OK, I’m going to let you in on a secret. I have watched You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan lots of times. I’m not going to say how many times, because I actually don’t know. But it is a lot! And everyone knows the exchange between their characters (okay, Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly... yes, I know the names) about business:
Joe Fox: It wasn't... personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's personal to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?
I’m going to tell you that yes, most of the time it is business. But sometimes things hit home a little too closely. Sometimes you do take things personally. And it hurts.
Recently something happened in my business world, and it hurt me personally. A lot, actually, if I'm being perfectly honest. I work very hard for my clients. Sometimes at the expense of my own personal time and well-being. And, well, I felt that all that hard work was completely unappreciated. Worthless.
That. Hurt. It was personal, very personal to me. It didn't matter that it wasn't my business. Even when it's a client's business, and in the big scheme of things has nothing to do with me... it's personal. The work that I do is personal because it represents who I am. What I mean is, I do damn great work, and that's who I am. I work hard and I'm going to work my ass off and fight for your business like I would fight for my own.
But when you don't see how much I care for your business...
It got to me in a bad way. Maybe it shouldn't have. Maybe I was just having a bad day and I should have just shucked it off to "it's business." Maybe I shouldn't care as much because others don't care as much. I don't know.
But you're going to come across these times in your own business. It's going to suck. It's going to hurt. And it's going to be very, very personal.