Act 309

Talk to the big kids

I had a tough day at the office. Nothing major. Just the weight of some deadlines and some budget constraints and that nagging feeling that some days I would be better off working at Tim Horton’s if my work was only about making money.

I suspect, in fact, I know, that many business owners have days like this. Owning a business is very rewarding, very challenging, very motivating but not always very profitable. Small business is the biggest business we have as an economy and business owners take a great deal of risk to ensure their own employment as well as the employment of their employees, their contractors and their suppliers. It’s a team effort. But when you own it, you’re the captain. Which means, when the ship goes off course, even slightly, it’s your responsibility and your dime.

Anyway, that aside (I would write about owning a business for a living if I could make a living at it, truth be told) toward the end of the day, I met with a prospective client who is an inspiration. I’ve watched on the sideline as she’s expanded her business to our area. We got to talking and I realized that it’s really all about perspective. Our numbers are proportionately¬†the same – hers just have more zeros than mine. It doesn’t matter how big you are, if you’re small, and not backed by a giant money, well, you’re small and not backed by giant money, so you have to make it work sans excuses or drama or pity. Just make it work.

Which is what I’ll do tomorrow when I head back to the office to face the day. I just might do it with a bit more perspective.

Act 160

Stand up for yourself

I tried this today. It took me months to get up enough courage to do it. I was nervous and determined to do it without being reduced to a pile of mush.

And it worked. I had some unresolved issues with a business ¬†– one that’s been important in my work life – and managed to find a polite and professional way to tell them that they, and I quote, “threw me under the bus”, and I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. And there were many opportunities for improvement.

If nothing else, it restored my faith in myself, if only for a short time. We need to dig deep sometimes and just call things the way they are. People will listen if it’s done politely and with a purpose.

Bullying and bad behaviour is much more common in business than we like to admit. As far as I’m concerned, business is personal. We are people after all. So stand up for yourself and consider it a proud personal accomplishment.