I’m talking about these different companies. You have to let me know if you like it. Or if there’s a company that you want me to dive into, I would be very excited to get any suggestions. So let’s talk Trader Joe’s. Okay. So Trader Joe’s, I was surprised to find this out, but Trader Joe’s is actually the highest rated grocery store by consumers.

The thing about Trader Joe’s that makes it so smart on a business front, there are many things, but one of the things that makes it so smart on the business front compared to other grocery stores in particular is that they have a much smaller footprint. The stores are small. They tend to — they’re hardly ever standalone stores. A lot of times, they’re in shopping centers or something like that. They actually just built a beautiful standalone one right near my dad in Cherry Hill where my dad lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. And here in New York, the one that I go to is so tiny and it’s in a shopping center and it’s such a popular — like I have to drive 20, 25 minutes and it’s in such a populated area, yet the store is so tiny.

So they have a much smaller footprint, right, which is like it’s so funny to me because it’s one of those things where people complain about — I’m always like, every time I’m in there and I talk to the employees because they’re all so nice, I’m like, can’t you build a store near me? Like, can’t you build one over here? And they’re like, no, we don’t do that. You’ll drive the 20 minutes to come here, so why would we build it, right? And even though it’s so crowded and stuff, everybody still wants to go there.

And so it was the Yogi Berra quote, that’s like, it’s so crowded, no one goes there anymore. I love that quote. So I feel about it because it’s like it’s so crowded that sometimes I’m like, oh, I don’t feel like going. But I then figure out what times I should go. Right? The other thing that they do that’s so smart is that they carry only a few items, right? They don’t carry ten different kinds of pasta sauce. They have like one or two. Or they don’t carry ten different kinds of cream cheese. They carry one or two.

So they have very specific and limited items, which we’re going to talk about a lot today because that’s one of the things that to me, like one of the biggest leaps that we can take into our own online businesses, where I think people just tend to create too many offers and they don’t focus enough on really driving home the ones that they have. But also I think it has a lot to do with decision fatigue and just presenting consumers with fewer options so that it’s easier to make a quick decision.

And I see like it’s not even just about the offers, but in the online space, people will be like, here’s 17 different payment options, you know? And it’s just like, uh, like it’s overwhelming. Or they have like different tiers of their membership or different tiers of their course, and it’s just too much. So I like the simplicity of Trader Joe’s with saying like, here’s your tomato sauce, do you want this or not?

I think one of the things that’s really helpful too, and like, I mean Whole Foods does this too, but they definitely have a lot more options. But one of the things that people like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods do too is have like a set of standards where they don’t allow certain ingredients or certain product types or whatever in the store so that it is also easier for a consumer who, for example, wants to be a little healthy. And they’re like, oh, I know that when I go there, it doesn’t have X, Y or Z in it. I think Trader Joe’s is looser with those kinds of things. But they, in my experience, if they have only one or two types of a product, they tend to have one that kind of meets people’s standards who are like that because I think they tend to attract a pretty healthy crowd. So I think that’s really interesting.

I know also that one of the things that makes Trader Joe’s a really smart business is that they buy directly from the manufacturers and the producers so that they cut out the middleman. So that saves them a ton of money. I also know that a lot of their items are actually private label, meaning that they’re made by somebody else, but they allow them to label it as a Trader Joe’s, like generic product. This is actually one of my dad, and my favorite things to do because my dad was like a — well, I hate saying it was a conspiracy theorist because I feel like nowadays that has a different meaning. But like he was just somebody who always thought somebody was up to no good. He’s from Philly. He like questions and doubts everything. He thought like refs were always getting like paid off in games and stuff like this.

And so when we were at Trader Joe’s, he would always be like, I know who makes that. It’s, you know, whatever. And he would like list some company. And he always felt like he knew the secret behind who was creating each of their products for them. And he would make a sport of it by looking at the ingredient list. And then he would look at the ingredients at a regular grocery store and be like, I knew they were making that for him. So it’s so funny.

My dad also, I just have to tell, I have to tell Norm stories when they come up. This is part of the grieving process. But my dad always referred to Trader Joe’s as like him. So he’d always be like he offers beans that are like this, or he offers kimchi. And I’d be like, who are you talking about? He was like, Trader Joe. I’m like, Dad, it’s not like a person. He would always act like Trader Joe was like a person. So I just laugh.

And now when I go there, I get really excited about scoring some product that I wanted or whatever, I’ll call Ryan and be like, he had those backyard potato chips today, you know? And so I just think it’s really funny. I don’t know why my dad thought it was like an individual person. Speaking of backyard barbecue chips, I’m pretty sure that that’s what they’re called, but backyard potato chips.

