“Choose Your Battles Wisely : Is it Really Worth It?”

TGIF everyone! Wow what a week it has been. This time of the year can be emotionally charged for so many people. And, unfortunately, as business owners, if we aren’t self aware and make a diligent effort to handle our emotions logically, our reactions can completely destroy our business reputation and relationships.

I have seen some highly intelligent, extremely talented small business owners with an amazing amount of potential fall before they even get out of the gate because they weren’t considering the big picture and picked the wrong battles to fight.

When a perceived conflict presents itself it is a very good idea to ask yourself a few questions before proceeding with a reaction. I, personally, make a point to take a step back for a few days if a situation sparks any type of emotional reaction to ensure that I am responding with a clear, logical frame of mind. [Unfortunately, I learned this from experience many years ago.]

FIRST, it is a good idea to make sure the problem you are facing is really a legitimate problem. Ask yourself if you are making any assumptions or if you are simply going through a difficult time and need to take a moment to re-group.

SECOND, if you can, try to talk to the person logically to clear things up. I have learned that once you know all of the facts, things make so much more sense and conflict resolution is not as challenging as you might think (not always…but still).

THIRD, and, so importantly, stay humble. None of us have it all together, and when a business owner presents themselves as superior, it has a negative effect on the way they are perceived, which, over time, can significantly effect their future earning potential.

Positive energy is SO important in life and in business.

AND, Lastly, don’t express anger or lash out at others. This is really the worst thing you could possibly do in regards to your business reputation and relationships. This type of behavior has no place in business and is perceived as toxic to anyone on the receiving end. I mean, you can be extremely talented and have all the potential in the world, but without people skills, all that hard work you have put into perfecting your craft can easily go to waste, especially if you have no clients left to take care of.

We all know that running a small business is challenging and can be intimidating at times, especially when you are initially coming out of the gate. But, how we handle ourselves in times of great stress shows the world what we are really made of.

And, quite honestly, if handled carefully, times of conflict or difficulty (real or perceived) from a fellow small business owner can present an excellent opportunity for us to support another business owner if we are in a position to do so. This leads to trust, and can develop into a very healthy long-term business relationship. Again, not always, but still…

And, just to be clear, support does not always come in the form of money, sometimes all a person needs is a little flexibility and understanding.

In my journey, thinking “outside the box” has been absolutely necessary for success when working with small business owners but, sometimes, there are situations you simply can’t fix. Heck, at least you can say you tried.

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year for all of us!

Happy New Year fellowpreneurs!