I think we all want to be professional.

When I first started my business, I believed that a perfectly polished persona (that’s a lot of p’s!) allowed me to give the best customer service I could.

But you have to ask yourself, at the end of the day, where does this flawless profile get me?

Well, I’ll tell you.

It creates expectations of you that are, for all intents and purposes, totally unrealistic.

More importantly, when you make it look too easy, folks will take advantage. It’s just what we do.

So now what?

The good news is, it’s quite simple to change.

There are a staggering amount of people that I’ve met since moving back to Brantford that have really impressed me.

One in particular is Marc Laferriere

Always professional, thoughtful and sincere, Marc did something one day that changed the way I ran my business.

He told me a really dirty story.

What he really did, and these were his words, was hugely important. He welcomed me into the inner sanctum.

Did this dissolve my opinion of him in regard to what he does for his community, his family or his friends or how he does it?

Nope.

It made me realize that it’s important to let people see some of your flaws.

Let people (and yes, this includes customers, vendors, peers) see what you struggle with and are challenged by.

I’ve personally found that allowing a glimpse into my foibles has been a really rewarding experience.

I’ll give you an example.

Consignment.

More than half the folks who visit Netty do so to consign their clothing to the shop (whereby I sell it on their behalf).

This is a win/win.

Except when it’s not.

I have a whole room in shop where there are bags, and bags of clothes that people have not pick up. I affectionately call it hell.

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This room is my failure.

However, instead of concealing the fact that I am clearly ineffective at getting folks to get their belongings, I decided to literally open the door.

When I have a new consignment customer come on board, I now simply open the door for folks to see for themselves.

It feels strangely good to share this burden. And you know what? These new folks are picking up their clothes.

To be successful in business does not mean you need to be perfect. You need to be perfectly you, foibles and all. Let people see the whole package, and you’ll get nothing but good stuff back. Promise.

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