One of my favorite television shows as a kid was “Little House on the Prairie“. I loved it so much that my grandma bought me a set of “Little House” books (which I still treasure). Oddly, my favorite character was not Laura or Mary or even Nellie – it was Pa. Charles Ingalls. For me, he epitomized fatherhood and masculinity. I learned many lessons (most of which didn’t really sink in until recently) watching him interact with his family, friends and neighbors. These days I try to use those lessons in my daily life – which includes business interactions. Here are three of my favorites…
1. Never let your pride keep you from asking for help.
Let’s face it, you can’t do it all. Occasionally we all need help and refusing to ask can be detrimental. Clients don’t expect you to know everything under the sun; the savvy ones are really looking for resourcefulness in an associate. Don’t focus on being able to do everything yourself, but in finding great resources that can help you get the job done brilliantly!
2. Never give up…even when things look impossible.
Running a business can be hard – especially when trying to get it off the ground. You market every which way you can and still business is slow. But don’t throw in the towel just yet, that big client could be just around the corner. Take a deep breath and one more step forward. Perseverance is key!
3.Being a good friend sometimes means saying the hard stuff.
This one definitely applies to the business realm. As business owners we have to be keenly aware of what we are and are not willing to accept. We are responsible for not only our own reputations, but our client’s as well. If a client asks you to do something blatantly unethical, the answer is clear – say “no”. But what if the situation is borderline harmful to your client’s business? Be willing to have the tough conversations. It’ll be uncomfortable, but will likely earn a great deal of trust in the long run. And if the client dumps you for being honest, well, is he the kind of client you really want anyway?