I used to think that kindness was for people who were just a bit soft…in fact for the longest time I didn’t even realise I had a kind side…like seriously, I couldn’t see that side of me.
I think kind gets a bad rap.
Its a bit cringey to say “yeah I’m big into kindess”
And maybe that’s why so few people use this value in their business, or maybe I am just being mean and judgemental, and folks are kinder than they are letting on, and maybe I’m not so kind after all for thinking that.
As a business owner, as a business coach, I am often described as no bullshit, I am an East London based, say it as I see it, get shit done kind of gal…BUT…this is actually my way of being kind to the world.
What people from the outside don’t always know about me however is that I am also a massive empath….I seriously want to change the world. My clients are sometimes surprised that it’s not all about kicking they’re butt, or pushing them to be more productive. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
I had some new brand photos taken last week and the photographer let slip that she reckons I am actually a little different offline to online, in a subtle way…she thought that I was a little softer, a little kinder perhaps in the flesh.
The German writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described kindness as “the golden chain by which society is bound”, my Nana simply said, “being kind never cost no one nuffin” and for someone who rarely went to school I think they were some quite profound words.
But don’t take my kindness for weakness people, there is a real business case for my kindness, and I would suggest you take a look at the 5 reasons I think we should all be just a little kinder in our day to day dealings as business owners, especially business owners navigating the online space.
Kindness is FREE
So let’s start with the obvious. With resources being stretched, and there always being new things to spend your time, money and effort on, any free business hack that is going to affect recruitment and retainment of clients works in my book.
People don’t always remember what you say, or what you did…but they remember how you feel. And this is what brand loyalty is all about. So many business owners focus on getting that first sale, and then they are looking for new folks, rather than nurturing and supporting their existing clients….the ones who are most likely to buy from you again…and tell all their mates about how awesome you are. Which leads me nicely onto my next point
Kindness is CONTAGIOUS
Its called the ripple effect…of modeling behavior, I do something nice for you, and this gives you renewed faith in the world, and you go out and do something nice for someone else. Before you know it we are all nicer people, making more money, and having a greater impact on the planet. Sounds utopian…but seriously kindness is like a virus (ooopss not a great analogy) its contagious, and OK some people are immune, but most people get it after a while….and eventually we are all the stronger for it.
Ok lets move swiftly on shall we?
Kindness is good for MENTAL HEALTH
Daily acts of kindness can seriously have an effect on your mental and physical health, both as the giver and the receiver. Often when we do something mean or from a lack mindset, it stays with us…and we can’t shake it off, being kind stays with us too, but in a warm Ready Break kinda glow…making it almost addictive. When we have other people to consider it takes our mind off our own woes, and often karma sees to it that we get rewarded, by other random acts of kindness…we just notice more of the good stuff perhaps.
Kindness makes you and your business MEMORABLE
I always say personal brand is what people say about you behind your back when you are not listening. Do you really want to be known as a bitch (sorry mum), or as someone who behaves badly? Now this is not about doing things that always serve others over and above your needs…having good clear boundaries that are communicated clearly and kindly, even if at the moment of saying NO, can end up being a great lesson for the person on the other side of that no. When a business or a brand does something super kind, clients and customers remember…long into the future, just imagine what that referral marketing is worth to you and your business.
Kindness to self is likely to help with BUSINESS RESILIENCE
Remember, you are at the heart of your business, and I bet you, you are not as kind to yourself as you could be. I bet you say mean things to yourself when you make mistakes, I bet you beat yourself up when you are not as productive as you could be, and I would even go so far as you probably punish yourself by working long hours, saying YES to more than you can handle, and not outsourcing where appropriate.
Being kind to yourself in business isn’t a nice to have, its a necessity. Having an awareness of where you are not being as kind as you could be, having a support network who watch out for you, and remind you when you need to give yourself a break…thats super important to your business success and sustainability.
Burnout is real, and it is costly.
So where do we get started with kindness? Do we have to change everything we do? Nope. We just need to start small. Kindness is like a muscle…use it or lose it.
Small…daily…regular acts of kindness towards you, your clients and the wider world will go a long way. Surrounding yourself with others who are committed to kindness helps.
Seriously…I truly believe that without kindness we are limiting our capacity for increased health, wealth and happiness…and isn’t that why we go into business?
Why not join my #100daysofkindness campaign.
It’s simple really, join my FREE Facebook community, commit to getting involved, and be seen to get involved by pledging your support, and then get daily prompts and inspiration, share your experiences, ask for and give help and support to others, and each week I will do a FREE training session on a Tuesday morning that will help you build a more productive and profitable business.
Can’t say fairer than that hey?
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist and business mentor. She has spent the past 20 years building and leveraging communities, both online and off. She knows how important it is to create cultures of cohesion, collaboration and care for one another. She also knows how to build profitable online businesses…the two are not mutually exclusive.