Elon Musk (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Elon Musk (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

You don’t have to be the head of a multinational or sitting on millions in cash flow to be suave like Richard Branson, of Virgin, and Elon Musk, of SpaceX, according to a new post in the Epoch Times. Innovators come in all sizes. “One thing they all have in common is their innovative spirit, strong branding and courage to test the limits,” writes Deborah Asseraf.

Asseraf’s five-step list to being an innovator:

1. Do things differently.

2. Interact with clients.

3. Foster community spirit.

4. Stand for something.

5. Make the old new again.

Translated into the car wash business, here’s what that list means to us:

1. Don’t listen to everybody else. It wouldn’t seem profitable to hire blind people to help wash cars. But one Arizona car wash business has done just that and doesn’t regret it a bit. And he’s changed people’s lives.

2. Be a human being. Don’t keep your clients at a distance. Send them hand-written thank you notes.

3. Fostering community spirit includes within your own company but also within your broader neighborhood and municipality. An overwhelming majority of people believe local businesses are vital to the local economy.

4. Don’t stand solely for profit. View your business through the lens of social citizenship or global stewardship. For one business in Atlanta, it meant raising money to send clean water abroad. For another, it meant forging partnerships with community philanthropic organizations.

5. Making the old new could be revitalizing your logo or your brand image. It could be diving into a social media marketing strategy. Or it could be literally undergoing renovations. This car wash business in Massachusetts is installing a super soaker for kids to squirt the passing cars.