I've always been a person of strong convictions. I don't need people to agree with me; I respect everyone's right to believe what they want, and my right to walk away from people whose beliefs or actions are too offensive/negative/frustrating to have in my life.
When we purchased this business, I wasn't on social media. Let's be honest; I was in my first year of grad school when VAX systems gave us email, and in my third year when we got access to the Internet. I remember the first computer that had a CD player and seeing a movie on a computer screen; it blew my mind. As someone born on the cusp of the Gen X crowd, I am not part of the generation raised with a cell phone in my hand.
Social media has certainly had a positive impact in how we manage our business, and it's made life easier in some respects. I don't intend for this post to be a debate on its merits. I do recall being warned about having to carefully curate what is posted because of the potential effect on "the business."
I've about had enough of that, to be honest. It goes hand-in-hand with the self-esteem movement, kindergarten graduation ceremonies, never allowing kids to fail, and all of the political correctness crap that has crushed the backbones of so many.
What do you stand for? Think about it. Then move the emphasis: What do you stand for?
In one way, it asks what you are about: your morals, integrity, important issues. Or, it can mean "what will you tolerate? How much will you "stand"/tolerate/suffer?
Either way, I believe it is important to know what a person, and a business, stands for, and what they will tolerate. The two are, by nature, linked.
I stand for honesty, integrity, kindness as much as possible, life-long learning, anti-ignorance, education, self-awareness, personal accountability and hard work. My business mirrors that.
I won't stand for politeness for its own sake, animal abuse, coddling, hiding my beliefs to get a sale, or the notion that the customer is always right, because they aren't.
I've had people chew me out on social media and say "I won't do business with you ever again." Inwardly, I sigh and send up a silent "thank you" to the universe. And I'm ashamed that I haven't had the backbone to just type that. "Thank you. Thank you for taking your business elsewhere." It's an odd thing for a small business owner to say, but as a wise accountant/cabin owner once told me, "when you are spending so much energy on one person, who you will likely never please, then you are wasting energy that could be spent on the type of clients you actually want."
David gets it. He's not on social media at all, but he's been chewed out on the phone after a guest has been called to the mat about damaging a home, and he just lets them rant and when they realize they are still going to be personally accountable for their actions, they scream "We are NEVER staying with you again." David just politely says, "Thank you very much. I really appreciate that."
Maybe it takes getting to a certain age before you stop caring about whether everyone else approves of your standards. Maybe it takes a certain amount of experience in life. Either way, the knowledge of who you are, what matters in your life, what you'd be willing to die for, and what is just fluff not worth a moment's thought is freeing. The detritus falls away and you are able to focus on living your life authentically. If someone doesn't want to do business with you because your political beliefs are different from theirs? Fine! If someone gets offended because you speak the truth? Fine! Focus on doing your job well, treating people as they deserve to be treated (think about the wording of that for a moment), and you'll be 100% okay. More than that, you'll have the peace that comes with knowing you're not a fraud.
What DO you stand for? What ARE you standing for that you shouldn't be?