Clearing Out the Emotional Goo
Running your own business is an emotional task, even if you want to be professional and logical. No amount of professionalism can keep you from feeling. Of course it’s scary and exciting to lose or gain a client, to pitch a product, to decide whether to add new staff or buy new equipment.
While having emotions is human, and normal, to a large extent it’s better to keep those emotions out of your business transactions. If you and your significant other just had an argument over who should do the laundry, you probably don’t want to let the client you are working with know all about it. More to the point, that person probably doesn’t want to know all about it.
It is uncomfortable to hear about clients’ and colleagues’ messy emotional situations. Sometimes. If you’ve worked in an office with the same co-workers for 20 years, you are most likely a part of some of those messy emotional situations. If your client is also a friend, listening to her ups and downs is just being a good friend. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with making a joke or letting a prospective client know you are having a great day.
It can be really hard to figure out when you are letting too much emotion mix in with your business. You might be crossing that line without even knowing it. I am not good at hiding how I am feeling – or at least not for very long. If you infuriate me, chances are you’re going to know about it, even if I don’t want you to. I won’t scream my rage from the roof tops, but you will hear it seeping through every word.
Emotional cues are powerful. I knew it was time to quit teaching when I cried everyday. Eventually, my emotions were dictating everything I did at work. It was highly unprofessional and embarrassing, and ultimately one of the most important lessons of my life. Rather than attempting to suppress how I feel, I now pay attention to it in order to figure out which way to go next.
Once in a while, it’s important to take stock of where your business is emotionally. If every conversation with a client or supplier leaves you feeling anxious or angry it might be time to part ways. On the other hand, if you have warm fuzzies every time to talk to a client, she might be the key to pinpointing your ideal customer.
Just taking a little time to analyze your feelings after you talk with a client or complete an important project will help you keep emotional goo from gunking up the works of your business. Of course, business cannot be all cupcakes and sunshine, but making sure you have more joyful moments than painful ones associated with your work will go a long way towards keeping you motivated to be successful.