We all have those things that our mother told us time and time again. If you have children, I bet you even have a select few phrases or points you just LOVE to reiterate. My mom and I recently took a trip to San Francisco to celebrate her 70th birthday, so we were reminiscing about all of her favorite lessons. Many of them have helped me throughout life, but now I even notice that these words of wisdom have helped guide my business relationships, too.
- Honesty is the best policy
Living in Charleston, means I usually feel surrounded by trustworthy folks. I like that I don’t really feel worried about having shoplifters in my store or having someone try to take advantage of me when I’m conducting business. However, there are plenty of times when it’s tempting for me to not be as honest as I could – like not getting charged for something at the grocery store. Mom always led by example that if you didn’t pay for it, it isn’t yours. I especially try to remember that now that I have a store where I hope people would be honest with me.
- Live by the golden rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s pretty self explanatory, but this advice has even helped me with client interactions. Whenever I’m pitching someone to work with me, I always like to let them know what’s in it for them. Putting myself in other people’s shoes instead of just being in it for myself lets everyone win.
- Always have something to look forward to
Perhaps this is why I wound up with a business mantra that every day should feel like the weekend. If you find a small joy to be excited about, it really does feel a little more like Saturday! This can be something as simple as looking forward to lighting a candle when you get home from work or trying a new adventure, like visiting a nearby town for a day trip.
- Don’t live beyond your means
While a lot of my friends were getting store credit cards in college, I remembered that mom always encouraged me not to spend more than I had. If I want to go on a trip, it means I’m going to have to plan for it and set aside money along the way. This is far less stressful than having to pay for something after the fact. Besides, there are plenty of other ways to establish credit (i.e. leasing a car). Perhaps I’m not as wildly successful on paper as I could or should be, but I’m proud that I have never gone into debt in order to have my shop or my online business. I pay for new product manufacturing as my other product sales come in, and while this lends itself to slower growth, I don’t have a bank to answer to at the end of the day.
- People’s Favorite Subject is Themselves
My mom could make friends with a stump, and I think it’s because she always makes it about you and not her. This echoes some similar thoughts from “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and it definitely holds true. People do love to talk about themselves, so why not show interest in their favorite subject? Ask them what they did over the weekend or find out how their kids are, and I bet you will be at the top of your client’s list the next time they have a role for you.
The next time you feel tempted to roll your eyes a little when mom shares her 2 cents, take a second to give her words a little more thought. More often than not, moms really DO know best!
Liz left her career as a speech therapist in 2015 to start a lifestyle brand and blog, The Charleston Weekender. She offers products that help make every day feel more like the weekend and enjoys blogging about travel, interior decor, and entertaining. She and Mimi Striplin of The Tiny Tassel recently opened a brick and mortar shop in downtown Charleston called Cannonborough Collective, where they carry local goods and balloons.
Photo credit: Lucy Marie Photography