The Incorrect Businessman Stereotype

There is an incorrect stereotype out there about what it takes to be a successful business person.

A while ago we were having a conversation with some friends and one of them…

…was trying to describe someone else they knew.

He was being described as someone who looks out very well for himself (and not so good for others), ambitious to a fault, will do almost anything to get what he wants, has a reputation for being stingy, and is largely set in his ways.

And then this person said “I guess he would make a great businessman.”

I almost cried.

Ok maybe not, but why?  Where would we even get this?

Do you like doing business with selfish, stubborn, cynical people?

Me neither.

Why would we think they would make a great business man or woman?

I will buy from someone like that once, but I won’t return.  And it’s tough to run a successful business without repeat customers.

So something is not adding up here.

Entrepreneur’s get a bit of a pass here in my humble opinion.

We think of entrepreneur’s as young, hip, brilliant prodigies who work out of local coffee shops and magically make big bucks while saving the world and creating a more sustainable environment for all.

But a businessman, now he’s someone you better keep your eye on.

Where does this misperception come from?

Probably from the bad apples in the group.  Every movement, organization, group, or denomination has its nut-jobs.  We all know this, may as well just get it out there.

But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Just sitting here I’m thinking of at least four respectable, generous, (ambitious, sure) caring, open-minded business people for every one grouch that comes to mind.

And while a few of the negative ones I can think of are successful enough at what they do, they’re not even remotely close to the success level of the positive ones.

So all you responsible businessman, businesswomen, (and yes, entrepreneurs) out there, hear me on this.

You’re good people.

You’re givers, not takers.

You have a purpose, work ridiculously hard, are willing to accept the associated risks, and don’t live for the applause.  (link intentionally not provided)

Here’s to you.

Bask in that for at least a minute before you move on.  Seriously.

But the reality is that an impeccable reputation can be marred by only a few dumb decisions.

So let’s do our part to change the stereotypical ‘businessman’ to be that of a reputable, respectful, generous, honest, caring person that gets things done.

Because that’s good for business.

Entrepreneur, Investor, Optimistic Realist. Saved by Grace, Student of Life. Husband, Father, Son.

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