by Gray Graham
Recently I re-learned a very important lesson that over the years I guess I had forgotten. The culture of the business world today is a lot different than it was in the 1980’s. How we carry ourselves while conducting business is completely different today than what was done in the past.
In today’s laid back lackadaisical world, it is more important than ever to always conduct yourself as a professional. When you are in the financial industry this is a lot easier than when you work in the entertainment world. No one thinks it is appropriate to get a long embracing hug when discussing your business loan, but when you talk about working together on a movie, it might not be a big deal.
A lot of creative artistic people struggle when it comes to business matters because it takes them to a place most artists have tried to avoid. Business is rigid and cold. It is uncaring. It doesn’t make you happy or feel good. Sometimes people say things that hurt your feelings and make you feel bad. Most of the time business people tell you something that you don’t want to hear. They give you deadlines and they boss you around. Business just doesn’t make you happy.
I strongly believe that the reason service and business endeavors have become so relaxed is because professional organizations have become too friendly with colleagues and clients. I know we don’t want to admit this but we treat our friends a lot worse than we do the people we have to work with in business.
We will ignore our friends for days when they call us, but when someone calls us about business or financial opportunity then we promptly answer the call and are on our best behavior. Sounds a little backwards doesn’t it?
This attitude has carried over into the professional world and probably is the beginning of a lot of problems that occur in business environments. Sure there were always people that would go beyond the line, but everyone used to know there was a line that did not need to be crossed. Today can you tell me where that line is and even if there is still a line?
I believe that in order to do the very best for ourselves and our clients we should always conduct ourselves in the most professional way possible. When we fail to do this then we enter a place where problems are bound to occur that can be easily avoided.
Working with creatives instead of business people over the past couple of years made me relax a little bit too much because business seems very cold to artists and the average person today. People want to feel happy about the people they do business. Companies have focused on making people feel good instead of providing quality products and service. Somewhere along the line being polite and courteous got confused with being friendly and informal.
I am not saying that you have to be cold and emotionless, but you definitely shouldn’t treat the people you work with as your best friends. You might think that you are close friends when they are really just someone you are working with at a particular time. The moment you try to flip that switch to be focused on business, completing your project, and reaching your financial goals; your friendship and business relationship are going to come to an abrupt end.
We all need to remember to keep business as business and personal as personal that way everyone is on the same page. This will insure that you achieve your stated business goals. Completing your projects and gaining financial rewards is the true purpose of business relationships.