Do You Have a YOB or a JOB?

On March 15th, 2011, posted in: E-News by 1 Comment

Many people who think they have a YOB (Your Own Business), really have a job. It almost happened to me, too! Several years ago we landed a really big client: ¾ of our time and effort went into that one client! Sounds good, right? Well, maybe – but maybe not. When we signed them up, my Dad said, “Be careful that you don’t sign up for a part time job.” (This was pretty amazing in itself as my Dad was the ultimate corporate man. Before he retired he was the Managing Partner of Deloitte in Phoenix for 13 years.)

Now we have several clients who are bigger accounts than this client I’m talking about was. But at that time, it was a big deal – a very big deal. Are you in that situation? One really big client? Maybe there’s a lesson for you to learn from my experience. Everything went along well, until… One day they told me to do something that was wrong – illegal, in fact. My first impulse was that they didn’t understand this was wrong. But I was shocked to discover that they did. No client, no matter how big a part of your business is worth compromising your personal and professional ethics. I learned that from Dad, too. (I tell people that they invented the word integrity to describe my Dad.)

So this is where you draw the line: It’s your business; you run it according to the rules and your sense of ethics and integrity. You can’t let a client tell you to do something that you know is wrong. So what happened to the client? We released them and us from our agreement. The fact that we were saying good-bye to three-quarters of our revenue didn’t concern me for long.

The very next month, my life changed dramatically. My husband was in and out of the hospital for a few weeks before he was finally in for good and eventually in a hospice facility. Ninety days from losing that client, I was planning my husband’s memorial service. How important do you think that client was then?

To survive in business and in life, you need to know what you stand for and have the ethics and integrity to live it out. You need to know who you are and whose you are. Then responding to tough situations will always be easier.

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One Response to Do You Have a YOB or a JOB?
  1. Great story, Carolyn! I delete 2/3 of the mass emails that I get, but I always read yours. I’d like to meet you for lunch some day soon. I would like to learn more about your business. I think some of my clients may be able to use your services. Shoot me an email and let me know your availability.

    Kim


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