Is Being ‘Nice’ Killing Your Business?
Real talk: Being ‘nice’ almost killed my business.
Years ago when I first started my business I got addicted to being ‘nice’ with good intentions. I truly wanted to be of service to others and I consciously decided to help as many people as I could. There’s nothing wrong with this–more kindness in the world is a good thing. Where I f$#%d up was that I subconsciously tied being ‘nice’ to wanting something in return to complete me.
Looking back, I didn’t have much love for myself and was addicted to the high I felt when I got thank-you’s and atta-girls from other people. I needed other people’s praise to validate me. I didn’t realize that I was taking my ‘nice’ to a toxic level. All I knew was that being nice to people made me feel good. But only for a little while. Most of the time being ‘nice’ sucked. Why?
In order to be ‘nice’ I constantly agreed to do things I didn’t want to do like entering into a trade or offering deep discounts instead of charging full price for services. I wasted time going to events I didn’t like and bought books and products I didn’t want because I didn’t want to have awkward conversations about why I didn’t want to participate or buy their items. By doing this I gave away my power to people who didn’t even realize they had it! And then I was ultra pissed off and resentful at them when I felt like they didn’t appreciate what I had done. I ended up working very long hours, being constantly drained, and earned almost nothing in my business.
I share this experience with you because being ‘nice’ can be a subtle cover for not taking responsibility for your happiness. The more I did for other people the less time I had to be real with myself. It was easy for me to get upset with other people and accuse them of being energy vampires or blame them for holding me back. As long as I was blaming someone else, I never had to look at my role in the situation. Once I realized that I was trying to buy love with kindness I went to work on myself, not just as an entrepreneur but as a spiritual being.
I invite you to take an honest look at where you might be ‘nice’ in giving your time, energy, and/or resources to others. Ask yourself:
- Am I uplifted and energized when I am doing this? Or do I feel resentful and drained?
- Am I only doing this to avoid a difficult conversation/confrontation? If so, is it safe for me to be honest in this situation? Why or why not?
- What would I really like in return for doing this? Why? How would I feel if I didn’t get that?
As you answer these questions keep it real. If you’re being drained or feeling resentful in a situation, it means you aren’t really okay with that situation. By acknowledging your discomfort your intuition will start giving you the insights about what needs to change and what’s in your highest and best interest to do to in that situation. (If you’re unsure about getting messages from your intuition, check out my video.)
Remember once you see that you aren’t in alignment with certain people or circumstances in your business it’s up to you to make the necessary changes. You can’t blame anyone else (or yourself.) I highly recommend reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck to help you understand this power of choice.
It took several years for me to really understand how to love myself and embrace my true work. Now when I do nice things it’s because it’s on my heart to do not because I’m passive-aggressively expecting something in return. As a bonus, I know how to shift my clients through this subtle but painful energy in a way that allows them to be heart centered and powerful.
Remember, being nice when you’re coming from the joy in your heart is perfect. But hiding behind ‘nice’ when you’re supposed to be the powerful kick-ass leader that you are is only going to dull your shine, repel your best clients, and may even kill your business.