The fine line between personal and business

A little while back, someone asked me:

If business is personal, and I think it is, cause I don’t leave myself (my person) at home when I come to work, then how do I NOT take it personal when the business relationship I worked hard to create with my clients goes sour?

It’s an easy thing to fall into.

While your goal is to make the relationship as personal as possible with to your client, and perhaps even to you, you still have to keep in mind that when the relationship goes sour, it’s the business relationship that went sour first in most cases.

If there wasn’t a personal relationship – even perceived – the rest of the relationship likely wouldn’t have lasted long enough for you to feel it was valuable enough to take <whatever> personally.

It’s one of the reasons I’m constantly banging on the need to find more ways to strengthen the relationships with your clients by personalizing your business. The stronger those relationships are, the more likely they are to survive a business issue that would break an impersonal business relationship.

To be sure, there is a fine line that you have to find when not getting too close, but I can’t tell you what that is for you. What I can tell you is that the better the personal side is, the more likely that the business side will last as long as you want it to.

When the personal relationship goes south, the business relationship can easily become personal. What else is left?

9 replies on “The fine line between personal and business”

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  3. I agree that business is very personal. I would add that it is often a personal relationship that comes first, and then the business relationship forms. I think it’s not as much a question of the two being the same as it is that the two are often different. Business clients can be very good friends, and often that can save a business relationship before it goes South.

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