The Business of Bullying

Business cannot be done without other people. People can fill various roles in business, they can be customers, vendors, or other professionals in the same field. In simple terms, I estimate there to be 2 arms of business; the customer side (who patrons your business, the ones that pay your mortgage) and the support side (the vendors who enable you to do what you do - i.e. the nurse to the doctor). Though I also appreciate and admire the zealousness that some business owners have in protecting, honoring, and ultimately delivering for their clients and customers, I am at times honestly surprised that they can still find people who are willing to fill their support side.

The question in this entry is this: when does the esteem for your customer become a bad thing?

As a small business owner myself, I understand the need to side with your client, however, when that so grossly violates those that support and enable you to conduct your business, I would venture to say that you have become a bully in business. Even further, I cannot understand how business can be successfully or ethically conducted when service to your customer greatly outweighs the respect and consideration for those who support you. In my opinion, at ground level, it's a lack of integrity.

Although this doesn't sound like a heart-warming post, I have found great insight in recently learning this lesson which, fortunately for me, was gleaned by someone else's poor example. When recently a business owner tried to swing their proverbial "weight" around and back me into a corner, I acknowledged what was happening. I immediately took a stand for myself and the integrity I choose to run my business with. The best part? Probably shocking them by turning away their business.

By consciously choosing to run my business with a code of ethics, I have set up check points to prevent myself from becoming snarky, overly competitive, or even a bully. The reward for this diligence is that I also get to choose who I work with. No amount of money or number of contracts in a year is worth me risking who I am and what I stand for. Unfortunately, for the business owner I was supporting, the scales were tipping.

Now I'm not saying I'm perfect - there are many examples, I am sure, of humility to throw on the table. However, I refuse to be a victim to insecurity, bullying in business, or small thinking. I want to embrace each challenge, surround myself with people who support me and keep me in check. I want to celebrate the successes of my competitors and colleagues and support them in ways that are unique to me. I love collaborating with other professionals because in the end, that's what business is about - recognizing you can't do it alone.

It takes people, not power.

Post goes postal - enjoying modern times

Emily Post? Wedding etiquette? Our 2013 brides and grooms are throwin' them out the window! Here's how: 1. Monograms In tradition, the monogram was not to be used prior to the marital vows were spoken. Our modern take, monograms galore! The monogram is the best and easiest way to "brand" your wedding. It becomes the calling card for your big day, and also sort of identifies you as a couple. Whether a couple creates a stamp with said logo, an embosser, or uses it on their actual printed materials, monograms can be simple, elaborate, even fun. Monogram Styles

2. Invite Wording Traditionally, wedding invitations should mention the bride's parents and grooms parents - or at least whomever is footing the bill for the occasion. Our modern take, keep it simple. Many times invitation wording can be pretty touchy. For brides with particular mother in laws, or for couples with split families, sometimes grouping everyone together in a statement like "Together with our families" neutralizes the tension and puts everyone on the same playing field and still gives credit where credit is due. However you choose to word your invite, keep it respectful and simply stated so guests know clearly when and where to be.

3. Color Schemes Traditionally, color schemes were very neutral. Black, White, Ivory, Silver - decorations, printed materials, even attire was very low key. Interestingly, this decision may have been fear motivated for if a bride were to choose to have a colored or off white gown, she was considered "impure". Floral selections were traditionally white - and lots of satin and lace. Our modern take, Bright and Bold! Not only are we jazzing up our color schemes using bold jewel tones or bright hues of yellows, oranges, and pinks, our florals are power packed with lots of color, wire or bling accents, and even bejeweled bindings. Brides are even selecting pinks, blues, purple tones for wedding attire - and not just for their attendants. Even the fabric selections have changed from traditional laces and satins to everything from bold prints to burlap. Lazaro Dress available in light pink or the rainbow array.

4. RSVP Devices The Traditional take? Simple - Reply card with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope. Our modern take? Choice is key! Brides are opting for 3 basic options, some of which may have Emily Post rolling in her grave (and possibly a few stationers). Of course one options is to honor tradition by choosing the card/envelope combo. However, many brides are opting for a RSVP post card to both save on expense of postage and materials (sans envelope) and to honor their more modern roots. Finally, digital replies are becoming ever more popular, however for such a special occasion, many stationers (including myself) would request a couple to consider honoring the sacredness of snail mail.

5. The Gift of Giving Traditionally speaking, it's never posh to mention where the couple is registered. Instead, guests are to simply, dig out their address books or dust off the phone book and write or call the couple requesting the information. Our modern take suggests the opposite. Who needs additional phone calls? Setting up a wedding website and including the information is becoming the standard. Some couples even opt to include a sentence like "If you feel so led to bring a gift, the couple is registered at..." on a separate small card or include it on an event details card.

There you have it! I encourage you to enjoy the new trends that these modern times bring while still striving to honor the more traditional elements.