In The Trenches

A Matter of Trust

Published on July 27, 2020 Back to blog

A few weeks ago, while traveling up north with my family, we decided to look for a place to go for dessert – preferably a good ice cream shop.  Since it was already a bit after 9pm, most all places were closed. But, we came across one Google listing for a cheesecake place called Momo’s that was open nearby and had high ratings.  So, we hopped in the car and headed that way.  

Waze directed us to a fairly non-commercial area, with one office-like building, where we drove around to find a sign for Momo’s with no luck. But in our hot pursuit of cheesecake (especially me, who has a very big sweet tooth), we decided to drive around the neighborhood a bit, where we eventually saw a home with a garage-like structure on the side with lights on. And then we saw the Momo’s logo on the door.

No one was there, but the door was unlocked. So, we went in and were immediately surrounded by refrigerators full of cheesecakes (full cakes and packaged slices) of all flavors, a sign with prices, and two boxes: one that said “insert payment here” and another that said “change.”  Momo’s was run completely on the honor system. 

After reviewing all of our choices, we each took our slice, put money in the box, took some change from the change box (which had at least $50 in $1 and $5 bills in it), grabbed a few free Momo stickers off the counter, and headed home to enjoy our treats. 

In today’s climate, it was refreshing to see so much trust and it was a great reminder of all the good in the world. But, perhaps an even bigger awakening to the value of trust:  

1. Trust enables you to focus on what you do best. I’ve obviously never met Momo. (From the logo, I’m assuming Momo is a person.) But, I can tell you that she is a master cheesecake maker. And, with her high level of trust, she is able to focus on making cheesecakes instead of running the register, managing payroll, etc.

2. Trust can increase profit. In the case of Momo, her trust in her customers enabled her to save on in-store staff, while also staying open 24 hours/day. And even with not one staff person on duty, they get consistent 5-star ratings for service – which explains why, even in this tip-happy/expected world (perhaps a topic for another day), I felt good about throwing in a few extra bucks. Lower costs. Increased revenue. Do the math. 

 3. Trust drives trust (and confidence). As I’ve shared in a prior blog post, I believe that trust is different than confidence – trust is a judgment of character, confidence is a judgement of skills. However, I believe we earn trust and confidence from others when they trust us. I not only trusted that Momo had good character, but I also immediately assumed (correctly so) that she made damn good cheesecake. 

4. Trust feels good. Although there was no one in the store, the feeling of respect and trust was ever-present. I’m not sure which lifted my sprits more that night – the taste of the cheesecake or the feeling of trust. It may have been the latter.

5. Trust is contagious. When people trust us, we immediately recognize its impact and are more likely to pass along that trust to others. 

Momo’s gave me hope and inspiration that, by showing just a little trust in one another, we can create a more trusting world.  It also very much satisfied my sweet tooth. (For more information on Momo’s, visit her on Facebook or TripAdvisor.) 

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners