Good Business/Bad Business

Most of my posts deal with more creative, somewhat spiritual musings. However, a true spirituality is one that permeates the most practical of circumstances. Creativity, also is not reserved for the artists alone. It is meant to be a hallmark of everything we put our hands to. The nature of this post is pretty straight forward and practical. Perhaps even a bit of venting.

One of the best kept secrets in my world, is that alongside of being an artist and musician, I also have one foot in the business world. For seven years or more, I have owned a window cleaning business that has supported my family and enabled me to more freely pursue the true passions of my heart.

Being a business owner has taught me several things about dealing with people, particularly those whom I encounter through using our services. So, whenever I encounter another business, I naturally observe how they relate to their customers and how they run it.

I am sad to say that recently I have noticed a pattern in some of my favorite local coffee shops and other businesses that is simply bad. Maybe I'm just a whiny American that expects to be catered to. Nonetheless, for a business owner, its pretty obvious to me that servant-hood, and treating (especially long time) customers with a sense of honor, respect and gratefulness should be a given. Several encounters I've had over the past few months has shown me, not everyone shares this outlook.

I could easily jump to conclusions and say it is the result of a bad economy, but that seems to be a cop out. I could also say it is a reflection of a moral, ethical decline. That might be too harsh. Simply said, it's just bad business and a reflection of a shallow, limited world view.

Erring on the side of honoring someone, especially one who has invested hundreds of dollars into your business over the years, will never bring harm to you in the long run.

In short, I think it reveals a stark difference between a self serving mindset and the mindset of serving others. In all fairness, I'm not suggesting, I have this all together and thereby have the authority to point a judgmental finger at the rest of the world. I need to learn and grow in this as well (quite a bit). Nonetheless, if we base our actions and intentions off of a desire to serve and honor others rather than hoarding and protecting ourselves, we will flourish. Sometimes we can only keep what we give away.

On a more positive note, we did encounter a good example out there as well. One restaurant we recently ordered from completely screwed up our order. When we told them, they offered us a free meal for our next visit. That is, to me, good business.