I’m reflecting on an experience a friend had recently, one of those unexpected and painful situations that leave you reeling. This may sound “personal” and not “business,” but you already know there is only one integrated Mark. And this bears on our work with you.
There is an element of trust in all of our doings. Whether I’m working with you or with another business owner in beautiful downtown Louisville, we have to trust that each of us is going to work to get on the same page and stay on the same page. We’re all in this together, after all.
Our historic building here at 228 Main—once headquarters to The Louisville Courier—is in its second century. When repairs are needed, I have to trust the person I hire to do what they say they will do. They have to trust that I will pay as agreed.
It gets a little stickier when it’s not clear what is being bought and sold. A service you’ve never sought out before, a sales professional you’ve never worked with… These can feel like uncharted waters. And it can feel adversarial with one party on one side, one on the other.
When we feel like we have to defend our own interests, it is harder to remember that both sides usually want the same thing—an agreement.
That agreement may be richer if we can rely upon each other for perspective and guidance. But to do so, we have to accept that we’re working together, each seeking to understand the other. We can formulate a better agreement if we’re not on two warring teams.
In high-trust situations, we end up not only with a good deal that’s mutually beneficial. We can sometimes also end up with a warm relationship with another human being, in all their interesting particularities.
“Business at the speed of trust” is a thing. The price of not trusting is a cynical, legalistic approach to everything. It’s defensive and less collaborative in spirit.
And sometimes, when we come across a hurting human, we pay the price for trust. It’s getting sucker-punched! It’s finding that the topping on the coffee is shaving cream, not whipping cream.
I’m sorry that my friend had to pay that price recently. The hurt is real. Real and worth it, in my opinion, as the price of trusting in general. A lot like the price of loving, or the price of friendship, or any other human interaction where we are vulnerable.
If there are two ways of being, we try to practice the one that opens us to more trust, more love, more connections—a better happier life and once in a long while, a punch in the nose. It’s not okay to lash out of course, but we don’t control the emotions and actions of others. We put ourselves out there and see what happens. We help ourselves recover and get whole, then we try again.
Clients, I will strive to be conscious of the blessings of our mutual trust, and I strive to be worthy of yours. Thank you for engaging with us—and reach out when there is anything you need to acquaint us with.
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