Stop Being A People Pleaser — Your Sanity Matters
Before I started Websterpeace, I read a lot of things that said one of the hardest things about Entrepreneurship is saying "no" -- a skill that I thought I had. I didn't worry about that at all, and I told myself that when the time comes, I could say no. When the time comes, I'd have no problem. When the time comes, that won't even be an issue.
Little did I know, I would be the absolute worst person at saying "no" when it came to business matters.
I ran into an old coworker recently who made me think of this issue, and how big of a problem it was for me starting out. I was really hungry for success, but maybe a little too hungry. When I started out, I would literally take every project request I got (which I think entrepreneurs need to do for a while to get the ball rolling... but that's another story).
I couldn't tell people no, regardless of how hard I tried. A year ago, you could ask me to make a revision 50 times more than what was agreed upon, and I'd never say what needed to be said. I wanted to make sure that the customer was happy at all times, but at the demise of my own sanity.
One thing should be very clear though -- making clients happy is a wonderful thing, and I cannot emphasize strongly enough the difference between offering great customer service and being a people pleaser. Great companies work together for the greater good of the client, and also have the ability to input professional opinions where they think it's necessary. People pleasers will agree with every single thing the client says -- lacking the ability to stay objective. All of our clients would agree that we've got some of the most helpful customer service in the industry, and that we work incredibly well together - objectively.
But with that being said, the first step to ending your people pleaser tendencies is to stop telling yourself that you're just a nice person. Sure, you might be - but at the end of the day, your "niceness" hurts your bottom line. Stop thinking that you're going to send your client into a spiraling rage when you tell them that there is a very slight price increase because of the additional services rendered. For the most part, your clients get it - they're human beings too, and they understand how business works. Giving your clients a run-around will close the door on having a professional, constructive conversation on what's best for their project.
Simply put, here's the biggest thing I've learned this past year:
You Can't work with everyone
And much more importantly, you should not work with everyone.
For example, I work primarily with folks that understand the power of the internet and social media, but might be having a hard time trying to harness it effectively. I work with those that are willing to invest time in growing and expanding their business, and truly want to see it grow. I've turned down jobs before, not because I didn't want to help a certain business or see them grow, but because I know how I can be helpful and what's a good fit for me versus what's not.
In the beginning of your career as a creative or entrepreneur, you probably don't have much of a choice of who you work with. But once you get that ball rolling, make sure that you know the types of people you want to work with - it'll help you avoid becoming a people pleaser.
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