All of life is an ebb and a flow.
Success, beauty, joy, failure, disappointment washes in and just when you think any or all of these facets of life are permanent, they wash back out to the sea.
Gone. A thing of the past.
Why does this 180 occur? Only God knows. The seas ebb and flow, as does all of life.
The most interesting thing, however, is that the wise and the tough – and they must be both – understand this rhythm and work with it, in fact celebrate it, for its own majesty.
What do I mean by this? So you take on a client, a customer, or even more importantly a friend, and you are delighted by the union. There is something deliciously new in your life and you want, you are compelled, you are thrilled to make it greater than the sum of its parts.
For a moment, all is easy in the honeymoon. What a magical word “honey moon.” And then issues emerge:
* Are you serving the customer well?
* Is one plus one proving to be three?
* Is the client truly something special, a partner, or simply a party to a transaction?
If the latter proves to be true, the more you and your business give to it, the more disappointing that realization is. You are vesting in a ghost.
This must be where the term “paper thin” originated.
Back to the celebration. To the understanding of the ebb and flow.
The realization that we gave everything we had to a shadow but just because the customer proved to be an illusion, a wisp, doesn’t mean we lost a thing.
In fact, we gained. We learned more about the real and the artificial. About those who respond to a service culture, friendship, and those who live in a wax museum. Those who are not only no longer part of our extended family, but never really were. They are transactions lists. They are born for the ebb and the flow, especially the flow. All of our service methodologies fail to impact them because they are automatons.
Does this mean we stop behaving as friends? As family members? To the wooden soldiers, yes, but to everyone else who walks into our universe, our stores, our offices, our websites, of course not.
We celebrate the loss of the plastic. The customers who, once you seem to build a true relationship with them, turn quickly in search of a sale. Those who tell you in dozens of ways before you are prepared to hear it, that they see the kind of service you are seeking to deliver as a threat that pales in comparison to a cheap promotion.
And then, if you embrace the ebb and the flow, you wave goodbye. Why?
Because you understand. Because you never abandon your determination to give, to sustain your company’s service culture, your human human joy in moving beyond the transactional.
You just learn which doors to enter and which to close.