The purpose of this post is to compare businesses in Maui vs. California. What do they emphasize? What do they get right? Where can they improve?
As someone who has worked with dozens of businesses both here on Maui and in the mainland, I appreciate both sides of the spectrum. The businesses I will be comparing are not in the luxury space. While the financial elite has its own differences, I am going to stick to the general population for now.
What do Maui businesses do right?
Maui is a culturally diverse place. Both being on an island creates an insular cultural apex.
Maui businesses tend not to lie.
While I am not saying that California is full of liars, I am confident that hurting your reputation in Maui can be difficult to recover from. We are a small community here and we talk to each other. Californians have less to lose if there isn’t much substance to their words. If you have burnt your bridges, there are plenty of new bridges to build.
Hawaii people have a unique version of progressive environmentalism.
Here on Maui, we have to reduce the trash because we literally are running out of land for our landfills. We have to reduce what we use because it’s difficult to ship goods here. While other parts of the country tend to be environmentally conscientious from a moral place, Maui residents come from a place of self-preservation. We also are an outdoor-friendly culture. We appreciate the outdoors; that’s why we live on such a beautiful island. If we just needed a place to stay, Maui’s high cost of living would not be the best choice.
Hawaii people are visually-minded.
I have many friends who have moved to California after growing up on Maui and made a great life in California. The vast majority of them fit well with the moniker: ‘creative.’ Graphic designers, visual artists, photographers, and the list goes on. My college roommate recently signed on to make an upcoming Marvel film. He was born and raised in Haiku. A keen sense of art is a norm for Maui people.
Maui people are great at fostering relationships.
So when we are talking about businesses, Maui businesses are great on social media because they create beautiful content. In a recent conference, the speaker spoke about social capital. I have many close friends who are insanely talented and constantly produce amazing work. When I look at who is successful and who is not, it usually comes down to relationships. The creatives who establish strong bonds with others tend to be successful, while the ones who have less social capital tend to get stuck in a rut. In the past, it has been said that ‘it’s all about who you know.’ While this saying does have value, I would like to update it: it’s all about who you have strong relationships with.
So what do Maui businesses do wrong?
Aha! Here we have arrived at the trash talk part of this post. First off, I just want to say that I am coming from a place of love, and I really want to help. I have literally dedicated my life to helping small businesses on Maui. If what I said has offended you, please let me know in the comments.
Maui businesses tend to need help with messaging.
From spelling and grammar to big visions and ideas, the Maui business crowd is able to get by on a different set of standards. I challenge you to proofread the website for any Hawaii business, if you don’t find something wrong, or at least awkward, I would be very surprised. Again, I am saying this from a place of love as a Native Hawaiian myself. If you are releasing some form of writing into the public, please have it pass through a competent proofreader. There is an unlimited amount of services that can help you with proofreading and writing. A Hawaii based business with a bit more focus on messaging and writing will surely stick out among the crowd. Use this phenomenon to your advantage.
Maui businesses tend to not be punctual.
I hate the stereotype of the late Hawaii people, yet I have represented it well in the past. If you are quick about getting back to customers or getting the work done quickly, you will stick out on Maui. In other places, having deliverables on time is expected. In Maui, having deliverables on time is impressive. Use the culture to help your business get ahead of the pack.
Mahalo for Reading
What do you think about what I’m saying? Do you think I’m wrong? What are some advantages or disadvantages you have observed? Let me know in the comments. Also, please share this post if you enjoyed it.