I’ve been grappling with a tough situation at work. I got my feelings hurt pretty badly. For the first time in my short life, a client said things to me in an email that you only hear in an R rated movie… And that stings. A day like that makes you feel like you’re not good at your job. And when you’re self-employed like I am, that makes you feel like maybe you aren’t worth very much in general. I hate that it feels that way—but I invented my little business, so when my work gets sucker punched, I feel it deep in my bones. Worse still, no matter my efforts to diffuse the situation, to apologize, to fix the problem the best way I knew how (even though the problem was out of my hands), I was left with my very first ever nasty review on the biggest wedding ratings site. I know these are growing pains. As your clientele expands, the greater the odds of one of them being unhappy. In a sea of awards and 5 star reviews, this is, of course the only review I can see in my mind’s eye now.
This is proof positive that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time here. See? I told you!
Oh a whim, I decided to contact past brides and ask if they might go and leave reviews of their own. I’ve never considered it an important part of my business, but now that it was on my mind—why not? I was ready for whatever criticism they might have, and was hoping to find some goodness that would smooth over this rough patch.
I was completely overwhelmed by the kindness of my past clients, many of them passing acquaintances for the brief time we shared working on a creative endeavour of the heart, and the deeply personal messages they left for the world to see… They’re a comfort to me in ways these good people can’t fathom.
I feel rejuvenated by their kindness. And I feel a sense of urgency to compliment anyone I meet who is doing a good job. Affirmation is so powerful. You never know when a sincerely kind remark might change someone’s day.
It’s like Ben said—if you think of something nice about someone, you should always say it to them. No matter what. Will you commit to doing that with me? Let’s do it. Let’s be creepy and kind and not even care if it’s awkward.