Entrepreneurs need mannersRunning a business, no matter how busy you are, does not give you the right to “mis-place” your manners. Common courtesy and respect seem to be not so common these days with the busy entrepreneur expecting, or perhaps it could even be classed as demanding, answers at the drop of a hat (and usually for free).

So lets rewind a little bit and get old school for a minute.

Do you remember when you were in school? Yes, now for me this goes back over 20 years but stay with me here. Remember when if you wanted to ask a question, you put your hand up – you just didn’t demand to be helped. You patiently waited your turn in the tuck shop queue so you could buy your icy poles or twisties for morning snack. And do you even remember saying thank you to those that helped you learn?

“So what the hell has happened with society nowadays that these old school values have gone out the window – to be replaced with rude, obnoxious, demanding entrepreneurs who make you feel bad for not responding to a query within 30 seconds?

Seriously? Where are your manners?

It seems each week, we experience a lack of manners and an increase in attitude and let me tell you right now, we don’t stand for it. Here are this past weeks examples:

  • Emails from random strangers asking for quick help for their growing business for free. They don’t even have the decency to say “Hi Stacey”. Now excuse me while I go and find my charity registration number – oh wait – I AM NOT A CHARITY. I run a business – just like you. Where clients pay for my services and support. So if you don’t pay me for my time, I can’t pay my staff, I will lose my clients and my business goes under. Not really a winning scenario right there is it?
  • People in various Facebook groups (who are neither accountants, BAS agents or any form of financially degree qualified person) giving out incorrect advice to do with GST, Payroll, Business Activity Statements, Tax returns, Receipts – you name it. Of course, me wanting to help – I provide the rules as per the ATO/Fairwork/ASIC (insert relevant acronym here). Only to be told “well that is a matter of opinion”. You see – no – it is not my opinion. The law according to the ATO and ASIC and Fairwork is just that, the law. So if you don’t wish to agree with me – cool, I can live with that. But can the other business owners live with your illegal and incorrect advice?
  • I have a life. I know right – funny jokes – as accountants can’t possibly have a life right because we are all just boring nerds. Well I do. I actually doing other things on a weekend. I enjoy not answering the phone after 6pm. I expect my staff to have a break on weekends and after hours. Assuming I don’t want to go to the gym, or visit friends, or have a nice meal without logging into accounting software in between bites….well that is not on. We love to help – that is why we have an admin support employee and receptionist to answer emails and phone calls when we are busy. But we are also busy humans – not robots, who deserve a little bit of respect for the rules we have in place so we can continue to service our clients in a professional way.
  • We teach our kids to say please and thank you – and they are six and four. They get it – so we expect the same of anyone who we come into contact with. It is not hard. In fact, you should try it more often. It is a real pleasure to thank the people you deal with, the people who solve your problems, the people that fix things for you – heck – say it to the cashier at Coles for all I care. Just say it – manners are free.
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words reflect on you. I have been called many things in my close to 20 years working as an accountant. Numbers nerd, numbers geek, spreadsheet lover – whatever. I can brush most of them off as to be honest – they are a bit like a badge of honour – you wouldn’t call me those if I wasn’t good at my job. But saying things about me or my business which are not true, or making assumptions about my services and pricing without understanding my skills and qualifications – well that is just throwing around uneducated opinions which really shows how little you know about what we do.

“So the next time you ask anyone for free advice, the next time you judge a business without ever speaking to them or using their services, or the next time you support another business owner – how about we revert to old school and use our manners?”

Please and thank you takes 30 seconds out of your day and you can even throw a smile in for good measure – no extra time required to do this! Respecting others skills and qualifications will show far more about you than you will ever realise. It is time to get old school and #bringmannersback