Fred Payton personifies to me excellence in business. He delivers a service to some of the wealthiest people in Atlanta. You see the attention to detail when you are in his presence. His business is so good he doesn’t need a marketing budget. His return customers and word of mouth advertising is the best I have ever witnessed.
Fred is 66 years old. He commutes over 100 miles one way from Alabama to Atlanta, GA. now only three days a week but for years he made that commute five days a week. He has been mastering his craft since 1964. Fred is the sole proprietor of The Glass Shine located at 1180 Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. He has been shining my shoes for 15 years and after meeting him I decided as long as he is opened I would take my business to him.
What makes Fred so great at what he does?
He sees himself as a professional. He believes because of the glass shine he puts on men and women’s shoes, they are able to look their best. He doesn’t see himself in a lowly job. He sees himself in a job of great importance. He conveys a confidence that is very attractive. I want him on my team. Why? Because all the sharp dressed men in Atlanta have him on their team. And they do.
He performs his service with excellence. There is a Jewish scripture that says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) Fred embodies that kind of ethic. I have never felt like Fred mailed in a shine. I believe every time I have ever given him my shoes, he has worked his craft excellently. It is crazy, but I love being around him because of his quality of work. I feel I am a better person from just being in his presence.
He has a system he follows. I have dropped off shoes to Fred many times over 15 years. When I go to pick them up he always concludes the sales process the same way. He takes a pair of my shoes out of a bag and places them on a table. He points out the beauty of the shine and any concerns like heel or sole issues. Then he places them back in the plastic bag and ties the top closed always leaving a little opening to make sure the shoes don’t get too hot if they are left in the car. He then opens the next bag and pulls out the next pair of shoes and repeats the process. I am not joking when I say it is the same way every time. And I love it. He has a system and he works it beautifully every day.
So ‘Big Life’ devotees, my word to you today is excellence in things big and small. It is a beautiful thing to watch someone committed to doing things right. And don’t forget, if you are driving distance from Atlanta and you need a pair of shoes polished go meet my friend Fred. He will treat you right – every time.