Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Absurd Moments in Life and Business

I have recently been challenged with some absurd moments or comments out the mouths of folks who should know better. I have to tell you, I think other people's absurdities -- especially when these observations are made about others -- are pretty entertaining. You can't take these things seriously, because they are so ridiculous. I thought I would throw out for your amusement some of the moments I found ridiculous or just plain absurd. Here you go.

"You don't understand what it's like to have a new baby." This statement came from a primary source of the ridiculous, and might I add, the invalidating. I have two children for the record. So, before I tell you why this statement was really just a way to invalidate my capacity to understand the difficulties of young mothers, my daughter is only seven-years-old so she is not that many years passed baby or toddler. For someone to make that suggestion about a mom who has two school-age children is absolutely absurd. And for someone to make that suggestion about a mom who started her business to be more present in her children's lives, also, absolutely ridiculous. But I thought all you moms of young children would find the statement very entertaining.

All grown up and gone away. Oh, and this same person made the ridiculous statement that my kids were (and I quote this loosely) "grown." Yeah, I just sent my seven-year-old off to college just the other day. "Bye-bye honey! Don't forget to learn to read while you're there." As many young moms, in particular, will discover as they go through the process of raising young ones, each state in their lives requires a different level of attention. I get why a mom who has yet to experience these phases would make assumptions about what each phase entails (or in this case does not entail ... maybe I should add the word "neglect" in here); however, (and this is my mom preach) we mothers need to be aware that as our kids mature, their needs change. And as they are better able to take care of themselves, other emotional and physical needs pop up. In my teenager's phase, it's more valuable for me to be a constant when he gets home from school. My very presence will prevent problems latch-key kids encounter. In my daughter's case, she requires a lot of one-on-one attention to help her with her reading, etc. (now off my soap box).

"You 'poached' my clients." This statement came in another round of the ridiculous where concern was expressed about another agency's irate clients deciding to change providers, and that in their quest for help, I went out for a little expedition to catch a few. To be sure, the conversations I had with upset former clients was hardly an unlawful pleasure trip to the Serengeti. I can't express the "joy" I felt while on vacation and people contacted 3L who were upset with their current provider, wanted out, and strongly expressed their feelings to me. In situations where different publishers and agencies exist, if you have concerns about client loyalty, my best advice: button down your customer service, deliver what you promised, and keep them happy. If you've accomplished these three goals, so-called 'poachers' can't make the hunt happen at all.

Competition doesn't exist. To be clear, I have never believed in competition. I believe people work with who they want to work with. They work with people they like and trust to do the job. Any loss of clients (if you're an agency big or small) is a direct result of actions (or lack of actions) on your company's part. To suggest that anyone from 3L went out on a big game hunt is ludicrous. We don't work that way. I have never worked that way; and quite frankly, don't need to work that way. If you are on the competitive bandwagon, have confidence in your company, products or services. And just stick to your journey. No one can take anyone from you that you nurtured, watered and cared for. Anyone else you neglected, didn't get the job done, or left hanging ... well, chances are like all neglected things, they will go in search of water and food.

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