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Mind Your (Own) Business – part 2



Mind your business! Most times when we hear this phrase we translate it to mean – do not gossip about others, do not concern yourself with what others are doing, stay in your own lane and focus on what is relevant to your own life. While all this advice is true and wise there is another way to mind your own business. What is it that your hands have found to do? How do you generate income? What goods or service do you provide? How do you think about your business? How do you treat your clientele? What do you think about your clientele? Sometimes we might be good at our job but bad at our outlook and mindset. This affects the way we mind our business. Sometimes we complain about things that are the very reason we have work to do in the first place.


Have you ever heard a laundry or dry cleaning service complain about people staining or dirtying their own clothes? What about a restaurant chef complaining about how no one likes to cook anymore and everyone wants to eat out? Have you heard a person who sells weave complain about how no one likes to wear their natural hair? Have you heard a motivational speaker complain about how people are not positive enough?  Have you heard a barber complain about people’s hair growing too fast?


Imagine a world where everything we complained about actually changed. The first thing we would realize is perhaps we are not as positive as we should be. Perhaps sometimes we complain about things to our own detriment. Perhaps we complain about things that we do not really want to change in the first place. What if what we complained about with regards to our work and our professions actually changed for the “better” and came to pass? What if people stopped outsourcing the washing of their clothes? What if people stopped eating out? What if people stopped buying weaves? What if people stopped reading motivational books and attending seminars? What if people stopped cutting their hair or started cutting it themselves? All the aforementioned professionals who complained about the way or frequency with which their clients patronized their business would be out of a job – that’s what.


Sometimes we simply need to do a better job of minding our own business. We need to mind what we say about it, mind the thoughts we have towards our clients and mind how we perceive and speak on the fact that our clients are outsourcing this service to us instead of performing it themselves. This is what we want! We want people to not want to wash their own clothes, edit their own proposals, clean their own houses or cook their own food. That is how we are able to provide convenience and solutions and essentially ‘sell our market.’


Sometimes by our words, thoughts and actions we are unconsciously reducing our earnings, whittling down our clientele list, and limiting our potential. If the very service we provide is what we accuse others of being inadequate of then are we invariably saying we want more competition and less patronage? If it does not make money does it even make business sense? No! So if you are a cleaner do not complain about a messy house. If you are a personal stylist, do not complain about bad taste in clothing. If you sell hair do not complain that no one wants to wear their natural hair out. If you are a (insert profession) do not complain about (insert the situation that leads to people patronizing your business).


We need to understand that the reason we can see the weaknesses in someone else’s approach (maybe a client) and identify the lack of skills is because we are equipped to solve the problem. It is counterintuitive and not wise to provide solutions and hope to grow on the one hand while complaining about those patronizing our business or the general pool of those who need our services. Instead all our energies should be invested in doing our job well, taking the stress off the client, and delivering excellent solutions. As an editor sometimes I come across reports and manuscripts that need a lot of work. What do I do? I do the work. Complaining that my client wrote the initial draft poorly or wishing the manuscript was better written does not make sense. If everyone was a professional writer then my services would not be required and my market would not be selling.


Likewise as solution providers we must be happy to provide solutions. We need to remember to actually mind our business – to cultivate it, to nurture it, to invest in it, to be grateful for it and to perform our duties diligently. It is important not to berate those who patronize our business or look down on them for not having the skills/time/desire/energy to provide the service for themselves. After all, if they did we would be out of business! It’s easy to fall into the trap of complaining about our clientele, but if they did not have that demand we would not stand the chance of being a successful supplier. It pays to mind our business.


Even as we close out the year let’s strive to do what we do with excellence and positivity. Wishing you good success with all your hands, hearts and minds find to do!






Zeni St. John

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