Just Business, Not Personal?

Abundance Community


Key Point: The idea that something is “just business” and “not personal,” is about one of the stupidest phrases ever coined. Frankly, that’s what business is. It’s very personal. In a world where it is easier to become impersonal, the most effective leaders and businesses are becoming even more personal. In order to create value for others you have to really see them, and know them.

Consider the following checklist on the degree you could really know a customer or teammate as highlighted in Brian Solis’ great new book, X. Can you answer these questions about the people you deeply care about?

Persona: Who am I? Who I aspire to become?

Expression: What do I say?

Publication: What do I share?

Profession: Where do I work? What do I do?

Opinion: What do I think and believe?

Details: How and where could you join me?

Reputation: What do others say about me?

Hobbies: What am I passionate about?

Certificates: Can you verify my identities?

Purchases: What do I buy or intend to buy?

Knowledge: What do I know?

Avatars: What represents me?

Audience: Who do I know?

Interests: Who do I connect to and what interests bind us together?

Values: What do I align with? Stand beside? And what’s important to me?

Location: Where I go.

Trends: What my peers and I are investing in regarding the horizon.

Experiences: What have I experienced and shared with my peers?

A few other categories:

Love: Who I deeply care about… Love all in.

Purpose: What I believe I’m on this Earth to do.

Joy: What makes me laugh.

Cry: What saddens me.

Ok, you get the point. It takes tremendous listening and attention to really understand another – not just to simply to sell or market to them, but more importantly contribute to what’s exceptionally significant to them… To generously give them something of yourself that they really care about. That’s the business of life, and frankly the life of business.

Character Moves:

  1. Remember that all business… Indeed, all of life is intensely personal. Abundance involves generosity of spirit and caring enough to deepen relationships. A tribe in South Africa has a beautiful greeting; “I see you!” And the other being greeted answers, “I am here.” Touchingly beautiful. What if this thinking permeated all work places? Why not?
  1. Always start with yourself. If you can’t answer your own questions regarding the above, well… How can you really observe and connect deeply with others?

It’s personal in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: I think we can all understand how separating “business” from “personal” became a popular norm. It’s just a façade to save face, a mask to limit accountability and an easier way to “rip off the Band Aid” if need be. But it’s great to see a more abundant, honest approach emerging within today’s most successful companies. It may be a more difficult route, but I think it’s filled with merit, honor and the value of personal connection.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis