It’s not business … It’s just personal!

October 16, 2007

I believe I’ve heard the saying a million times, “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” For years I’ve struggled with how to “fix” my views towards business and just can’t figure out how to get it done. I’ve watched people who I believe to be very kind, warm hearted people outside the workplace turn into nasty, seemingly cold hearted people within the workplace. Whenever I’d ask them about it I’d hear that comment and wonder to myself, “Why can’t I do that? I must not be as good a business person as them.”

As the years have passed and I’ve struggled to be a “solid” business person like those people that can turn the emotion off at work and back on again in my personal relationships I’ve finally realized something. That old saying IS NOT TRUE! It is personal!

If you take the time to analyze your average week you’ll soon see what I mean. Let’s do that for a second …

  • A week consists of 160 hours
  • “Normal” people sleep 56 hours a week
  • Normal bodily function and cleansing time of 7 hours a week (I don’t even want to be close to people that spend less time)
  • Drive time for commuting and other “alone time” of 10 hours a week

That leaves each of us with a maximum of 87 hours each week to interact with people we love and care for and the people we work with. The average person works 40 hours a week which accounts for nearly 46% of our available “interaction time.” How can that not be personal? How can we turn off who we are for that length of time and be someone else with no emotion? I don’t believe we should even try!

Since coming to this conclusion I’ve felt like a million bucks! I’ve finally realized the problem isn’t with me, it is simply a problem with the way some business people feel it “should be.” I enjoy the people I work with and every time we have the fortunate opportunity to bring someone else on board, I get excited. I know by doing so I get to expand my circle of influence and I will be exposed to a different perspective on almost every thing I do.

My advice to business people who don’t look at their company as “personal” is …

MAKE IT PERSONAL!

You should be in business for more than just the monetary benefit. I personally get excited knowing that by making my business personal, it will be impossible for the people I work with to get the wrong message. People are smart and can see through false intentions. If your goal is simply to make a ton of money from the efforts of your employees or the buying decisions of your clients … they will see that and the quality of your product and success of your company will soon reflect it as well.

Try the opposite of what you may have learned is right. Wake up every morning with the intention of making your products and your company better by focusing on making your business personal. Take a personal interest in making the lives of your employees and clients better. By doing this, you will soon discover a new found passion for your business and good things will follow.

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