Trader Joe’s has absolutely nailed something, in my opinion, that is so, so important to being like a business on the forefront in an industry. So it doesn’t surprise me then that they are ranked number one highest rated grocery store. Trader Joe’s, I think, specializes in being four things, trendy, quirky, seasonal and being an innovator. Right? And those are four things that are super important to staying top of mind with customers.

So on the trendy front, I always find it really interesting that for a grocery store that does like little advertising and only recently started posting on social media and stuff like that, like relative to social media, I think it’s really interesting that you’ll see something become really popular, like cauliflower sandwich bread or cauliflower pizzas or whatever. Something, of course, with cauliflower is forever, it’s cauliflower.

And then pretty quickly, you’ll see it appear in a Trader Joe’s store. And I think what they do that’s so interesting on the trendy part is that they take something that’s like cauliflower was trendy, for example, but then they make it into something really unique, like cauliflower gnocchi. And everybody went crazy about the cauliflower gnocchi. So I think they do really interesting things when it comes to taking trends and then applying it in their own way.

They are definitely quirky. So they kind of embrace the weird. Like they’re a little weird, they’re a little off. I don’t know, they just like are different and they’re cool with it. Like they make really corny jokes, and they don’t do things that other people do, and they do do things that nobody else does. And they always have like little funny sayings. And if you ever read the descriptions of a lot of products, they’re really funny. And I just think that’s really cool. And I think it’s nice that they embrace the quirk.

I think for especially their kind of business, being seasonal is super helpful because it gives people this kind of rhythm and reason to come back. I know a lot of people who don’t even live near Trader Joe’s will travel to a Trader Joe’s when it’s like fall season, for example, and that’s like a big hit for them where they have all these products that come out that are pumpkin. Everybody goes crazy over it and stocks up and like starts this like word-of-mouth thing.

The other part is that they are innovators. And I’ve been talking about this a lot on the podcast lately. And I also have been writing a lot about this in my book that I’m writing right now. But how the point of entrepreneurship really to me, one of the main points is to be an innovator. It’s to be first. It’s to push the envelope. And I mentioned the cauliflower gnocchi or like these different things that they do that are quirky and new and different. And I just think there’s this general air of like, what are they going to think of next? Like, what are they going to create? What are they going to create now? Like what cool mash up are they going to create? And I think people get really excited about that. And that excitement keeps people coming back.

Speaking of people coming back frequently, let’s talk about creating loyal fans, because this is something that I have talked about a lot in my episodes on building an evergreen product and taking really good care of your customers. I have an episode dedicated to the Olive Garden effect of when you’re here, you’re family. I can link to all those below. But this has been key in my own business is really, really focusing a lot on the customers.

And I think in the online space, we’re generally focused more on building a bigger audience, getting more subscribers, getting more likes. And to me, our attention is kind of in the wrong place in that sense. And really, we should be paying as much if not more attention to who’s already there. Not because, yes, this person has already paid you. And so like, yes, that revenue is already behind you or whatever, depending on what kind of business you have, they could be a repeat customer, or they could buy future things that you create. I see a lot of repeat purchases in my business.

But even more importantly I think is that I’ve always thought of my current customers as foot soldiers. So I’ve always thought if I take really good care of my current customers and I create a great product that they’re actually really happy with because it helps them a lot. And then I continue to take good care of them, keep in touch with them, offer good customer service, be friendly, really just being myself, but like prioritizing it, then they are going to tell other people about it.

And as somebody who spends a lot of money on Facebook ads, I can tell you that it is worth all of your effort to create foot soldiers in your own business who then go out and tell other people about you because then those people become foot soldiers and then those people become foot soldiers. And I’m like six, seven years into this business where now I can see that that spiderweb effect essentially has built up so much that we have such consistent flow all the time, right? Even if I scale back in my — I’ve not been as active the last several months since my mom died and if I scale back on social media or whatever, if we scale back on ads, we still have such a steady flow of people coming in because of all of the effort to create foot soldiers and to build up word of mouth and to cultivate that relationship and that loyalty.

I’m feeling it right now with my book where when I talk about the fact that I’m writing a book, the people that I hear from the most who are the most excited tend to be my customers because they’re pretty dedicated, right? And they’ve liked the product and they’ve liked being here. And I hope that they feel taken care of. That’s always my goal, right? It doesn’t mean it’s perfect and there are always going to be disappointed people, just like there will always be a lady at Trader Joe’s screaming at the manager about something that she’s not happy about. That happens.

But in general, I think the point is to focus on generally just taking good care of people. You can control how you show up. You can’t control how people react. But I think that Trader Joe’s is a really good example for us where all these things that we’re talking about, all these things that we’re saying that they create unique and quirky products and that they’re innovators and they have seasonal stuff and they create mystery and intrigue because people are like, what’s going to happen next at Trader Joe’s? All of that has led to this like, insanely loyal fan base who then basically have gone around and done all of Trader Joe’s advertising for them.

