Integrity and Being Successful
Sometimes owners (of restaurants, hotels or shops) were pushy, sometimes they acted friendly but turned into unhappy people as soon as they didn’t get what they wanted from me. Some tried to rip me off with fake taxes, wrong totals or made small lies to their advantage. All these experiences left me with a bad feeling, although most people were great and the trip was awesome.
As a business owner myself, I mostly learned extremely valuable lessons from these experiences.
It is very important to realize that a business transaction is really an exchange of service and a human interaction. It has to be done in a way that both parties are happy about the final exchange.
Many of the businesses that didn’t treat us well actually lost sales in the long term. We did not go back to their restaurant and didn’t recommend it to others; for hotels, we might have stayed longer if we felt at ease with the owners; and nowadays with internet, anyone can post reviews online. It is definitely more advantageous to practice kind business as a habit!
As a tourist I didn’t like when I felt that the shop owners only saw me as a walking dollar sign. On the other hand, I thought it was rude to haggle past a certain point just to gain a small sum when I knew that this little extra would help them greatly. Paying a fair price is a way to show my appreciation to the vendor. Respect and integrity from both sides are important values to satisfying interactions and transactions.
As an artist and a crafter, I am often in a similar situation as these small vendors from Guatemala. I enjoy when people appreciate my work and when they recognize the value of what I am offering. I make myself as available and helpful as possible, sharing my process, life story and inspiration.
I always make sure that when they leave my booth, they are happy and that we had a pleasant encounter whether they bought or not.
Sometimes people can lose track of the human factor of a business transaction. When shopping, people are not just acquiring objects that they like, they are also having an experience, a sharing with another being and that is often just as important of the actual purchase.
I am not friendly just because I want to make more sales, I do it also for myself and for others, and because it makes living much more pleasant to everyone. And then of course, I have more chance to have a successful business if I am honest, kind and genuine.
I have other articles on this blog where I share my experience and tips for artists under art as a profession, I look forward to hearing your comments and thoughts on the subject!
For more information about my artwork you may visit www.artbygaia.com