Be a “Lover” or a “Fighter”?? BE BOTH!
Maybe you have heard in your life that you’re either a “lover” or a “fighter”. These words and assumed divisions are another example of a societal norm that couldn’t be less applicable in business. The same way you have been taught about “home-work” balance. In business you need to be BOTH; a LOVER and a FIGHTER. You need to charm when necessary, be likeable, and genuinely operate with integrity….BUT…. and yes there is a BUT, when necessary you must also be a fighter. A relentless pursuer of the goal. One that won’t backdown to anything or anyone under any circumstances.
I just hung up the phone with a large utility provider whom we are seeking easements from for a new development project we have underway. It is a pretty simple and common “checkmark” in a development deal, or at least it should be. Its been a slog. I have gotten almost nowhere with getting these documents done. The first 3 weeks I was a lover…tame and accepting. But this has gotten me nowhere, so now it’s time to adjust and become a fighter. I won’t tell you the rest, but you get the point. Continuing with a single approach all the time on 100% of the issues in business won’t solve problems. You must adjust based on circumstances, priorities, attitudes, and people.
I was 18 years old when I started my first business. It was a mobile automotive, boat, and motorcycle detailing business. We would travel to the client and detail (intense cleaning) their machine. It took off but I operated it with pure GRIT, as a fighter would. I took harder positions on things than I needed to and ultimately may have cut myself short. For example, if it was 100 degrees in July with no shade and even the client asked, “do you want to reschedule”, what do you think I choose to do? We NEVER cancelled an appointment, NEVER. Making the “fighter” decision may cost me later in the week because I was too worn out to schedule another appointment.
In every business-related situation there are usually three ways to act; love, fight, or do both. This concept has served me very well and established my reputation as a respectful but strong business person. Like anything, it takes constant practice but the more you do, the better you get. Get good at this and you’ll do more!