Like Trader Joe’s doesn’t really advertise. They don’t have that much going on, on their own marketing ad budget front, and they keep it super low key. They don’t mail out a flyer like other grocery stores do. They really just rely on all of us who have essentially just swooped in and become free word of mouth marketers for them. I mean, think about how many Instagram accounts there are that are dedicated to just talking about what’s new at Trader Joe’s or how to make certain meals out of Trader Joe’s products. There are so many hashtags on Instagram and TikTok. There are whole accounts dedicated to it. Like it’s a whole thing, right? It’s a whole industry in and of itself.

I don’t even remember until like relatively recently, like maybe during Covid that Trader Joe’s got like on Instagram was really posting much of anything. And even when they do now, it’s like this, I don’t know, it’s like this hilariously mysterious account to me. I don’t know why. Maybe because there’s like, never any people and it’s like very, it’s like animated. I can’t really describe it, but it’s just different. So creating that loyal fan base has led to such a huge return for them, right?

They also, I think like another thing that’s really cool about Trader Joe’s is that they’re really comfortable being themselves and they don’t offer a lot of things that are traditionally offered at other grocery stores. So they don’t offer a deli counter. They don’t have a loyalty card or allow you to bring in coupons. And luckily or unluckily for me, they don’t allow online shopping because I will tell you, I would pay somebody good money to go to Trader Joe’s for me do all my shopping and bring it back to me because I’m like, sometimes I just can’t get over there or I don’t feel like it, or I haven’t loved going there since my dad passed, like I said.

And I’m like, man, I would pay good money, good tip, good everything for somebody to go there for me and get all my Trader Joe’s favorites. But they don’t allow. Right? There’s no like Instacart, which my dad used to call Instacart, which I thought was hilarious. But there’s no Instacart. There’s none of that. So they’ve just kind of like leaned in. And we’re going to talk about that in a sec when we get into the five major takeaways that we can apply.

And last but not least, that I think it is important, like worth mentioning again about how having fewer selections makes for such easier purchasing and decision making on the buyer’s part. Because you go there, it’s like you need tomato sauce, boom, they only have one, there’s the tomato sauce. It’s not like when I go to Whole Foods, I stand there and there’s like 17 different options. There are different weights and sizes. And then I’m looking at the cost per ounce and I’m like, well, is this one organic? Oh, this one has canola oil in it. Oh, this has palm sugar. Like, it’s too much. So I do like the idea of just having very few decisions, I’m like, boom, tomato sauce in my cart, gone. I would imagine, too, as I’m saying that, that that also keeps customers moving through the store quickly. So that’s probably helpful for them in terms of just having fast turnover.

So okay, after we’ve looked at all of these things that Trader Joe’s does really well, amongst other things, I didn’t even talk about how well they treat their employees is my understanding. I once sat at a counter of a diner and an assistant manager for Trader Joe’s came in on his break and he sat next to me, and I just had 9 million questions about Trader Joe’s for him. Again, this is just one man’s perspective of working at Trader Joe’s so this could not be the case. But he was very adamant about how good of an employee they were and how good they were to him and other people there. And that’s been my experience when I’ve talked to people there. They all seem happy and friendly and generally glad to be there. But I’m sure there are people who feel mistreated and haven’t had a good experience.

But let’s get into our five major takeaways that we can take from apparently America’s favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s, and how we can apply those to our own small business. Major takeaway number one is that if you take good care of your customers, they will sell it for you. So remember that you’re putting yourself out there every day. You’re trying so hard. You’re trying to reach all these new people. It’s a big, big world out there. And social media is a loud place. And websites are difficult to get traffic on and all these things we’re competing a lot for. We’re kind of a small fish in a very, very, very large pond, right?

But if you already have customers who already know you and already are familiar with you and you take good care of them and they go out and tell other people about you, that is making your job so much easier to be found by new people. So you could be on social media all day posting Reels, and on TikTok posting TikToks and whatever else, and you could reach a handful of people. But I think you’re going to make more like, I don’t know, higher converting connections, I guess, with people who are coming from people you already know. So take good care of your customers and they will sell it for you.

The second takeaway is that having fewer decisions to make means faster or maybe even just buying in general. So remember that when you’re creating a sales page or options at checkout or designing your programs even. Maybe you don’t need four different payment plan options, or maybe you don’t need three or four tiers to your membership. What can you do to make it easier for people to just say either A or B and put it in their cart, right? Think about being at Trader Joe’s, thinking it’s the only option and going, I’m just going to put it in my cart because that’s the only one. So I don’t have to stand here and spend ten minutes figuring out which one’s for me.

The third thing that we can take away from Trader Joe’s is that they pick up on trends, but they make it their own. So I think that’s really important in the online space when we see a lot of mimicking and kind of siloing of like everybody doing things the same way and stuff like that, you can take a trend, but you can make it your own. You can put your own unique voice on it, your spin, your look, your brand obviously, even your own perspective.

