Business demands faith, compels earnestness, requires courage, is honestly selfish, is penalized for mistakes, and is the essence of life.”  William Feather

I came across this quote recently and decided to use it as a focus for this week’s post. I agree with some of these assertions, but not all. And  when it comes to the last, I just could not accept such an declaration…

So… let’s get started.

Faith Fuels Loyalty:

Business does demand faith.  You need to have faith in yourself or you’re not going to be successful.

Additionally, earning your client’s trust is an important part of building and maintaining any successful venture.

So how do you do it?

  • Loyalty comes from making sure your client/customer feels valued. It comes from them knowing that their needs matter to you. It comes from exceeding their expectations.
  • A personal brand is a must in today’s marketplace. And whether you know what it is or not, you have one. Your reputation will dictate what it is.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your personality to bolster your brand. You are your best selling feature. Your personality is a secret weapon that should not be kept hidden. Be authentic and connect.
  • You must be invested in your client’s success. Excellent client service will keep them coming back!
  • Don’t forget to get testimonials from clients who you have helped and who believe in you!
  • Clients who know and respect you are not only a good stream of business, they are also much more likely to give you referrals.
  • Be sure to consider ways you can reward loyalty by offer incentives that will provide a  benefit to the client, as well as create an opportunity for your business.

REMEMBER –  It’s easier to keep an existing client than to attract a new one.

I have clients now that I worked with in an entirely different industry. When I transitioned to a new path, I did not have to rebuild my reputation from scratch. Those who knew me, knew my character, and my work ethic, and remained loyal to me in my new role.

The Importance of Being Earnest:

Business does compel earnestness.

  • It is absolutely vital that you always be earnest with your clients. Your sincerity and seriousness of intention are the building blocks of your reputation.
  • NEVER mislead, lie, or deceive to put a deal together. In the long run you will destroy your reputation.
  • ALWAYS be transparent, authentic, and make sure there are no misunderstandings.

Courage Conquers:

Business does require courage.

  • It takes courage to pursue your dreams. Applying the courage of your conviction with initative and action to follow your vision is necessary for your success.
  • Be bold, but use judgement in your decision-making. Do not be afraid to take calculated risks.
  • Do not be afraid to be flexible or adapt as you go. Be open to change. Your path can veer at any given moment, and YOU get to choose which direction is right for you. Shifting your position is not failure. It can be eye-opening and clarifying and can allow pieces of the puzzle to fall into place more easily.

I remember one client I worked with. I was over-zealous and I wanted to show him I was the kind of agent that would go above and beyond. Unfortunately, the more I gave, the more he wanted. I tried to rein him in and get him focused but he was all over the place.  I had created a monster! I must’ve worked close to 200 hours for him confident that in the end it would all come together.  In that particular case, it did not.

That was a tough lesson for me. I no longer work with clients until we sit down and compile a complete consultation and everyone is on the same page in terms of expectations.

You have to have the courage to value your own time.  If you don’t, nobody else is going to do it for you.

No Success Through Selfishness:

Business is selfish. It is predicated on return.

You should follow your passion. Follow your dreams. Your needs do matter. Is this selfish? I don’t think so. I think it’s living with purpose.

In business, you must be aware of the differences and boundaries.

In business relationships, you cannot afford to be selfish. There is always available competition that would be delighted scoop up your client at the slightest opportunity.

Benefits must be reciprocal. The goal should always be a win-win outcome.

Do not let success in business come at the expense of your values, your character or your customer service. If your business exists merely for the sake of itself, and for the sake of profit, it will fail in the long run.

Your customer will rarely care a fig for you. They are selfish too. They are there for what’s in it for them, and you must be invested in them too.

Your brand must focus on and entice your ideal customer. You need to differentiate yourself from your competition. What is your unique value proposition?

When your focus is service, the rest will come.


  • Serve your audience and give without obligation.
  • Connect and make meaningful relationships.
  • Care enough to ask your client if they are happy with your service or if you can improve your service in any way. They will appreciate your attention to detail and your commitment to their success.
  • Clear communication is integral. Seek first to understand

You will also need to remain vigilant. Your business is also selfish. It can demand  all your time and attention. It will beguile you with its beauty as it flourishes. It will beseech you for love and attention in a downturn.

Do not let it rule you. It has its needs and does require attention but not at the expense of all else.

I learned the hard way, almost at the expense of my life, that attempting some balance between business and your personal life is very important.

Mistakes are Opportunities:

You will make mistakes. Don’t sweep them under the carpet. You will be penalized for mistakes if you don’t own them and use them as a stepping stone.

  • Always be transparent. Always address concerns.
  • A mistake is a precious opportunity to step up, to learn a lesson, to develop a new strength or skill, to show you care.
  • Mistakes are a necessary part of a learning curve and a necessary part of your growth.

You probably don’t remember your own steps, but if you’ve ever watched a child learning to walk, you know the process.

A few steps, a fall. A few more steps, a fall. But they always get back up. It’s instinctive. You keep getting back up til you’re walking, skipping, and then running!

It’s the same in business. It’s a path of discovery. You feel your way. You learn to trust. And you learn to flourish.

Business is (NOT) the Essence of Life:

I will say go so far as to acknowledge that society does rely on business in many forms for access and provision of basic needs and the frivolities of life. For most people, business in some form or another is part of our everyday functioning.

Whether as an employee, an owner, or a consumer, we are all embroiled in trade. It’s business, and the world is a giant marketplace. Business plays an integral role in almost every aspect of our lives.

That being said, I just cannot support the assertion that business is the “Essence of Life.”

I believe the “Essence of Life” is… caring. It’s about truly making a difference.

This is my personal brand. This is my promise. It is how I choose to live my life both within business and outside of it. It is why my clients believe in me. This is the foundation on which I have built my reputation and my business.

The absolute best reward for doing a great job is making a real difference by helping others succeed. Building loyalty along the way also keeps the bottom line moving upward.


What does your personal brand say about you?

What do you think is the Essence of Life?

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7 Responses to Business Demands Faith…

  1.  “REMEMBER – It’s easier to keep an existing client than to attract a new one.” Dynamite post! Wow! You have a talent for taking thoughts I am conjuring and whammo!, putting them into words. This “transparency” concept is huge. For me, it is a way to authentically merge honest living with, honest business. You have a great way to show how positive ethics can improve a positive growth & bottom line profit. Thanks Shelley! Tim-

    • Hi Tim! Absolutely it is easier to keep an existing client happy than to find a new one. It is especially important for new entrprepreneurs or those new in business to develop basic skills and understand these basic concepts. People – that’s what business is all about! : )

  2. Janet Blaha says:

    Great article Shelley!  There is so much here that resonates with me. Key is being true to yourself and core values, establishing meaningful relationships and connections and sharing and helping others by caring and wanting others to succeed.  Thank you for the inspiration!  

    • Thanks, Janet. There are so many key concepts that start-ups need to be aware of to succeed. The crus of it is that it’s about the relationships. The bottom line will take care of itself. : )

  3. Farouk says:

    that’s so right 
    and even in other life areas
    success in life can’t happen without faith
    thank you 

  4. says:

    I guess what is intended in saying Business is the essence of life is that parameters (traits) like faith, earnestness, courage, honesty, honestly selfish, punishment are the essence of life which is also well expressed by the term ‘business’

  5. Howdy very cool blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I am happy to find a lot of helpful information right here in the submit, we’d like work out extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing.

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