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The Ernst Effect

There I am, trying to cut corners and do the sloppy, easy thing. The thing that won't get me to where I want to go. Then I remember The Ernst Effect. Suddenly I have the energy to go the final mile. I had to learn it from a real person.

Here is how it happened, about 15 years ago. I needed Flowform sculptures for a garden I'd designed in Japan, and ended up with 8 quotes. One man sent pages and pages of how many years he put in, how sad it is when people copy his work. His main focus was making us promise to respect his copyright if we buy. Another man emailed 'Go to my website where you will find prices'. He didn't email a link. We'd forgotten the name of his webstie.

Ernst's reply was another universe. He explained which model was the best, the special packaging company we would need and its cost, the insurance, why this one would be fine in Japanese weather, his bank details, and the date it will be arriving. He anticipated every doubt, including the doubts we weren't smart enough to think of ourselves. The only action remaining to us was to say 'Yes'. There was nothing else to do.

Flowform Balcony Garden, Fuji Eco Park, Japan

Sometimes I conceive far-fetched dreams. Like the elaborate design for my front garden I wanted my landlord to pay for. It included persuading my neighbour to cut down her big tree. There were plenty of valid excuses for not making the garden. But I had had Ernst as my imaginary guardian angel, as I prepared my brief. It outlined all the things that wold go right, all the things that wouldn't go wrong, and all the investments my volunteer helpers and I would be making, at no cost to him. I spend days on it. Looking at this list of benefits, my landlord could only say 'Yes'. My neighbour could only say 'yes'. The garden got made.

Do what it takes to let people say 'Yes' to you.

They love it.

Cecilia at Fuji Eco Park with Students from Jiyugaku-en School

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