Like just because something is a trend, I just did an episode the other day about dupes, right? Dupes are trendy, but I came in with a take on it that was like, hey, we have a responsibility as business owners not to support counterfeit items. You can’t stand here and say that you don’t want people to steal your stuff and then you’re buying stolen stuff essentially. Or you can, but you’re a hypocrite, right? So you can comment or you can develop your own take on things that are trends but make it your own.

The fourth thing that we can take away from Trader Joe’s is that they really know what they are. Right. They kind of — I just — generally, the umbrella thing to take away here, I think, is that they really stand in who they are as a store, as a company. They don’t expand too quickly. They won’t build giant stores. Right. Even though they have the demand for it, even though there would be 9 million people still in the store, they know that if they keep the stores small, it keeps their costs small and then the same number of people are still going to come there. Right.

And so all that expanding is going to do is just drive up their costs, so they really stand in who they are, and they don’t offer everything. Like people request items. And I’m sure there are always things that people are disappointed. I know like a lot of my friends will stop by like another grocery store to get their deli stuff or to get maybe some fresh breads or different things, but they don’t offer everything. And obviously, they know that, and they’ve just stood in it. So I think that’s really interesting.

And speaking of being who they are, just also they embrace that weird and quirky thing. I just think that — I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think being weird and quirky is amazing, by the way. So I just mean that they are different. Like they’re unique. They wear Hawaiian print shirts. They have the monkey hiding, all that kind of stuff. So they really embrace being different.

Last but not least, the fifth major takeaway we can take from Trader Joe’s for our own small businesses is that there’s a lot to be said for having some fun in your business. They seem to have a lot of fun in the store. They create a fun environment. The workers seem to be having fun. And even like I think Trader Joe’s is a store throws in little fun surprise elements to the way that they do business. For example, when I had brain surgery in 2017, I went to Trader Joe’s like the day before. And I stocked up. I was basically wandering around like a zombie because I was freaking out. I was totally fine about having brain surgery until just the day before, basically. And I went to Trader Joe’s to get all this food so that I would have stuff to eat after my surgery. Little did I know I wouldn’t even be functioning for weeks and months, so I wasn’t even able to feed myself, but I didn’t know that.

So I went to Trader Joe’s, and I got all this stuff, and I was like standing like a zombie at the checkout. And this woman asked me, the checkout person asked me if I was okay. And I was like, oh, yeah, sorry. I’m like really distracted because tomorrow I’m actually having brain surgery. And the look on her face was like the look on everybody’s face when I tell them that I’ve had brain surgery. And she like yelled to one of the other guys that worked in Trader Joe’s, and she was like, bring me one of those flowers. And they brought me over this beautiful bouquet of flowers. And they were like, this is on us, we hope you have a great surgery and things go well and that you heal quickly. And we can’t wait to see you here soon. Like they’re just so cute.

And I’ve also asked before about like certain things on the shelf that are new or being like, oh, have you ever tried this? This is good. And a lot of times at Trader Joe’s, somebody who works there will just pull something off the shelf and be like, here you go, try it. Or like they’ll go get you a cup and like open up a drink and just pour it for you. So they’re really like, I don’t know, there’s that little element of surprise. I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that you can return items or get credit for items that were bad or spoiled or that you didn’t like without even bringing the item back. So if you throw something away, you can come in and be like, I didn’t like those pretzels and then they’ll give you the money for them.

So I think just that little surprise element, whatever you can do in your own business that keeps things fun and light. And a lot of us talk about heavier topics or stressful topics. People consider legal to be very dry and boring. And I hope that you see that I try to make it as fun as possible. I’m here talking to you about Trader Joe’s. I try to keep it as fun as I can while still being serious and helping you actually legally protect your business, but we make jokes. I give funny examples in the Ultimate Bundle and my training videos and stuff, like I try to keep it fun. I try to give them little surprises. My Ultimate Bundle members get little surprises throughout the year. They get invited to events for free or they get additional resources. So I try to do stuff like that. And I think that there’s a lot to be said for doing that in your own small business.

So that was our little corporate highlights series about Trader Joe’s. I would love to hear from you if you liked this episode. If you want to hear more of them on different companies, I’ve got a whole bunch in mind, but I want to make sure that this is something that’s actually helpful to you. So I hope you’ll send me a message on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen or send me an email at [email protected] and let me know what you thought of the episode.

And with that, I can’t wait to chat with you in a few days. Oh, and by the way, before you go, if you like listening to On Your Terms, wherever you listen to it, please give it a quick rating review. Make sure you subscribe and follow to the show. I really, really appreciate it. Thanks so much. I’ll see you in a few.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney, and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services, but I think I offer some pretty good information.

Resources Discussed in This Episode

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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

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