So, Solopreneur … Sadly, Sometimes Nice Sucks!

So, Solopreneur ... Sadly, Sometimes Nice Sucks!

Just be nice. It’s a phrase that regularly graces many a social media article, Facebook wall and Twitter stream. There’s a movement, if you will, backed by many a pretty big name in the digital marketing biz, including a man I admire and infrequently engage with in short bursts of sock strewn banter.

That’s right, I’m talking about the terrific Ted Rubin and his take on “just be nice.”

I’m about to share something that might not be common knowledge!

SHOCKER: I’m actually a pretty ding-danged nice person.

I know, I know. I’ll probably have to prove it to you, over time, but you could ask most of my circle of social peers, and they’d tell you I’m a pretty stand-up gal who’s always willing to tackle a dilemma.

That being said …

Nice Isn’t My First Choice When It Comes To Business!

While nice is, well … nice enough when used to describe a guy or gal – it’s not how I strive to be seen by my peer group or my client base.

Instead of nice, I prefer to be seen as:

  • creative
  • professional
  • fair
  • real
  • funny
  • honest
  • timely
  • aware
  • direct
  • and a slew of other words … all more important to me than “nice.”

Being Good To People Goes Beyond Nice!

Though I don’t embrace “nice” as the end all, be all attribute that many in my social circles, do, it doesn’t mean I fail to see the importance of being good to others. To my husband, my family, my friends, as well as my peers and clients.

Sometimes a little constructive criticism is necessary in order to be good to those with whom you work.

We don’t generally think of the word “NO” as nice. But what I call the “necessary N-O” is often required when it comes to project management and actually meeting the needs of your clients.

Here’s a simple example. It’s certainly NOT nice to turn down a slice of pie when you’re at a family or business dinner. But, say you’ve been working hard to embrace a healthier lifestyle and you’ve chosen to indulge on the entree rather than dessert. Do you HAVE TO be nice and take the slice of pie?

Sometimes being good to people means telling them something they might not want to hear at the moment.

If successful relationships are built on trust, then nice needs to be taken out of the equation.

[clickToTweet tweet=”How much can you really trust someone who sugarcoats every response in a bid to be nice?” quote=”How much can you really trust someone who sugarcoats every response in a bid to be nice?”]

When Nice Simply Sucks!

Let’s be honest. Our attempts to be nice often land us in some serious deep doodoo!

Have you decided to be nice to the client who keeps making change requests and pushing back delivery dates? Guess what? Doing so means the project won’t be completed on time as you slide ever deeper into scope creep.

Have you decided to be nice and not raise your prices for long-term, grandfathered-in, clients? Only to have them nitpick and question everything you’re doing, even though they’re paying almost half the fees you’re charging your newer clients?

Ever thought it would be nice to trade your services for complimentary services? Barter isn’t a bad thing. Until that complimentary service provider disappears without a trace, having taken delivery on your end of the arrangement, while sending you absolutely nothing in return!

I could go on and on with the “be nice” moments that leave you looking and feeling like a sap. But I think I’ve made my point.

Just Be Professional!

Instead of nice, I prefer to make professionalism my intent and purpose.

Professional is often equated with polite, but there’s nuance to the idea of professionalism, just as their is nuance and shades of gray when it comes to being nice.

There’s no single, one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to being good to your brand, your business and your clients. You have to find the level of “being good” that best fits. I deliver my good with a more firm hand than you might. Does that mean I’m not a nice person? Maybe. Maybe not.

But, my bills get paid on time, my clients respect me, and my word of mouth referrals keep going strong. So, I’m pretty happy with the good I’m delivering.

Has Being Nice Ever Bitten You In The Butt?

I’d love to hear about your experiences with being nice, the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Drop me a note in the comments section or chat me up on one of the social channels where I share this publish!

7 replies
  1. Danny Brown
    Danny Brown says:

    It’s interesting that the folks who proactively push “nice”, or “authentic”, or “real” are often anything but away from the public glare.

    Go figure. 🙂

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      So much truth, Danny. I can think of a few big names in particular and I’m thinking you’re picturing the same peeps!

      What are you thinking of the unleashing of more of the REAL Mallie, so far?

      Sent with MailTrack

      • Danny Brown
        Danny Brown says:

        I like it. But then I always prefer those with a voice that use it wisely, as opposed to those with a voice who hide it for the popularity vote you talk about in this post. 🙂

  2. Mui
    Mui says:

    So with you on the necessary no’s. I am never nice when it comes to food. If I don’t want it I don’t want it. Eating something you don’t want to eat is not called nice, it’s called having no respect for yourself!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      No is simply an answer. It doesn’t necessarily have to imply deeply dire negative sentiment, for Pete’s sake! 🙂

  3. Allyssa
    Allyssa says:

    I’m definitely too nice sometimes and it’s gotten me into some unpleasant circumstances professionally. I think when you first start out, you’re eager for clients and quite honestly you have no idea what you’re in for. You quickly realize that being nice isn’t going to cut it. I’ve been working on setting boundaries and calling the shots instead of being nice… it’s a slow process, but things go so much smoother when I have the guts to put my foot down 🙂

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      It’s easy for many of us to fall into the nice trap, Allyssa. Once you can start strongly standing up with a smart N-O response, it can be incredibly freeing and it can also help you work with a better calibre of client!

Comments are closed.