Museums seem to most as just a collection of dusty things that people have discarded. However, they tell us how it was all those years ago. This edition of the travel blog is more than just a history lesson. It is also telling us that even though times have changed, the basic principles of success stay the same.
Winfield, Kansas, located in the southeast of the state, was founded by Colonel Edwin ‘EC’ Cassander Manning shortly after the Civil War.
When the war started, EC Manning responded quickly and signed up with the Kansas Cavalry. He didn’t see it on CNN or FOX News, he didn’t get an e-mail or text. The news came by word of mouth.
When the war ended, EC Manning went to Washington DC to be involved in politics. Several contacts he had who knew of his abilities advocated for him to be tasked as a surveyor to lay out a new rail line through New York and Pennsylvania. The job came through letters and face-to-face meetings with those in charge.
Returning to Washington DC, he was summoned by President Grant. Not by e-mail or text, not even a phone call, but by horseback as President Grant sent a rider to fetch EC Manning.
President Grant knew of EC’s abilities through correspondence and word of mouth. President Grant wanted to meet with and talk face to face with the Colonel from Kansas. EC did not text President Grant, nor did he e-mail him. EC did not keep the President waiting, but as his experiences had taught him, he quickly and without delay hired a carriage to take him to the White House – the people’s house.
Upon meeting with President Grant, EC Manning learned that there was a need to define the boundaries of the state of Kansas. Since EC Manning was from Kansas, he had been summoned and offered the opportunity to be the man who set the officially recognized stake at the corner of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
EC Manning did not tell the President that he would get to it the next time he was in Kansas. EC did not ignore the request or placate the President. He responded immediately upon returning home. He gathered the needed supplies, the men who would be part of this endeavor, and set out right away to accomplish the task at hand. He did not wait or put it off until tomorrow.
A year or so later, while still in Kansas, EC was speaking to Reverend Winfield Scott. The Reverend mentioned that he would like to expand churches in Kansas, even wanting to build towns that would soon dot the landscape.
Again, EC Manning did not wait. He offered to find land, acquire it from the owners’ and build a town. There was no mention of ‘I’ll get back to you on that idea.’ EC just shook the Reverend’s hand and got to work.
He bought land from the Native Americans and plotted the town with his expert skills as a surveyor. First, a materials and supply building, then a church, and Winfield, Kansas was founded. Later on, a meeting was held in Kansas City about which town would be the County Seat in Cowley County, Kansas.
When EC Manning heard the news, not by some form he received on his website or a text but by letter through the Post Office, he immediately set out for Kansas City. He wanted Winfield to be the County seat. The rail lines would go through there, and business would increase, the town would grow.
EC Manning got to the meeting before the opposing towns could form their committees to send delegates. Winfield is still the prosperous county seat of Cowley County, Kansas because EC Manning responded and didn’t ignore or put off what he read or heard.
Today we have e-mail, text, cell phones, websites, FaceBook – all types of ways to reach customers or for them to reach us. Yet, we have met several people on our journey who are struggling with getting businesses to respond to questions or bookings.
We know of a family looking to buy some property in the Midwest. They reached out to over a dozen realtors. Ten ignored them entirely. Three stated that they would get back to them, and only one made contact and worked with them to try and find what they were looking for. The Realtor went the extra mile – even to the point of calling landowners he knew to see if they would be selling anytime soon. He responded to the initial inquiry, met with the potential buyers, showed them around town, and did what needed to be done.
These buyers were not looky-loos, they had cash. Not just a checkbook but green-backs – actual spendables.
The question then arises. Why won’t businesses, not just these realtors, respond to e-mails, texts, etc.? Is their website or e-mail system set up so poorly that they never get the inquiry? Is business so good that they can afford to blow off the person with the cash?
Ask yourself this. Do you respond in a timely manner like Col. EC Manning to a request, or do you form a committee to think about answering that e-mail?
Winfield is the County seat. It is prosperous. How prosperous is Udall KS or Dexter KS? How successful could they have been if they were the county seat?
How prosperous are you? Is your business growing or slowing? I ask that question in order to inspire you, not to hear an excuse on how COVID has ruined everything. Adapt. Diversify. Survive.
We have technology on our side. Back in the day, EC Manning didn’t. Use what is available. He did and it started with customer service.
“Success belongs to the person who practices early rising and promptness. Then begins his day without apologies. Because no work is so wearisome as doing nothing.”
Guest Author: EsQue