It is becoming inherently apparent to me how important it is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. I am a Christian and the commandment has been a long standing reminder in following in the footsteps of God, but I’m imperfect and I lose my footing here and there. If you’re not Christian, please don’t be turned off or stop reading! This won’t be a sermon of any kind, it’s really an observation that I’ve learned as a person living in this crazy world.
First some background information. I’m a writer, but that doesn’t pay the bills. So, on the side I’m quite the entrepreneur. There’s something about building your own business from your own two hands, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart! But it is one of the most rewarding experiences when things work out. Anyways, I run my own wedding videography business and volleyball club. (The combination is totally random, I know)
In all of my personal endeavors, it requires me to interact with many different types of people: stressed brides and grooms, athletic children, some not-so athletic children, overbearing parents, invisible parents, bibliophiles, etc. Your first thought would be that none of these people is like the other. Wrong. If there’s one thing about communities, it’s that no matter what there is some connection from one person to another, somehow someway.
Whether you run your own business or you’re running errands for a boss, it should be your number one priority to present yourself in the most professional manner and to treat people kindly no matter the situation, because I guarantee that one day later in your life there will come a time where you’ll meet that person from your past and you’ll wish that you hadn’t yelled at them for making you frustrated, or showed them mercy that one morning you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. And when I say “meet,” I mean either indirectly or directly, because remember everyone is connected. That person might just end up being a client’s best friend or the significant other of the boss in a company you would like to work at, or maybe even worse that person now IS the boss–if you leave a bad impression with them, you can bet they’ll remember; but it also works the other way around, if you treated them as a friend, then I guarantee they’ll do what they can to return the favor.
I’ll give you a personal example. For my volleyball club, I need to find gyms to rent out for volleyball practices (this is the hard part of my job). Over and over and over again, I have been screwed over by LAUSD and the experiences have been less than ideal. One day after another issue with a gym LAUSD matched us with, I got to talking with a parent of two boys we coach (his sons are delightful players to coach) and he shared the information that there’s a private school near his home that we should check out. We found out that it’s a school that we did use once in the past when we first started out (we LOVED that gym and were the best renters possible, but for some reason we weren’t able to get anymore dates and moved on to a new gym). Then, the parent told us that he actually knows someone who is well connected with the school and told us he would put in a good word for us. One short passing conversation and a good impression was all it took to get our foot back into the door of that gym.
Basically, you need to understand that even though the universe is endless, the world is a very small place. With social media and new avenues of communications constantly popping up like flowers, you can become friends with someone hundreds and thousands of miles away, and that’s just amazing. I’ve met so many new people on bookstagram (@AJLeighBooks, be my friend!) who share the same interests as me and it’s a wonderful experience sharing it with them. You never know how when you’ll meet that person again and how they may be able to help you when you’re in a tight spot. So, present your best self even on social media, because you can tell a lot about a person by the things he or she posts, but that’s a totally different article topic.