• Writer for DDI on Medium

Why Authority Without Integrity Is Dangerous To The Credibility Of A Small Service Business Owner

Updated: Nov 4


“Let me tell you what it’s like to be an eagle.”


This is going to sting a little but ALL the best lessons do! My brother has a small group of employees he purposely trained to install electrical wiring without needing much of his supervision. Unbeknown to him, one of his employees literally snaked a job that was initially for my brother, and when all was said and done, the customer was super dissatisfied with the results, reported the employee, and the rest is history.


Nobody likes to feel less than or incompetent for very long. In fact, there is a whole study around the psychology of people who do things they are unqualified to do. But we all start somewhere, right? I remember what it felt like having to learn ‘on the fly’ working in advertising for the first time. Each day I arrived for work expecting to be sent home because I made many mistakes.

But, It’s Not The Growing That’s Dangerous


According to my brother, “Being unconscious of the cost of your mistakes, what can go wrong and who’s going to be paying the price is where the dangers lie. You can’t respect the unknown.”

All you see is “I was trying a thing” but at whose expense? So, it’s because you can’t fully respect the repercussions of your actions, that makes you unqualified to do the job. Have you ever noticed how doctors of the O.R. inform their patients of the possible dangers of specific procedures whether they need it or not? Someone with real experience, working in a particular space, understands the whole picture, not just a piece of it. In the employee’s case, he couldn’t see how easy it was for him to burn valuable assets to the ground. In my case, I was unaware of the wastage cost incurred through my lack of attention to specific details I secretly didn’t want to learn. Yes, the unknown is scary, but more importantly, it’s also costly to those on the receiving end. Too many local small service business owners operate without this measure of integrity. Taking jobs they’re consciously unqualified to do, disguised under the banner of help but secretly for the love of power and position.


Help Is Only Help If You’re Qualified To Give It!


On the other hand, offering a service you have a bit of knowledge on will become burdensome if you don’t actually ENJOY doing it. I once created a ‘One-Page Website’ for a client who provided a service she later realized she only enjoyed doing for herself, not for clients. Don’t underestimate the importance of loving what you do. Training and experience is just one aspect of providing a service if your purchasing public can perceive that you love what you do or don’t (and they can), because everything changes when your heart is in something — Your inspiration is effortless and authentic, and you’re more effective as a “teacher”. And before you tell me you’re not a teacher, let me ask you then, what are you doing when you disrupt the thought process of those you intend to serve? Aren’t your clients going about acquiring specific things the wrong way? So, if not teaching, what else will you call it? It took me two years before I was able to actually educate my purchasing public on their misconception of design. Prior to that, I didn’t even have the words for what I was experiencing while working with clients. And while we’re on the topic of words, even though writing is a HUGE part of my job as a designer, I sucked at it. I spent my former years staring at Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator, unsuccessfully depending on clients to come up with what to say. Things have changed since then, but I still go through those “why ask me for help with your messaging?” moments. Only this time I’m thinking that I’m only now getting the hang of it. Yet, I’m always looking for growth in my craft that makes sense. So, even without trying to become ‘The Web Designing Electrician’, growth can still make you feel like a “fraud”, on account of never feeling quite ready mentally, to publicly do things that are in fact authentic to the nature of your job, and that angst can be the reason for not enjoying a skill you’re building. Ponder on these things the next time you do something in the name of growth: Am I trained to do this? Is it in alignment with what I enjoy doing? Do I fully understand the repercussions of my actions? If it’s a no, then forget about it. It’s not worth the effort and it can certainly damage your chances of truly gaining an ideal client’s trust.


I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB **Get online in one day with the One-Page website **Learn more about The One-Page here **Or, Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. And please share my article if you liked it


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