How is your marriage with your clients?
When my wife and I were having difficulties, we ended up seeing a counselor for a short time. One of the first things they did was have us take some tests, the first and most appropriate one to start out was the Myers-Briggs (and later the DISC) personality and other tests. What an eye opener for both of us.
I’m an extrovert, she’s an introvert. I’m a high level thinker and idea generator, she’s a detailed-orientated person. I tell her, “I plan on being spontaneous this afternoon” while she says, “Oooo, let’s plan on leaving right now to go to a dinner and a movie!” (Joke intended here.)
We laugh about it now, but early in our marriage, it was not so funny.
But when we both found out about each of our various differences and began to understood this about each other, the first step among many more, now the question was: How do we work together with this information? Any marriage will have disagreements, but the more important part is: How do we come together and work out these differences?
The same with anyone starting a business, opposites attract. I’m good at what I do, my wife is good at what she does, we find people that are weak in our area of strength and help them solve their problems.
Business and marriage
When you start a business, you’re in the same boat.
You “court” your customers much like your court your potential spouse. In business, it’s your business strengths versus their business weaknesses.
Your strength are either in your talents or your time, i.e. either you’re great at what you do and your customers are not, OR, they don’t have the time to do what is needed and they’ll gladly pay you to do it for them. It can be in the way of doing bookkeeping, mowing their lawn, or providing great coffee, you provide the service for them even though they might do it themselves, they’d rather or should not do it.
Find that third way in your marriage, spouse or client
One of the best books that my wife and I have read recently is the book, Crucial Conversations, that discusses how not having a crucial conversation over an issue can create havoc, but not only in a marriage, but also a business, too.
When we have disagreements, at home or the marketplace, we normally dig in our heels and stake out our positions and won’t give an inch. Now a fight ensues with both sides thinking that a compromise, “giving up something,” is the best way when in reality being creative means coming up with a third way which is the better solution.
The idea of the “third way” is that both sides get 100%, a win/win, not compromise/compromise and both sides feel like they’ve lost.
Same with your business.
You’re to “love your neighbor AS yourself,” creating a win/win scenario, not a compromise, both on the home front and in the marketplace.
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. Martin Luther
So tell me, is your client glad to see you? Or is your business marriage ready for divorce court?