Doing business can be easy – if we let it.
When I finally made the leap into entrepreneurism, my biggest hurdle was getting my head around the fact that I could choose my customers. I was so used to being in service, bending over backwards, literally doing any thing and everything that I could to keep my customers happy that it felt weird to ask myself “do I want to work with this person?”.
For an example, one time, I had a client who operated high volume coffee kyosks in industrial locations. They served thousands of coffees every morning. I was their foodservice rep. One morning their milk didn’t arrive at any of their 20+ locations. They started calling my cell at 5:30am. So, there I was at 8am at the Safeway doors buying them out of milk and personally delivering the jugs to each location in need. Was this my job? Of course not! But these were the kinds of things I learned to do in order to stay competitive. If I didn’t do it, I’m sure my competitor would have.
So you can imagine my uncomfortableness with the concept that we call “hot girl at the dance”. This term means that as the owner of my business and the master of my professional destiny – it was up to me who I worked with and who I said “no thanks” to. No longer did I have to convince people to want to work with me. No longer did I need to put up with poor treatment. No longer did I have to chase cheques. I got to make the rules and for those who want to play – great, for those who wanted to dick me around – bye bye.
If you have the good fortune of being an entrepreneur, take a look down your client roster and make sure that you have a bunch of square pegs that fit perfectly in to your ‘square hole’ business model. If you find some round pegs trying to squeeze in, nicely tell them that they don’t seem to be a ‘fit’. If they choose to come back, let them do so on your terms.