Dave Rave – Five Reasons Business is Always Personal

daveraveRecently a video has been playing in Times Square and on the Internet and probably many other places that depicts Google as a monster company out of control with malevolent intent.

The video was put together by a consumer watchdog group, funded by The Rose Foundation.

The question on everyone’s mind it seems, is why would these people go after Google? And when all was said and done the explanation was that Eric Schmidt at Google had personally injured someone at the Rose Foundation.

The particulars don’t matter but it does illustrate a point.  The famous saying from The Godfather, “It’s not personal, it’s only business,” has found its way not only into everyday jargon, but certainly into everyday behavior.

The truth of the matter is, all business is personal, or it should be.  Here are my five reasons why business is always personal.

  1. Business is about character and integrity. If you don’t trust a company, if you don’t believe they have your best interests at heart, then you won’t do business with them no matter how good their product is, or how great the economic upside might be.  Business in the new world is about character, integrity, and trust.  Don’t forget that, and that makes it profoundly personal.
  2. Business is personal in the new world because we want to do business with people we like and trust. Like-ability is a huge factor.  There are so many players in so many markets, we have many options with whom we do business.  So like-ability trumps availability every time.
  3. Business is always personal because business is as much about the service as it is the product. Whether your organization provides a service or a product, people want to be treated well.  This is where you differentiate between the companies of the future and the companies of the past.  It is true, for now, AT&T can lock you into a two-year deal because they can, if you want an iPhone.  But in the very near future, that will not be true.  And you will do business on the basis of virtue, like-ability, and service.  And when you measure big companies by these criteria, some people are in big trouble already.
  4. Business is always personal because business is about more than a one-time transaction. Again, if all you need is someone to buy your service or product one time, and you’ve got them over either a feature or price barrel, then you can do pretty much what you want.  But of you need people to be on your side over the longterm, it is about making these people feel that, not only are you going to be there, but you’re going to treat them fairly and you’re also going to keep up with trends and new developments.
  5. Business is always personal because business is about helping people. That’s the bottom line.  As Rabbi Daniel Lapin has said in his book “Thou Shall Prosper,” “Business is being obsessively, compulsively preoccupied with the needs of others.”

Remember business is always personal.  It is never impersonal.  So by that criteria, where do you stand and what does your future look like?