As a professional, even at this level, it can be difficult at times to treat close friends and family as clients. There are additional actions we may take to go above and beyond for people we care about that we would not normally do with clients we have no prior relationships with. It is natural because relationships and human connection are not only at the core of the business world, but they are also at the core of who we are as visionaries. Leaders have an innate desire to make sure everything and everyone connected to them are taken care of, but in the business world this often backfires.
In this blog post I will share why it is important to refrain from giving close friends and family special treatment/discounts during business transactions.
1. You are in business to make money.
At the core of running a business the bottom line is the bottom line (in addition to making a positive impact on the world). Your prices are in place for a reason – to help you achieve your sales goals, to be compensated fairly for your work, to cycle back into your business to grow bigger and better, and to pay your damn bills (don’t forget about those they come every month sis).
2. If they don’t pay you they will pay someone else
If you really pay attention you will find that everyone has the money for the things that they want to do. Do not think you will be counted out because of your prices, trust me…if they don’t pay you they will hire someone else to do the same thing and be willing to pay top dollar for it.
3. Going above and beyond is not always appreciated.
The act of going above and beyond does not always seek appreciation, but it is OFTEN overlooked and undervalued. This can cause a crippling feeling of knowing that you stepped out to do extra work based on the strength of a relationship and the other party never considers this additional effort. Taking it a step further, they may even have the nerve to ask you for more of what they do not deserve. By nature, humans are looking to gain the most value by making the smallest investment, even if it is coming from a close friend or family member – hell they are usually the worst ones.
4. It is draining for you
You would not sit at a 9-5 for 40 hours if there was no guaranteed paycheck at the end of the week. Do not tire yourself going beyond your limits, do not guilt yourself into thinking that you must do extra work because of a person’s connection to you, and never discount yourself. The people closet to us have a tough time seeing our value- they either grew up with us, grew up babysitting us, are close to us in our current day to day, etc. so for them it may be challenging to see the forest for the trees. Do not make business decisions that cause you to sacrifice peace and waste energy. As a business owner a top goal should be efficiency; giving special treatment that robs you of your ability to produce consistently is not efficient.
5. It can cause strained relationships.
Now, this may not necessarily be a terrible thing because the silver lining in this is while it is extremely frustrating it also exposes the true character of a person. See you don’t really know who someone is until money is involved. This also allows you to weed out who is worthy of being in your life and who isn't. I've seen and experienced many personal relationships go astray from a business owner making the decision to give special treatment.
You are the gatekeeper to how you handle business deals and often times stress, relationships, anger, business deals gone bad can be avoided by sticking to yur guns and the systems you have in place.