I contributed Four Ways to Spark Blogging Inspiration on the Spin Sucks blog recently. If you read it, then you know that one of my tips for refreshing your blog spirit is to talk to a kid.
I didn’t start out wanting to talk to the kid in question (my daughter, almost 15 — that’s her on the left in a typical pose) on this topic. Rather, I was talking to others about it on the phone and she overheard. I had a situation in which a business contact took a bit of liberty, crossing over into personal territory in what should have been a very business-focused relationship. It was nothing serious, but it gave me pause and was the reason for a few conversations that took place within earshot of my daughter.
She brought it up while we were in the car (and if you’re a parent of a teenager, you may have learned that those car trip conversations are sometimes the most meaningful you’re going to get). “Sounds like you need to reset your business boundaries,” she said with the wisdom of someone far older. She’s right, of course, and I’m making efforts to redefine those parameters and to be very clear about where they lie. Some people just need to be told these things flat out, apparently.
Since the overstepping incident, I’ve been very conscious of the separation between business and personal. It’s not always possible to keep them completely apart. I am good friends with some people with whom I also have a business relationship. I get uncomfortable, however, when a client prospect or new contact assumes a familiarity far too early in the relationship.
Has this ever happened to you? How have you handled it?