October 2, 2006.
One of my favorite movies is The Godfather (1972) and the book is an incredible read also. I have seen it numerous times and even did my final paper on it for a film class in college. Yet, I did not realize how much I would re-use a quote from the movie after starting my own business:
This is true 99% of the time, even for women business owners this is true. It is NOT personal, it is business. Yet one is it personal? When do you decide to make it personal? When do you decide that you need to bend the rules? When do you decide that this time it IS personal?
Well I decided to make it personal last week.
I started this business in late 2002, yet did not pursue the web until middle of the year 2003. I can remember doing searches on the web for products like mine and for top children's boutiques. I would look at them over and over, not quite brave enough to call them or submit my products.
Then one day I got my nerve up and I sent an email to one of the sites I had admired for so many weeks. I sent a nice email, with a few attachments of photos of my products. The owner actually called me on my 'new' business line I had just put in. She was very nice, very complimentary and she really showed me what to do with getting my products on line. She became an advocate and a friend who was also honest about my prices, even telling me I was charging too little, where instead she could have just marked her prices up.
Long story short, almost four years we have worked together, she used to talk to me and confide in me and really help me when no one else would. I really appreciated her honestly and willingness to help some one she did not even know. At the time, she was one of our biggest accounts. Now at over 150 channels and climbing,and some major companies, her company is not one of our biggest - but that does not make her channel any less important to me.
So after working together for about two years she asked me a favor, not a big one, but a favor. I was very willing to help her out and I agreed. It was one of those 'what if' scenarios, and I was happy to oblige her, I owed her and I was loyal.
Well, this past week, that favor came a knockin', and I remembered my promise. I called back my friend, had asked her about our conversation over two years ago. She was dumbfounded that I a. remembered and b. was willing to keep my promise. I told her I was loyal, that no amount of money was worth that.
We don't talk as much as we used, back in the day when we weren't as busy we talked weekly. I do have fond memories of one conversation though, I told her something about me being so new to the business and I was just a small company, a nobody. She actually raised her voice at me, scolded me and said, "You are NOT a nobody, you are a somebody. And mark my word, some day you will be very successful, I know this about you. I know you will be very big some day and you are already a somebody. Don't ever say that again."
I miss those conversations.....