Open for Business

illuminated-1853924_640All around the world, doors have closed.

The doors to schools are closed. The doors to churches are closed. Restaurants have closed their doors too. Every day, more and more businesses are closing their doors, many of them for good. Inside those still open for business, employees are being told to keep their distance from each and work behind closed doors. The public is being advised to stay home, and close the door.

In the midst of all these closed doors, I happened last week to run across an anonymous YubeTuber who’s made a habit of opening doors. About a year ago, a nameless Swede started the channel “I open doors.” In each video, approximately 10 seconds long, his left hand reaches out and opens a door. To date, there are over 300 videos posted.

The owner of this unusual channel said he started it as a way of unifying people, a social experiment to see if a community could be created around something as simple as the idea of opening doors. He says “I’m hoping that it will feel like a safe anchor for people. If you had a bad or a good day, I will be there opening a door for you because I upload every day, and I will continue to do so no matter what happened in your life. I will film the same door from time to time, of course, but I think that can also provide some familiarity. You recognize the door. You maybe feel at home with the door.”

It may not be safe to open physical doors right now, but I can’t help but think that we should be looking for ways to open as many figurative ones as possible. The phrase “open the door” is an idiom with several meanings. When you “open the door,” you

  • Invite the possibility of something new.
  • Permit someone else access to something.
  • Make passage easier for someone else.

As sales and service professionals, we are in the business of opening doors, even when the slabs of wood, glass, or metal separating us from other people happen to be closed. We should each be looking for ways to open up possibilities for those we serve. We should be identifying ways to make their lives easier despite the barriers that have been placed in our path.

Though he started his project well in advance of the current COVID-19 scare, the unnamed YouTuber seems to agree. “I want anyone to feel like they can open a door and everyone to be part of this experience. All of my videos are from the point-of-view perspective, so basically it’s you opening the door. There are doors everywhere.”