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Business Lessons from Aretha Franklin

This is my response to the second question in my private conversation with Kelly McCausey.

Click here to read Kelly’s Question and then continue to my answer below.

Hey Kel!

Thanks so much for writing back quickly. “Much afraid” is exactly right. I remember now. That's exactly what you called me. And, thank you for the book recommendation. It sounds wonderful. I will absolutely read it, especially now that I know that's the reference.

Right now, I'm rereading “Don't Sweat the Small Stuff“. What I like about it is the practical nature of the advice. It's common-sense, but it's a book that I think I need to ingest about once a year to keep my perspective on life. Otherwise, the chaos of home and business can really get a bit… overwhelming.

Once of my favorite quotes is actually a twist on that book title. Are you ready?

“Don't Sweat the Petty Things and Don't Pet the Sweaty Things!”

I think that's sage advice. Wouldn't you agree? 😉

You said “If I remember correctly, you hid in a bathroom with a bottle of beer! (or was that another time?)

Kelly, that was EVERY time we did an interview! I needed *something* for my dry throat, and a nice cold beer hit the spot!

You said: “Now… truth: I am not always confident in my personal life. There are days when I wake up, look myself in the mirror and think ‘Who the heck are you?’”

I think we are all certainly still in a “getting to know you” relationship with ourselves. I'm still trying to figure out who I am, and who I want to be. I think, if you're not questioning that, then you're not really trying hard enough. You know what I mean?

I do appreciate your advice and your thoughts on my question. I really just am so in awe of you in so many ways. (Not to get all mushy again, but…) And, I think I see you oftentimes like a big sister in that you've mentored me in more ways than I think I've expressed. It's not just the money-making stuff, but the “Kelly, I need some grounding here and a reality check…” kind of talks we've had that have really touched me. I feel like I'm doing all the receiving in this friendship, oftentimes, though, so I hope you're getting something, too.
ok. Enough mushy stuff. You asked…

What is the number one thing that you look for in the people that you want to work closely with?

Leave it to you to give me only one answer. 😉 The number one thing I look for in the people who I want to work closely with? Well, there are several, but the one thing that is absolutely a must-have is someone who has proven to have shown respect. (Sing it Aretha! R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to ME!)

I always tell my kids that the one thing in life you have to learn is respect. Respect for yourself, including your health and wellbeing and your future. Respect for others, including their feelings. Respect for property, both our own and others. Respect for the environment. Just respect.

Anyone I'd partner with would have to show respect for themselves, respect in their business, respect to customers by providing quality (no shortcuts), respect to others in their field, and respect to me. It's kind of a broad answer, but it's just an overall feeling you get when you meet someone. If they are backstabbing people or putting out shoddy products, I don't really want to be associated with them. If they aren't showing me respect, before we even partner,  then I just can't partner with them.

A business partnership (or even hiring someone) is very much like a marriage in many ways. If the trust gets lost… it's very very hard to ever get it back. If there's an uneven feeling in the relationship or one person feels the other isn't treating her or their business with respect, then it's never going to feel “right”. And, that's one of the reasons I love partnering with you, Kelly. Because I can't imagine you *ever* doing something that I felt uneasy about or that felt unethical or unprofessional. You have that respect. For yourself. For others. For your business, and even for MY business.

ok. It's my turn to ask another question. I've answered this question a few times in different interviews, but I don't recall ever hearing your answer.

What's your #1 mistake you've made over the years in your business that has held you back both financially and professionally? (And, if you're thinking focus, then give me two answers. I know you too well.) lol.

Hope your nieces' babies are doing well. (Any updates?) 🙂

Talk with you soon, mi amiga!


(Keep an eye on Kelly’s blog for her reply.)

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • K.C. Gagne

    Two things:

    One… Send me that book when you are done rereading it. I promise I’ll send it back.

    Two… Respect is a perfect answer, especially for you. I think it covers Nicole to a “T”.

    Now I have to get back to work. 😉

    ~ K.C.

  • Nell Taliercio

    I have to agree with you about respect. I also don’t sweat the small stuff AT ALL…I’m so laid back. Looks like we’re on agreement chicky babe. lol

    This is fun stuff 🙂

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