10 Things I have learned about people while running a small business

I deal with people on a daily basis. Lot’s of people. I deal with people over the phone, via email, on Whatsapp, through text messages, and in person. I spend my day communicating with people of all ages (three and up).
I have learnt many different things about people in general over the years that I have been running a business, but there are 10 specific things that really stand out.

  1. People can be extremely nice.

    Because I work with adults and children, I have quickly come to tell the difference in the way that they function. Children are friendly and usually very nice, however sometimes children are nice out of respect. Adults that are nice, are truly nice. Let’s face it no adult is going to be nice if they don’t have to be. So when they are; it’s usually because they want to be.

  2. People can be extremely mean.

    Both children and adults can be very mean. Sometimes by accident, but usually on purpose. Children, especially going girls can be very mean to each other and as an authority figure I accept it as my duty to educate them that being mean is wrong. In the industry I work in (the dance world) there is a lot of cattiness, so I have always believed that there is no reason for there to be more cattiness at their dance home. The studio where students dance is meant to feel like home and I teach my dancers that we look after our own, we care for our family.

    Adults can also be mean, especially when it comes to protecting their children. Again, the idea of protecting what is close to home comes up. And adults should react in a protective manner over their kiddies. However, being protective and being mean are two very different things and often there is no differentiation between the two.

  3. People actually only care about themselves and their immediate family. You included!

    People can be very caring and very friendly, always helpful and extremely loving. But, when the paw-paw hits the fan don’t expect them to stick around and help you pick up the pieces. People will always think of what is best for themselves regardless of any loyalty that has been shown in the past. If you really think long and hard you will realise that this is true to you as well. You may care about someone you do business with, but if the going gets tough for them you will gladly take a step further away to help distance yourself from what may be going on in their lives.

  4. People that talk badly about you are most likely intimidated by you.

    Often people don’t always talk badly about you as a conscious decision. Subconsciously they do it so that other people with find you less appealing. Sadly, it’s human nature. As difficult as it can be to do, don’t take horrible things said too personally. Always pay attention to what is being said, because sometimes you do have a thing or two to learn and most of us can improve what we do in some way or another. But truly hurtful and untrue words should be heard and forgotten.

  5. People lie.

    People lie all the time. As I discussed over here people are way to used to telling little white lies. Somehow, don’t ask me how, it’s done without thinking twice. People don’t always mean bad when they lie, sometimes it’s to spare your feelings. But, none the less, they lie. And most of the time, down the line they will get found out.

  6. Nobody is perfect.

    We all try to be perfect, but let’s face it nobody is. Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others. Everyone should be allowed to make some mistakes. It’s how we deal with our mistakes (hopefully by not lying about them) that shows our true character. It takes a lot of guts and a very honest person to admit that they have made a mistake. However, through admitting you made a mistake you often gain more respect from others.

  7. There are people with problems and problem people.

    Learn to tell the difference. People with problems are people who are not trying to make your life difficult, however a problem has arisen that they would like to bring to your attention. People with problems would like a solution to their problem.

    Problem people are people that will always look for the worst in a situation. Often they don’t have a valid problem and often there will be no solution as there is nothing really wrong but everything to them is seen as a problem. Problem people always try to make your life difficult. In life, and in business, it’s a good idea to distance yourself as far away from problem people as possible.

  8. People want to feel loved and cared for.

    Everyone wants to feel loved for and everyone wants to feel like they are truly being cared for, especially in business. You want to know that your requests are being met. You want to know that your query is being dealt with. And that’s ok.

    However, the need to be loved and cared for when it comes to business can also be a problem. Why? Well, people usually know that they are not the only ones you deal with on a daily basis, yet they insist on being treated as if they are. Often people will behave as if your life’s goals is to keep them happy and nothing more. Unfortunately, even though we try to make sure everyone is loved and cared for, it’s not always possible.

  9. You can never please everyone.

    This is a very difficult lesson to learn and accept in business and it took me a few years to believe and accept. As human beings it’s in our nature to want to please everyone. You simply cannot. The more people you deal with on a daily basis, the higher the chances are that someone will be unhappy. The best advice I can give is to deal with a tricky situation and move on.

  10. Very few people notice your blood, sweat, and tears, but everyone will notice you mistakes.

    Isn’t this true for you too. People are very hard to please and we often don’t praise the good in people.  Let them make a mistake though, and you will make sure they are aware of it. Being critical of other people is just the way we are wired. Try to consciously praise people’s good deeds and efforts this week and you will see how taken aback people can be by this and then also how appreciated your praise will be.



One response to “10 Things I have learned about people while running a small business”

  1. […] then, I have a few more articles that may help along the way. This one is about people. This one is about being graceful with loss. And this one, is about […]

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