I overheard an elderly couple’s conversation the other day and it went something like this:
Wife: That butcher sure is a chatty man.
Husband: Oh yeah. He always talks for an hour and a half.
Wife: Nice guy, though. Such a nice guy. I don’t even mind listening.
The point of this story is they listened to the butcher’s ramblings because he was a nice guy, even though they had other things to do. (Or maybe they had the ability to turn down their hearing aids until his lips stopped moving.)
So my question of the day to you is this: Are you nice enough that someone’s going to forgive you if you bug them?
There are times when it’s hard being an entrepreneur. The frustrations, questions, complaints and concerns.
Do I have to fill this out and answer these questions?
Why didn’t you do that?
Can’t you make it bigger/better/more colorful?
Being nice isn’t always easy! Especially when you’re going through a rough patch and stressed out enough to seriously consider throat punching the next person who asks you a simple question. But you’re going to have to suck it up, buttercup. It’s part of being a solopreneur.
Reputations have a way of following you around. People like to talk. If you’re nice, people are going to tell everyone. If you’re a jerk, people are also going to share that information.
Here’s the other thing. Because you own a business, you have to be nice to everyone, even if you don’t do business with them. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your child’s teacher conference, standing in line at a concert, or buying milk at the store. You never know who a person’s connections are.
It doesn’t really matter what business you’re in or what kind of skills you have, either. You could be the best surgeon in the world but if your bedside manner stinks you’re going to lose patients. Another example: One of the virtual assistants on my team has a daughter that needs eye surgery. There are very few surgeons trained to do this surgery, and the one closest to them was quite frankly a big jerk. So they drive three hours each way to a doctor with a good bedside manner. My assistant’s exact words: “If you’re going to stick a knife in my child’s eye you need to at least be nice to her.”
The moral of this story and the lesson of the day, my friends, is to be nice. Always. Even if you don’t want to. Even if your day is a disaster. Even if you realize that you went to work in your slippers, stepped in dog poop in the parking lot, and then proceeded to spill coffee all over yourself.
Besides. You might find that being nice makes you feel better on those horrid days. And the world could use a little more nice too.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
PS – If you’ve been less than nice in the past and your reputation reflects that, let’s talk about how your virtual assistant can do damage control and help you start projecting a better image!