Intimacy in Business

By Hannah Albert

Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

“Biznik is the dating service of indie business,” Chris Haddad exclaimed at the Super Awesome Biznik Profile Extravaganza Creation Party on Tuesday night. So, is that some clever way of promoting his availability? Well, perhaps it is…. but beyond that, I think what he was really getting at is that Biznik is all about people creating relationships.

Relationships are created by trust. Trust is established when people connect through resonant values and beliefs, make agreements, and follow through on them. When it’s possible, face to face contact is where the die is cast…making eye contact is when it gets real. That’s when you decide to trust that someone is speaking with authenticity. When only phone contact is available, the tone of voice transmits an energy that you “read,” unconsciously receiving information about a person. Websites are one tool you can use for making a good first impression, and blogging is a way to bring it home by writing to your audience in a more direct voice.

Is it possible to avoid having deeply personal interactions when doing business with people? Whether you are a mortgage broker, beautician, designer, healthcare professional, marketing guy, or any other indie business person, it’s actually part of your job to do so. You need to get inside your client’s head and heart and find out what makes them tick. If you are doing your job right. How will you satisfy someone’s needs if you don’t take the time to find out what they are?

Relationships are about getting your needs satisfied, on both sides. As a Naturopathic doctor, I have an intimate relationship with each person who walks in my door. Now, obviously my code of ethics precludes romance with my patients. What I’m talking about is providing a safe environment for people to put down their bags, unpack the contents, and show me what needs to be healed. It means giving people the time they need to get comfortable. It means being a very good listener. And it means seeing people as people, not diagnostic codes. It never fails to blow me away how profoundly people are affected just by being heard in a way they have never before experienced. I would go so far to say that establishing trust with people is 50 percent of healing.

The take-home here is that to be successful as an indie business, you have to create relationships with people. You have to be authentic. You have to know your stuff and go the distance to keep your promises. You have to be a good listener and have passion for what you do. It’s really no different from any other area of your life….the energy you send out will come back to you eventually.

  • Joe Shirley

    Nice post, Hannah. I’d like to share my own experience of this. I’ve developed relationships with a couple of Biznik folks – namely Dominic Canterbury and Nadja Haldiman – who have taken the time and made the effort to a) get to know me, and b) let me get to know them. Dominic is helping me with my marketing strategy, and Nadja with my branding and graphic design. Together they are helping me cut through my own bullshit and get to the heart of what my business is. They’re helping me recreate how I present and communicate about the work I do so it more authentically expresses both the work and myself. I’m incredibly excited about that. The idea of being true to myself in how I do business is like the sky clearing and the sun coming out. I’ve spent way too much effort trying to concoct my story so it said what I thought people wanted to hear. Now I’m getting clear that by telling the real story, (first to myself), that what people hear will come through so much more loud and clear that my business is going to launch in ways I can barely imagine. So the takeaway: authenticity is contagious. How cool is that?

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  • Chris Haddad

    Hey, Hannah
    Great post this morning. Let me tell you, in my business I deal with way too many folks who do business the way they think they’re “supposed to” instead of just being themselves, being honest and being frikking awesome.

    Honesty rocks. Intimacy rocks. Viva la Biznik.

  • Jacob Caldwell

    Stopping the world for a moment and asking for help causes healing…Stopping to say hello causes healing…Stopping and smelling the rose causes healing…Stopping and look people in the eyes causes healing…Stop…

    Jacob Caldwell

  • gulliver

    Intimacy? Sweet.

    Continuing to ‘give away all my stuff’, I’m told the clip below has been useful to some folk. It’s a meager cntribution to a fun site from which I’m gaining much.

    Rather have five strongly-in-favor I-love-this-stuff users than five hundred ‘that’s interesting’ casual readers, the open-and-honest ‘spirit of authenticity’ free-rolling conversational style is entirely purposeful… a vital element of my strategy.

    Fright or delight …if the price of those five is alienating four hundred and ninety five others, then so be it. But that’s not my intent. Simply speaking my mind and doing my stuff in a way which makes sense to me, I’m not excluding anyone. Quite the opposite – what’s here is a warm invite.

    ‘The lyrics are often profound and intense…with moments of incredible mellowness and melancholy – others of extreme hardness and fury’, a lot of what’s here is presented emotionally.

    Engaging folk, it triggers a stronger and more immediate yes-or-no response than simply wading through pages of business-ese.

    Those with whom I’ll never dance quickly turn off the music and ‘enough of this nonsense’ withdraw, creating space for the ‘hhhmmm… maybe… y’know, I just might…’ shy guys to draw a little closer and feel the rhythm.

    ‘Smokey-night-club-situation intimate rather than sport auditorium superficial’… of course it’s ******* personal…. isn’t Life? Aren’t you?’

  • Humblebree

    Lame quoting, be done:

    “Achievement doesn’t come from what we do, but from who we are. Our career is an extension of our personalities” ~Marianne Williamson

    “Not personal!? That’s my work, my sweat, and my time away from my kids!! If that is not personal, I don’t know what is!!” ~Erin Brockovich