When I hear people say, “It’s not personal, it’s just business,” I cringe inside. I don’t believe it.
As an independent professional, everything we do is both business AND personal. We ARE our business. Our success depends on our relationships with our clients and those who talk about us to others. And so if we think we can separate business from personal, I think we are just wrong.
When people see us outside of the professional setting, do they judge us differently? Do they forgive us if they see our sloppy car or see us treat people poorly? Not at all. They log those impressions into their overall opinion of us and form judgements of us as professionals.
And when large companies make business decisions that reduce our personal connections to them, it translates the same way. We feel less loyal to them and it indeed has a business impact over time.
So in reality, it always is “Business” AND “Personal” at all levels, not just for independent professionals but also for the corner store and GE and Tata and Microsoft.