Entrepreneur lessons – At times we need to give a little more thought to our actions as business owners especially when it involves clients. Here are a few of the hardest lessons I’ve learned over the years. I hope they can save you a lot of time and misery.
Entrepreneur Lessons That I Learned the Hard Way – Be careful who you surround yourself with in front of your clients
I had a situation a few years back where I took a “friend” to an event because she was out of work and I knew there would be people there that could help her get back into her field. The VP of the company wanted me to ride with him to the event and I sat in the lobby with her while he got dressed. When the VP came downstairs and was ready to go, she complained that her feet were hurting and we were walking too fast. FIRST WARNING! We get to the event after the VP and I slow down for her and she speaks to everybody and she had a drink which leads to another drink and another drink. She gets drunk and I can hear her slurring her words and speaking loudly while I’m talking to colleagues on the balcony. SECOND WARNING. I pull her to the side and tell her “You are drunk and you are talking too loud bring it down a few notches. She agrees and 10 minutes later she is even louder. THIRD WARNING. I am HUMILIATED and EMBARRASSED and my client is being cordial but I can tell he is not impressed.
I opt to leave the event early just to get her out of there. As we leave she goes for the final coup-de-gras and asks several people for their cards. I was MORTIFIED as they all lied and said they didn’t bring any cards. FORTH WARNING. We leave and she takes off her shoes and is complaining about her feet again as we end up in a coffee shop and she is now fully drunk. I can’t believe I invited her and I KNEW she had a drinking problem but I was trying to help her get a job. The next day at another event, I had one glass of wine to try to relax after the mishap the night before and I got tipsy myself. I usually don’t drink. Now I have made my OWN impression. While the client still does business with me, they have not invited me to any of their events since and its been 3 years. I mentioned to her that she made a fool of herself and I was trying to help her and she did what people like her do, she told me I was over thinking it and that I should not care what the client thinks. I should have never expected an alcoholic to take responsibility especially when she then stated she was not that drunk.