You may have had the same experience growing up. A time when you become more self conscious. Wanting to meet the needs and expectations of others, trying to win over people through favors.

For a lot of us, this was most evident in early stages of adolescence. Where there was an internal battle over how to behave in order to keep your integrity while trying to connect by satisfy other people.

If you’ve been through that, you’ll know how tough it was and still is to achieve a balance between the two, but when you finally get there, it is most rewarding as you find people who appreciate you for who you truly are.

You want the same in business. Customers who appreciate your brand not because of monetary gains (i.e. cheaper prices), or simply because of a sudden fad that caught on.

Instead, you want customers who are loyal to your brand. People who understand what you stand for. People who identify and appreciate the values you represent and stick around because they believe in what and who you are.

Pleasing others Vs. Pleasing yourself

It can sometimes feel like we are placed into the choice between pleasing others and meeting our own needs. But in reality, do we actually understand what is pleasing to others or are we simply bending over backwards for things we assume?

Pleasing itself assumes and entails an attitude of approval seeking. It is focused on the positive feedback of the other, and represents an act of chasing.

The actual act of trying to ‘please’ others can sometimes be ineffective, particularly when your main motive is to please others to promote appreciation of your brand.

A reason why the concept of pleasing others can also be problematic is because people have different needs and standards. When that happens, when do you draw a line, and if your goal is to please everyone, then is there a line at all to begin with?

As opposed to pleasing others, the better way to think about it is ‘respecting’ others, especially your customers.

Laying the groundwork of respect

On this blog, we see our readers as our friends and try to keep it light and casual as we give advice on various matters.

However, we do sometimes make mistakes with our approach and that was exactly what happened in a recent incident.

Last week, in our post regarding culture, we sent out an email to our subscribers quoting an advice Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb had received which included the use of profanity.

Many wrote back disappointed at our use of the word and that was when I realized we had overstepped.

Before we continue, I’d like to use this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all readers of the AfterShip blog for our use of offensive language. I would also like to take this chance to thank everyone who took the time to write back to communicate their disappointment. Your opinion hammered into us the following insight.

We realized that if you are true to your belief, then there will be people who appreciate you for what you stand for and continue to follow you. However, the one thing that you absolutely cannot compromise on is respect, as it is the groundwork on which every relationship is built upon.

Thankfully, many of our readers and even of the people who had wrote to us were forgiving of our slip up, understanding that we had not intended to offend.

So in summary what is respect?

It is the due regard for others. To act in a way that shows you care about their feelings, recognition of the other and a show of consideration for those around you.

“Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching.”

Amy Rees Anderson

Building character

In people as is in business, your character is where the true value lies. All else will come and go with time.

The first iPhone, revolutionary as it may be is all but in the past. What really stands the test of time is the character of the business, their vision and their attitude.

In Ali Mese’s article ‘I Can’t Tell You Why Our Business Is Growing’, he talks about the anti-funnelists.

While conversion rates are helpful in identifying the leads and turning them to regular customers, let’s also not forget about the importance of caring for your existing customers. People who right this moment are opting to support your business!

These are people who have a preference for your brand. They are the very people who identify themselves with the things your brand stands for.

Looking back at the concept of the Golden Circle, the main concept to gaining traction is not to focus on appealing to people. Instead, it is to have integrity and standing for your beliefs.

Think for a second about your closest friends. Are they the people who say “yes” to your every desire or are they perhaps people who have a little push back?

Now think about the people you admire in life. Do they play nice with everyone by agreeing to every statement or are they people who strongly believe in what they stand for even if that meant putting one or two people off?

In life, we are drawn to people who share our beliefs, who fight for the things they value.

In business, we give props to companies who show integrity for their being and that applies to even the ones who may hold values that may differ from us.

A successful company is one that builds their business on a foundation of respect for their customers, with integrity for who they are and what they stand for. What are your beliefs and how have you protected you values? Let us know in the comments section below.

Enjoyed this article? Make sure to also check out other articles from the Golden Series!