When I was little (still am, just older), my idea of a businessperson was someone who was intelligent, stern, and busy and wore a suit and shiny shoes along with a contemplative look on their face all the time. In fact, in researching the root of the word from Etymology Online, in Old English the word business was bisignes (Northumbrian) and meant “care, anxiety, occupation,” and from bisig “careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent”. As I get older, that’s simply not the case. There is a difference between business and just abrupt busy-ness.
If you do something you love, something that lights a fire within, it shows. You can’t hide it because it emanates from you. It’s like watching a master baker kneading their dough until it’s just right, soft and airy with a bit of crunch on the outside or moist and dense and filling. Or it’s like watching a nail artist creating fantastic, colorful and otherworldly designs with the paintbrush of their imagination. Or it’s like watching a doctor soothing a patient in distress.
Business is about connection. It’s about bringing value to people. It’s a vehicle by which change and opportunity happen. It also can be done with a pocket full of humor. After all, laughter is the best medicine. Think about experiences you’ve had in the past when it came to customer service or meeting a new business associate. Did something funny break the ice? Did the lack of a human connection kill the deal?
Numbers are important. Data is important. However, so are the things that make us human, because the interactions we have are really always person-to-person with other things (like tech) as the intermediary. At least for now until the machine overlords take over*.
Image credit: CC by bertknot