Your business deserves better

A friend and entrepreneur wanted to rant: She had a particularly tough customer who wanted to change something she created at the last minute. My friend, who prides herself on being accommodating and nice, agreed to jump through hoops to make this customer happy. Meanwhile she was angry and resentful because it was going to end up costing her a lot of time and money.

Here’s what I said: Honey, honor your business.

Of course we want customer satisfaction. We want repeat business, referrals, people to rave about us, etc., because let’s face it — we need the money. And especially for us women, we’re wired to be “nice” and bend over backward to please. But this has nothing to do with being nice. It’s about practicing integrity, and it’s about how you and your work command respect. It’s about the soul you want your business to have and the energy you want it to vibrate in.

It’s OK to set up guidelines and rules of what you’ll do and won’t do and how you’ll be compensated for it. It’s OK to make clear what you stand for. It’s OK to walk away from a miserable situation. It’s OK and healthy to set boundaries!

I mean, do we think twice about how we treat and compensate plumbers, accountants, doctors, etc?

And here is where it gets more interesting: If you’re not creating a space of integrity and honor in your work, where else is that happening in your life? How else are you neglecting or mistreating yourself? What are you giving away that you don’t want to anymore? How much longer are you going to allow these patterns to exist?

So my challenge to my friend — and YOU — is what is the first thing you are going to do to honor your business?

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Posted on May 15, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Great question to consider Cindy and really good one to keep in mind. Thank you!

  2. Love your questions: If you’re not creating a space of integrity and honor in your work, where else is that happening in your life? How else are you neglecting or mistreating yourself? Everything is connected, thanks for the reminder!

  3. This is something neary every woman I know has had to learn — that thereis a difference between having integrity and honoring yourself, and being mean. And that being nice does not mean devaluing yourself!

  4. Cindy,

    Thank you for saying this out loud and for giving women business owners “permission” to have integrity in their businesses around what they will and will not tolerate in their businesses and what they are compensated for, period.

    I recently had a situation where a long-term client of mine who had been difficult all along questioned a bill because it was for phone calls…something that is in my fee agreement with them. I could have backed down and written the bill off to make him happy but I thought, first off, they’ve been a pain and slow to pay the entire time, second, I had already cut their rate 25% – something that they seemed to forget every time they got a bill they thought was too expensive, and third, I was rightfully billing what I told them they would get charged for in my list of services.

    I stood in my power and integrity and very professionally said yes, I run a business and pay my mortgage this way, and half my day is phone calls. If I don’t charge for them, I don’t eat and nor does my family. I reminded them of the fee agreement.

    They replied that they would pay, but it was a “good way to lose business” and it’d be my last business from them. I thanked them for their candor, thanked them for agreeing to pay and for their business, and mirrored that they’d be calling someone else next time they needed help.

    My clients happily pay me for the services I provide to them. If they don’t, I am not afraid to lose them.

    Bravo!
    Dana

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