You’ve heard it, but do you believe it?

by Sunni Chapman

You’ve heard that so and so is the best but do you really believe it? How big is the gap between hearing something and believing it for you? Somewhere between the width of an eyelash and the width of the Grand Canyon, I would think…

How often do you hear people telling someone that they look beautiful, that they are so nice, or so very smart, or one of many compliments that may or may not be sincere? How easy is it to dismiss a compliment we receive ourselves because we aren’t used to hearing it or we just don’t believe it? What about when you receive referrals, recommendations or suggestions for a company or provider “that is perfect for you” do you instantly act and move forward to try that company out?

I can hear you all saying, “It depends Laura...”

I agree and I would add that it depends on the RELATIONSHIP you have with the person giving the recommendation. For me, relationships are the key to everything!


I’m six weeks into the year-long experiment of swapping San Diego for Sicily. I had a very happy, fulfilling and comfortable life in San Diego with lots of friends, freedom, and FAITH.I had faith but I didn’t believe and I didn’t trust what was not under my direct control. In that sense I bet that I was like a lot of you, thinking that by doing something myself rather than trusting in someone else I would be better off.

For some things that may be true, but sometimes it’s better to trust in others. For example, think of fixing a broken toilet. Obviously, in this day and age of Google and YouTube, we don’t need to call a plumber, do we? We can be instant plumbers after watching a few videos, can’t we? And we’re sure to save lots of money doing it ourselves too!

Well, while YouTube is great and Google is golden, after four trips to the hardware store because I didn’t have the right parts and the video forgot to mention I would need a gasket AND a special tool that I may never use again…let’s just say that I learned the hard way that I should always practice what I preach and trust that I will receive value when I pay a professional for their knowledge, expertise, and experience.

What I’ve also learned in my 1st few weeks in Sicily is that Italians do it right!What I mean is that Italians know how to do meetings the right way. For years I criticized their style, I always wondered why I would leave meetings wondering why nothing was accomplished. I always felt that there was no meat on the bone, that we didn’t reach any great deals or agree to terms on contracts.

It seemed that we only talked, laughed and got to know each other, but only now do I know why those meetings were so important and actually very productive. There is a theory that I’m sure you’ve heard of called “the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST theory.” The process goes something like this;

First, you get to know someone really, really well, (Italian style well) BEFORE you make any judgments or come to any conclusions if you like them or not. Then once you get a feeling for who the person truly is, you decide if you like them and if you do then you continue to get to know them over time, learning about their character, abilities and strengths in order for you to believe that they can expertly handle whatever you entrust to them without losing the “bella figura” – “the facia” or the face in front of the world.

The American spirit in me wanted to get things done quickly so I could move on to the next thing. What I’ve come to realize is that once you’ve taken the time to build a trusting relationship then everything is possible!

What I am trying to say is that we are laying the groundwork and building something really special here. We are about to change the world of Sicilian tourism by involving great partners in our company that WE know, like and trust.

Over the last six years, we have introduced ourselves to you through this weekly newsletter. It started with a shy introduction but we quickly found our voice and it was clear to us that when we shared our experiences, both the good and the bad, our successes and our failures, and our triumphs and trials with you we felt a genuine connection with you.

After a bit of time through working with us and reading our newsletters you’ve gotten to know us and for many, not all of course, but for many you’ve learned enough to know that you like us. Over time we know that after you use our services that you will believe that your instincts are right and your trust is well placed in us...

...on the other hand, if you’re still not sure, then you probably already know that you likely will never be able to move forward with us, because you will always wonder if what we do has value. And if this is the case then you are already only focused on THE COST.

The truth is that Cost only matters in the absence of Value, and from the very beginning our Mission has been to provide Authentic Italian experiences that create the memories for a lifetime. We’ve been able to accomplish this through the relationships we have built.

Won’t you join us as our adventure and relationships grow through all of Sicily and beyond?


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