staying-professional-in-your-businessOver the weekend I ran into some business drama that I wanted to share with you, today. This is dedicated to staying professional in your business, no matter what your line of work is. But first, I wanted to welcome myself back, since I’ve been MIA for nearly 2 whole weeks! It’s my first time since I started blogging and podcasting at the start of this 2013 year. My reason? I’m getting married!

I was busy creating a special wedding video about how I met my fiance, and now that I’m finished, I can get back to my blog and podcast. Normally, I wouldn’t let something get in the way of all this, but it’s my wedding after all!

Remember these Rules

  1. ALWAYS remain positive, even in bad situations (you are a professional!)
  2. Keep the focus on pleasing the client (happy client means continued business)
  3. Keep your emotions in check (remember how Yoda noticed how much fear and anger was in young Anakin Skywalker?)
  4. AVOID bashing other professionals in a public place (don’t drag everyone else in this)
  5. Keep an ongoing flow of communication with the people you work with
  6. If you’re highly emotional, don’t make others feel what your feeling (it’s unprofessional)
  7. When in doubt, STFU (Shut the fuck up)

The Drama

So over the long weekend, two of my friends got married and I attended their lovely wedding. They had hired a professional wedding photographer who had some amazing work in her portfolio. I know this because I checked it out myself! But anyways, they also had videographers cover the wedding ceremony and reception. I was also helping cover the wedding reception as a volunteer and acting as a floater (one who walks around freely at an event).

The drama happened when the wedding photographers and the videographers were not on the same page, and one of them was getting in the way of the shots. Sometimes the photographer would stand right in front of the video camera, and the videographers would go nuts. But this isn’t about who did what – this is about being professional.

Emotional Highs and Lows

The actual wedding was amazing to me, from the outfits to the venue. Not to mention, the Bride and Groom were meant for each other, so it made it even more special. As the wonderful day unfolded, I could sense some tension from the videographers. Not only sense, but they flat out told me how difficult it was to work with the photographer. This was just behind the scenes, btw. It was an internal issue, not for the public to know. The wedding was fun, exciting and filled with people I knew and cared about.

By the next morning, my Facebook and Instagram feed was filled with cute wedding shots from everyone’s phone cameras. As I was scrolling through everyone’s Facebook posts, I saw a post from one of the videographers saying what a bad time he had and that he just got done working with the worst photographer ever.

I’m not going to get into details, but in short, the bride did not like that at all. Again, this is about being professional. So what actually went wrong? Did she have the right to get mad? How can you tell if I don’t give you any details though?

Well it’s simple really…

The Lesson

No matter what happens while your doing business or working in your industry, NEVER put down another professional. That’s it. By putting down another professional, you’re making yourself look unprofessional. Especially in a public place like Facebook! You just cannot do that.

What happens is you look like a moron because you’re blaming someone else and showing how much it affects you. You’re being negative and venting it to the world. You cannot put down another professional like that in a public area, online.

Now let’s play devil’s advocate and say, well the photographer was rude and messed up most of your shots. They kept blocking your view and therefore you didn’t capture the most crucial moments at the wedding. Yes that sucks, but it’s no excuse to bash someone on Facebook, especially right after the happy event. This is a very sensitive topic and it really depends on your situation. But in general, you need to find a way to stay professional at these moments.

It’s these times where you can see the difference between an amateur and a professional… by the way they handle difficult situations.

McDonald’s Taught Me One Thing

Yes, I used to be an opening manager at a McDonald’s here in California – I was getting paid like $9 an hour and had to wake up at 4am. But the one thing I learned from that place was:

“The customer is always right.”

And that was the truth! No matter how wrong you felt they were, in the end, if there’s no customers, there’s no business. And if you piss off one customer, you could lose dozens.

This translates to, “you should always put the focus on your client, no matter what”. In this case, the client was the bride and groom of the wedding. So if you piss them off, you failed.

How To Handle Difficult Situations

To stay professional and deal with difficult situations, you must always remember to think hard and long before you act. In this situation, it might have been best to talk to the bride and groom and explain your concerns. In addition to that, maybe it would have been best to adjust to the situation at the time, and plan ahead.

“Disasters WILL HAPPEN, so be prepared.”

If you really can’t help but to vent the situation out, do it in a private forum or website – away from the public and especially away from your client’s eyes! NEVER do it on Facebook, unless you know for a fact you’re not friends with your client or their friends.

In difficult situations, the best policy is to work with what you’ve got, especially when you know you can’t control external things.