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I am writing this post right now, because I am still frustrated and disappointed in something that just happened, and I want to write this while I am feeling this way, in hopes of capturing the feeling.
I just learned, not 15 minutes ago (as of this writing), that a good friend and someone I admired and trusted, went with a “competitor” behind my back.
Now, first, let me offer some important context. I put “competitor” in quotes not because I see them as competitors. They do similar work, but they do it very differently, they have different objectives, different styles, and different long-term goals.
But in any event, I am not sad that I lost to a competitor. That isn’t what this is about. I’ve lost other “business” to them because they were less expensive. I am happy to lose business this way. That’s not the game I ever intend to compete in.
No, I am hurt that my friend let me down. That he didn’t tell me what was going on. That he wasn’t straight up honest with me.
That’s what hurts. That I had to find out about this on Twitter.
That’s the modern age, I am afraid, but it still sucks. That’s the modern water cooler, and the modern way “word of mouth” works. We all have to get used to it, including me.
I expect a lot of people in business to operate this way. That’s just how it goes, sadly. But I didn’t expect this relationship to go this direction.
I’ve known the guy for years. He’s a good friend. And heck, he’s a client, for I’ve done a little work with him over the years.
It’s not even the hours of time I invested sharing ideas on how to launch a project. Shared countless ideas with him on ideas to consider. I shared strategies on how to formulate and implement. I even provided some feedback on his ideas.
No, I am not even upset about that. I preach helping and serving people…without expectation for something in return. That’s how you should do business. That’s how you should continue to operate. And I will continue to operate that way.
[If you think about it, I did sell him on the grand idea. He just implemented it a different way.]
No, this goes back to the personal side of this thing.
“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
This is Michael talking to his brother, Santino. And let me tell you, it is bullshit. It’s all personal. It should be. It has to be.
No, I am not disappointed in the loss of business. I am disappointed that my friend didn’t tell me what was going on.
And let this be a lesson for us all. Business isn’t just business. It is personal.
And if you aren’t treating it as personal, you are missing out. This is why your passion isn’t showing. That is why goobers like me get upset when these things happen.
Because you care.
And it should be that way.
Yeah, always be professional and courteous. But dammit, please be passionate and involved. Care about what happens. And take it personally when your customers and friends treat you wrong.
Because if that’s how YOU operate, from a position of taking business interactions personally, you have hope.
Because I don’t want to buy from a guy who doesn’t take it personal…
To take your sales approach personally, check out my book, The Zen of Sales:
Drawing by Hugh.