Have you ever been out to an all-vendor event? I love these kinds of evenings as they tend to be a love-fest where we meet out competitors, friends and newcomers. I also find a lot of candor when it comes to sharing information. We hear a lot of triumphs, but most are very hesitant to share their mistakes. While I wish we could be more comfortable in being open, it’s understandable; no one wants to give the impression they are doing badly. Even I tend not to talk about my bad years until I am doing better.
Not too long ago, I went to dinner with a few vendors who, after a few drinks, allowed the conversation to become a festival of bad mouthing clients. As the evening progressed, I found myself wanting to join in on the fun and share some of my own bad experiences. Thank goodness I was quickly reminded of a client who told me she refused to use a vendor after he made negative statements about a previous client. After the dinner, I felt terrible. Mind you, most of us have clients who come to us in the hope that we will help them celebrate a very important moment in their lives. Most of the time there is a lot if fun, but at times, because of pressure and high expectations, they are not the best version of themselves. The reason I felt so awful is because I remembered how stupid it is to bite the hand that feeds us, even when “just having fun”.
I suspect that, at times, bad mouthing with vendors, friends and family is our way of letting off steam, but I think we need to be more considerate of our clients and our reputation. After all, without clients, we would have no business at all. I will keep this in mind in the future when the temptation to poke fun presents itself.
How do you feel about this topic? Am I being too serious? What has your experience been with this?