Doing Business, The Way I See It Anyway

After spending the past two weeks in what I thought was preparation for a joint partnership with a company, which will not be named, I once again walk away wondering where people get there business sense.   I say two weeks preparing, but truthfully after our conference call they were prepared to go public, make a big announcement and show off a logo with both our names on it.  They said, ” let’s get on this by tomorrow.”   LOL   it was 10 days later I sent a dm to them saying, I haven’t heard a word, no announcement, no communication, thanks anyway but I am out.

     Now do you believe in coincidences?  Not me, less then 2 hours after sending this message I dont get an answer, but another member of the team that operates this company out of the blue tags me on Twitter in a post.  I followed up by copying my original message to him which led to a long exchange, in which every time I said I was done, he ignored me and said we are ready to go.   Three times I was ignored,  4 if you count the very first message. 

     A full 3 days after this the first person I messaged, sends me a message and an email.  First saying he had been dm’ing me all week but they wouldn’t go through.  Plus in his email he attaches the graphic 12 days in the making which looks like it was made by someone with no skills in this area at all.  

    Why am I explaining all of this?  Well it is two fold, one reason is to give a thorough accounting of how not to-do things.  The other is laying out that layer after layer of what can only be interpreted as lies or bad management.   I dont know which and since I have no plans of continuing to work with them which I have now explained for a 5th time today, it doesn’t matter.

     I have done very well over the years with small businesses and companies I have created and operated.  My first at 15 years of age, and yes I had business cards and did very well for myself with a dj compnay.  I worked school dances and corporate events, yes at 15 year’s old.  I decided to write a book a few years ago, one of 3 I have published, and it was about do’s and don’t in particular in a small business.

     It is incredible to me just how many people take things for granted and make mistakes that are easy to avoid.  Now the first one is something I still struggle with and that is the impression we give.  Sometimes I do or say things I later regret, but I do learn a bit more every time.  But this is more or less what happens with first impressions.

     I have often given examples to others of two situations I was in that made a difference in someone else’s work.  The first was a day driving into my office.  Apparently I was too slow, a guy whipped around me honking the horn and flipping me off.  I got to the office and settled in, and when I was ready, asked for my first interview of the day.  I was doing some hiring.  I bet you can guess who walked in?  The look on his face was of someone who knew he had seen me, but couldn’t quite figure it out.   I said to him, “Do I look familiar to you?”  He said yes, but couldnt figure out from where.  “I was the guy you flipped off this morning.” 

     I told him I wouldn’t put him in one of my company vehicles because if he pulled that same shit driving my vehicle it would be a mark on my business name not him.Thank you for coming in, dont let the door hit your ass on the way out.   The other instance was just that kind of image. 

     A vehicle pulls up to do a paint job at a house.  Not hired by me, it was a neighbors.  He is driving a beat  up old mini van that had seen a lot of abuse and miles.  Yes vehicles can be expensive, but sometimes its just better to present a good image.  When him and his partner arrived, garbage fell out of the vehicle, like old coffee cups and a beer can.  Ouch, strike two.

     Over the next few hrs as they worked they screamed and swore like there was no tomorrow.  I have no idea why they felt they had to yell all the time.   Now I ask you, when it comes time to do some painting and you are thinking of hiring someone, will you remember them?  Will you remember them for good reasons?  Maybe they do a good job, but lots of people do good work.  I would probably not even ask my neighbor about them.  First impressions are a bitch.

     So are last impressions.  When you finish a job, leave things as good as or better then when you started.   Now you might think if it isn’t a job that involves work like a paint job, or a repair how can you do that.  Make sure that the person you are working with or for is satisfied.  If there is billing make sure everything is clear and no issues.  There is nothing worse then getting a bill from somebody with extra charges, that were forgotten to be mentioned.

     I will never eat in a restaurant that charges a gratuity instead of tipping.  I am sorry that the younger generation  are too damn cheap and ignorant and often don’t leave any tip.  That goes back to the parents who raised them without good values.  Yes I Said That!   When I dine out I do so for convenience among other reasons.  When I get good service I tip appropriately.  When I get bad service I still tip but not as much.  I also will remember the next time I am there if I get the same server and bad service again.  I will tip a small amount and never sit in their section again.  If I get really good service which happens a lot, I tip very well.  I think nothing of 25 to 30% or more in those cases.

     People who work hard and do a good job deserve to be compensated and noticed.  If I get really good service,  I make sure the manager knows just how good a job that person does.   It is all business and while some may look down at someone is just a waiter or waitress, its more then that. Most take the job seriously and work hard.  Imagine a restaurant where they serve larger parties and those tend to generate better tips.  Your compliment may be the difference in that person getting that assignment, and thus a chance to earn more money.

     It is not about just ourselves in the world.  We all fit together in some fashion in what makes this world go round.  Treat people how you want to be treated in business and in life.  Remember we get what we pay for.  If you want a beautiful cabinet with a custom finish, you dont go to Wal Mart.  You pay for quality.   Everything ties together, including in the music industry.

     My favorite example was of the guy who sent me his album to listen for potential songs to play.  When I explained the submission process and why I dont have enough time to go through his entire album, he sent me an email ripping me a new asshole about how his whole life was in this album and I couldn’t take 40 minutes of my precious time to listen.   First impressions can be killer.  He said exactly what he thought.  Good for him also with his devotion to his product.  Shifty way to handle it though.  After I explained why I couldn’t take 40 minutes of my precious time, he did apologize and made some excuse about a bad week.

     Don’t cover up your mistakes with lies and bullshit.  If he had come back with, something like I hadn’t considered it from that angle, and I really fucked up and was rude, he might have gotten a second chance.  We all make mistakes in life, its called being human.  So if you do, own up to it.

     I didn’t go too deep into my ideas about a good business, but what I did mention and give examples for are the most important.  We all are marketing ourselves in some way.  So the next time you share a link with friends for a hot number with pictures of her doing things with sheep, think twice.  Unless of course you are doing so well you don’t give a damn who you upset, alienate or just plain piss off.

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