As I build my yoga and kettlebell business, I continue to feel like a blade of grass growing up in the cracks of a concrete, city sidewalk.  I use every ounce of creative energy I am able to muster to dig my tiny roots down into a most difficult environment.  My passion, which is also my niche, is definitely not as marketable as mainstream cardio exercise.

And I look about at the business and corporate world today, I continue to shun the philosophies and practices that drove me from my full-time misery that included insurance benefits and vacation pay.  I continue to see those practices everywhere and I am still repulsed:

“Here’s your review and this is why you stink.”

Thanks, but I’d rather know where I excel, and need you as my manager to guide me into a place where I can put my skills to work so that I can earn lots of money for you.  My weaknesses do not override my strengths, and I would rather be truly praised.  If you must address my weaknesses, please keep that meeting separate.

“Please take this survey so that we can better serve you.”

No thanks. I’d rather that you be in contact with me directly and that you understand me well enough to know that I hate to take surveys and that I want a peaceful, hassle-free experience which doesn’t include an irritating survey that gives me a one in ten million chance of winning a $500 gift card to your store.

“Let’s set five goals for you this year.”

Okay.  Let’s set five goals for me that mean nothing to me, so that you can still meet your numbers required by your management.  When I achieve my pretend goals, you and everyone above me – especially the executives – will take home a fat bonus.  Sounds fair.

Really?  Must we?  Must we go through these vain practices that only result in more vanity? No thanks.  I’ll take my little business, built in my own way.  I will continue to shun surveys that badger.  Instead, I will make honest and respectful requests of my clients.  If someone is upset with my services, we will work it out in some way.

I will encourage those under my tutelage to reach for more by using their strengths.  I will not call them into my office every year to tear them down or to point our their failures.  Showing them the way is my job, every moment the client is with me.  I will serve and not asked to be served.

I will continue to set tangible goals for my clients that are related specifically to their desires.  Seeing one of my clients reach formerly unachievable physical feats is a total rush for me!  My reward is a deep satisfaction in my heart and gut to know that I have been partly responsible for changing someone’s life for the better!  I can think of no higher purpose in life.

And, let’s not overlook the fact that happy clients will always share their stories.

Again I ask…must we?  We mustn’t!