I was not going to do a blog about this, we all get a little bit eager in our start up phases....but lately I cannot believe the lack of etiquette & composure when it comes to businesses. Over time I have learnt experientially who to and who not to do business with.
I believe we should all support our friends especially in their start up phases so that is not what I am talking about. We need to have a safe environment where we practice our sales pitches, market test our products, etc. If you don't have a support system, I encourage you to find one. By having 'practice runs' we get to build our confidence in ourselves and get healthy feedback. And I do not at all claim to 'know' it all' about business as I'm still learning....and I am not claiming to never have done one of these 'small minded' steps. I share it to encourage people including myself and have designed a personal and professional system to quickly read who is healthy and safe for me and my business and want to share. To encourage fellow women in business 'who not to be'.
I also believe that in relationship marketing. Building relationships and if an opportunity arises to cross market or work together...there is strength in that. The key is finding the right people. Before I allow anyone now in that space, I measure them against these 5 steps of 'Who to do and not to do business with'.
5 People who not to do Business With:
1. 'Trolls'. I call these people trolls. Because in essence what they do is ride off your coattails and appear to be interested in your products, but what they are doing is secretly surfing for your friends and clients through personal or professional settings in which you are hosting or attending...and they pitch their products and never follow through on using or promoting yours.
2. 'Deceivers'. These people attempt to set up a meeting to discuss one thing...but upon the meeting starting they clearly connected with you to pitch their product. Personally, this has been one of the biggest hurts and disappointments in my business and career. You know those people who claim they want to be in 'partnership' with you but after months or maybe even years it is clear they are only using you for their own profit and business growth and wouldn't cross the street to support your products. This causes you to feel like you perhaps don't have the 'right' products or the 'right' sales talent. This is wrong. These people false promise to 'work alongside you' with the intention of only having you support their mission or their business and will never lift a finger to support yours. This to me is the most toxic of businesses to be connected to. Stay away...it will only serve to defeat you and gain access to your contacts, ideas and your hard work. Protect your inner circle and don't let them near. If they are toxic enough they will go so far as to attempt to discredit your business and character. Execute their dismissal from your life swiftly and permanently. This goes for colleagues and employees if necessary. They will attempt to have you spend your money on them, their product and their business....they claim to help you...but all they want is your revenue for their growth.
These people are 'infallible'. They do not walk their talk. They will quickly tell others that you and everyone else is the problem, however they ironically never ever grow and run into the 'same people and problems' over and over. They will destroy relationships and burn bridges before ever apologizing.
This is NOT the same as hiring professionals to challenge, grow or increase your business. There are reputable and amazing people out there and you will know by how they deal with you if they are genuine. I believe in hiring people to grow you in an area you need...but only if you are ready to afford it. Don't fall into the trap that you have to break the bank to succeed. Sometimes you have to start where you are and fall through trial and error and build equity before you bring someone else's reputation into the mix.
3. 'Copy Cats'. Theses are the ones who if you launch a Promotion, Project, Blog or Sale....they are right there 5 minutes behind you. This is a sign of insecurity.
4. 'Toxic Teddy's'. These are the ones that never have anything good to say. They drain your energy, your hope and take focus off your tasks at hand. They are not productive and will ensure that you aren't either. This is a form of self sabotage. Be militant in 'your why' and 'your journey'. This can take a long time to spot. So have your goals, your daily lists and be focused. Then you will see it as soon as it appears.
5. The 'Eager Beavers', the 'One-Upers', the 'Know it Alls'. They are self appointed celebrities. They will preach at people but turn around and do the very thing they tell others not to. You see this all the time in social media posts. I used to be this. This is being a hypocrite. And a liar. You start a business and you are shouting from the mountain tops that you own and run x amount of successful businesses, blah, blah, blah... I used to think this was a sign of confidence. This is not. And it's the fastest way to make people run from your product. No one likes a know it all. Know your products and be confident in your business but do not bombard every person in your world in every setting to get known or get a sale. It will do the complete opposite and appear like you don't know anything in business.
When I started mine, I wanted to utilize it for multiple revenue streams. In the beginning I did set up separate websites and tried to work each individual line. I was guilty of this and saw people running when they saw me enter a room because they knew I was going to try to stuff a sale down their throats. I had to get classy and learn elegance (still learning) and look at my business and figure out how they all worked together. Now I simply tell people that we are a unique event planning company with 4 diverse revenue streams and we love making a positive difference in the world. I made a 'Home Page' site for my actual main company. I still have separate websites but I have everything linked together.
Every business person at one time or another is any one or all of these. And that's ok. Just change it when you see this in yourself. Then when you know better, do better.
NOW...who I have learnt To do business with through watching and collaborating:
1. The 'Confident'. These people are amazing. They will encourage you and cheer you on. They will watch you and when they feel safe they will reach out and cross market with you. These relationships should be valued because they are gold. You can learn alot about business through these people.
2. Those who are 'Quietly Building'. They don't need to advertise their success and value. They put their heads down and work hard. And from what I've noticed they are very much one on one type of people. This goes back to some old roots and is a very proven successful method of doing business.
3. Those who 'Lead by Example'. They walk their talk. I won't do business with someone who preaches they are one thing and their life radiates the opposite. These business people are exactly who and what they say they are. And the beautiful thing about these individuals is they quickly admit when they are wrong.
4. Those who believe in 'Paying It Forward'. These people have learned that the key to success is being happy and doing something that makes a positive difference in the lives of others. We need more of these people in the world.
5. Those who believe in 'Working with Excellence'. Develop a network of people like this and be one yourself. Be excellent in what you do. What you provide. What you look like.
Reach out to people who are experienced and ask them to mentor you. This will help you grow into the business person you want to be. Be selective of who you are around. And make sure you remain authentic in your own life. We will all make mistakes and are always learning.