This is a super touchy subject, seeing as I own ICB Consults and I am paid to help women run better businesses. I am far from perfect, likewise, is my business. However, I have learned in the last six years to keep my mouth shut unless I am being paid to respond. Even when I am, I don’t voice my opinions when clients make critical mistakes in their small businesses if they didn’t listen to me the first time.
Keep My Mouth Shut With Clients
Yes, even with my clients I don’t voice my opinion on certain subject matter. There have been clients where I have told them NUMEROUS times to do something and they don’t listen. Then, things still don’t work in their favor because the route they were trying from the start was wrong. People tend to think they know what’s best even when they pay you. Think, if you’re a service based business, how many times have you advised clients to do xyz and they argue with you because they feel they know what’s best. Or even better, their family member who has NEVER worked for themselves told your client it was best to do it this way. My clients joke that I tend to shut down ideas immediately. Let me clarify, I shut down things that are time wasters, no return on investment projects, and stuff that don’t align with their business.
No To Strangers
People ask me for advice on social media all the time. Most times, it’s completely out the blue. Like, I will post a photo about me having coffee or my shoes, and someone will ask me how can they grow their brand because they lack traction. One, I don’t tend to give out free advice beside the content I want to provide. If I just answered people’s questions, they wouldn’t hire me. They would think all they had to do is just ask her on social media. Now, if it’s related to a blog post, yes I will answer. However, most times it’s just a random question. People don’t want honesty, they want you to pacify the situation. Some people have literally wrote back to me that I’m too harsh, blunt, etc.,. I just give an honest opinion of what’s wrong with their business. If you’re using grainy stock images, I am going to tell you to invest in a professional photographs.
This is a super hard one for me. Most of my friends own businesses. When I started six years ago, I was the only one with a business. Now each of them has a business, some have re-launched, and others taking their businesses to new heights & so on. I have seen friends who are one step away from getting a trademark infringement lawsuit and others whose websites make me cringe. No, I am not perfect at business. I am constantly learning, though. Yet my friends will call, email, or text me about their businesses. Some people truly don’t want advice, they just want you to agree with their mistake. I am not that friend. I will tell you don’t waste a dime on that and that you can do it better if you do it this way.
I’ve learned that most of the time, people just want to be pacified or to see their excuse is good enough to keep going. I am not that person. Excuses are crutches that keep you in the same place you were last year. I am very thankful that when I was making critical mistakes, people spoke up. I wasn’t receptive at the time like I am now.