Friday, November 22, 2013

ATTITUDE…OR NOT

One of the truly hard disciplines of life that is very important in business is the practice of not having “attitude”.  When we have been hurt in some way that we feel is unjust, we are inclined to interact with that person in the future with a degree of righteous indignation.  While that may make us feel somewhat better in the short run, the long run effect is usually detrimental to our business dealings and to our mental health.  If our detractor is a customer, supplier, or employee our attitude may sour our relationship so that we lose that valuable relationship.  We are better off to let the hurt run off our backs and move on, preserving our relationship.

If you agree with me, and you may not, the question is how we let the hurt run off our backs without being offended.  The most straight forward way is to practice not being offended in the first place.  It has been said that no one can offend you; you have to choose to allow yourself to be offended.  When someone is saying something that hurts you, you can see it as a challenge to discover where the person’s attitude is coming from and addressing it, rather than letting it offend you.  I can vouch for the fact that this is not easy.  However, as you get better and better at not being offended you will find life much smoother and business more profitable.  If you are not very successful at not being offended in the first place, the next best way to handle a hurt is to keep quiet for awhile and let yourself simmer down.  Think about the perpetrator’s motives and see if you can address them without anger and without being dishonest with either him or yourself.  Sometimes, when the person is just being unreasonable, you may have to just emphasize how you would like to keep the business relationship and not address those issues that you know you do not agree about.

Your choices are to react with attitude and perhaps have a feeling of righteous justification, or you can take a more studied approach and perhaps keep a valuable business relationship; you choose.

Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)

Friday, November 15, 2013

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE


In Hamlet, Polonius gives his son, Laertes, the sound advice, “To thine own self be true”.  That advice is something we can use in business in the sense that we should be aware of our likes, dislikes, and limitations and not try to be all things to all people.  Over the years I have seen many businesses get off on the wrong track by trying to offer things that some of our customers want but that we have no expertise to provide.  It is important to know what we are good at and try to do those things well rather than trying to do all things.  In the short run, it often seems easy to add many different goods and services to our product line as a method of expanding the business.  Unfortunately this road often leads to including goods or services that we are not very knowledgeable about, resulting in customers that are not fully satisfied with us.  We would be better off doing the hard job of thinking and planning how we can better provide the goods and services we really know well.  It often takes looking at your business in new and radical ways because if you limit the selection of services you sell, you must find new ways to sell them. 

Running your business well involves lots of planning.  Know what your limitations are so that you do not waste valuable time trying to do everything, and end up doing nothing very well.

Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)