I Would Do Anything...But That


     You have to set limitations and boundaries to what you are willing to do for your business. It is part of establishing yourself as a name and an entity. In the beginning, you might have done things you would never do today. It can be a progressive process but necessary. It will keep the smile on your face and help you move forward. If there is an established understanding early in the game about what you are and are not going to do, it will simplify things down the road. Customer and business relationships are still a relationship. In order for a relationship to flourish, both sides need to be satisfied for the most part.

    An issue I had a while back reminded me to write this. I used to run a pc repair business that offered for us to come to your home. When I arrived there, I smelled cigarette smoke, which I am highly allergic to now for some reason. I told the gentlemen that I could not fulfill his request at his home. His first response was, "Why?" I explained to him the situation. As far as doing the repair at the house, the answer was no with no compromise. I then told him this was beyond my control and surely out of his control. I waived the gentlemen the fee for coming to the house and gave him a 25% discount on the repair. Did I lose money? At the time, yes. In the end, no. The gentlemen was so pleased with my work that he became a regular customer. He would send referrals to me all the time and would go as far to let people know about the cigarettes. I never asked him to do that part by the way. Not only did he help my business grow but he was painting a picture of how I expected to do business. The ironic thing is that he was the originator of all of this.

    What started out as a trying situation ended up working out, despite my refusal to do the work at the house. The circumstance was beyond either person's control, and the answer had to be no in the given situation. I don't have many circumstances where I won't deliver, but this was one of them. Don't be afraid to speak up when you feel like things are not going your way. As long as it is not an unheard of request, your customers will respect it, even if they don't like it. If you cannot accommodate them, unless it is an unheard of reason, just make it right. If you have made the reason clear beforehand, stick to your guns. You will establishing a clear understanding and boundaries to your customers.

    Life is kind of the same way. We have to be familiar with what we are not willing to do in order to know how to get what we want. It keeps us honest and most important it helps us stay away from those types of things. A clear vision is not just knowing what you need to do, but knowing what you will not do under any circumstance, with no exceptions. Even though some will not like what you stand for, you will love yourself for it down the road. Plus those that did not like it, will probably at least learn to respect it. The difference in life is you cannot worry about accommodating everyone else's needs. Your belief system and standards have to be based on something other than what other people think is right for you, or what you should do for them. Respect is not earned by conforming to everyone else's opinions, it is earned by being true to yourself, and staying that way no matter what happens. If you are willing to lose a little at first to stay true, you will gain much in the end.



  1. I believe that the guy admired your attitude and honesty while doing business with you. You must have made a remarkable impression on him since he now recommends your services to his friends. I couldn't help but laugh at the part when he tells his friends about the cigarette smoke. Very considerate of him! I really wish all business men were honest like you James! Thanks for sharing this post!

  2. Great post! I believe your honesty really made an impression on him. It's wonderful when you meet someone that believes in being true to themselves. You turned what could have been a bad situation into a win-win with your honesty. You've inspired me to sit down and really think about all of the things I will not do.

  3. @Johnnie I learned from a lot of other business people that being dishonest will only take you so far. That is why they are no longer in business. The truth always catches you in the end. Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. @Doreen. Thanks for reading! Glad I provoked some thought. I feel it is necessary for everyone to think that through, and then make sure they stay true. Doing things you don't want kind of defeats the purpose of being your own boss I think. I ventured out on my own because there were things in corporate America I was not willing to do. I sure was not going down that same road in my endeavors.
    I know after thinking this through, your action plan will revolutionize your life. Everyone has great ideas I think. They just have to be brought to the forefront through others sometimes. Good luck. Keep me posted on your progress. Would love to hear about it.

  5. @Johnnie....the part about the guy telling everyone else cracked me up as well. It really made me relieved in a way because he saved me a lot of confrontation in the end. It taught my team to stand up for themselves. If I am not willing to do things, I sure don't expect my team to have to do them. That is poor leadership I think.
    Honestly I was afraid to speak up at first but knew I would be having an allergic reaction by trying to tough it out and I would resent my actions later. I would rather get yelled at for a few minutes by that guy than live with regret. But all turned out well in the end.