A short and sweet podcast episode for you today.
I say sweet, because I talk about kindness.
But actually, what I really talk about is the bitter, unseen damage caused by kindness.
It is very likely the real-life scenario I describe is familiar to you.
A story of cancer, hardship, kindness, self-sacrifice and guilt one of my VIP clients faced this month.
I share my advice I gave her, and it may shock you.
You may not see me as a very nice person after you watch this episode but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
See what I mean in this 9 minute episode of the Romance Your Tribe Podcast.
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If you prefer to read, click at the bottom of the page to read the transcript.
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Read The Transcript Here
Hello and welcome! Janet Beckers here. I’ve got a short and sweet episode for you today and I know that’s today’s topic is going to be really, really confronting for some of the people who are going to be listening today because we’re going to talk about kindness. But in fact we’re going to talk about when kindness is a really bad business strategy and when kindness can actually harm your clients. So let’s have a look at what I mean by that and the signs when you may be doing this and what to do instead. Okay. Now this might sound really unexpected coming from me or in fact from anybody to say kindness is not a good thing, because honestly, you know, kindness and love are actually enshrined in our approach of what we do in business. So what am I talking about here? Well, let me give you a scenario.
Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you’re thinking, oh, this person, either an existing client or a past client, you know what, they are having a really tough time. There’s so many hardships that they’ve gone in their lives. So many things that are going wrong for them. I felt really, really bad about charging them for what I’m doing. And you know what I’m thinking? You know, maybe I won’t give this to them for free, but I’m really thinking this person, they should be getting a discount. Like I’m feeling really, really bad about doing this. Now that may seem to you to be kindness, but let’s flip this around the other way. And this is from a person who has that… you know, this was something I had a lot when I was starting out in my business and it’s still something that gets me every now and then and I have to remind myself of this because you see there’s kindness, there is selflessness and that’s, especially as women, we’re very often conditioned from quite young that these are really great attributes.
This makes you a good person. But let’s take that a little bit further because the flip side of that is martyrdom. When you start to become the martyr, when you, as soon as you are able to say, you know what, I am helping that person out because that person is doing it tough and I can do this for them and I’m so good, I am a martyr. Now, what is wrong with that? If it means that they get something good out of it and you get a sense of, you know what, I’m a good person. What is wrong with that? Okay, so this is what I have learned over the years of being a martyr and having those martyr tendencies and I would like to feel now that I don’t, and this is why a big Aha that I had in business and the reality of what damage I could have been doing to clients and potential clients.
Because you see, as soon as it comes to any kind of martyrdom, we’re talking about power. And very often the sense of being a martyr is that I am the one that is giving up power. I’m being the good person. But in fact, by you being the martyr, by you being selfless in that way, you are actually dis-empowering your clients. You are taking the power as the martyr. You are putting them in a position where you are actually dis-empowering them. So let me give you an example that just came up a couple of weeks ago. It was a classic sign and I gave this advice to one of my clients and it was a classic sign. They did not even realize what they were doing.
So the scenario. On one of our VIP huddles every single week, my Attract Your Tribe Accelerator clients. Every single week we get on a video huddle, and it’s hot seating. You know, they’ve got me and they’ve got these other wonderfully clever people who are in business helping them. We brainstorm issues that are happening in their business. Now, one of the ones is one of our clients, an incredibly beautiful, kind woman said that, you know, I felt really, really bad because I’ve got this client, a potential client and you know what? She’s just been diagnosed with cancer. I feel so bad for her. I really feel bad about charging her and I’m thinking that, you know, I should try and make her life easier by giving her a discount. Now that sounds kind, isn’t it? But here’s the interesting thing, as when I pointed out that that was actually going to be dis-empowering this woman who as soon as she started to having to go into the medical system where she is going to be giving up her power so much into everybody else, she’s just giving up the power over her body, very often over decisions that are happening in her life because this is the right way to do things.
So many things that she’s getting, it’s power being removed by you even just assuming that she is that she can’t pay you is going to be removing another part of power from her. Now interestingly, we had a few people who were on our call who are all survivors of breast cancer. And when I said this, cause it’s a bit controversial to say, look, hang on, actually, you know, you think you’re being kind, you’re actually dis-empowering. It was really interesting because each person had said, you know what, that is so true. Everybody saw me as a victim and I did not want to be seen as a victim. So this is an example, an extreme example of somebody who’s had something like cancer. Now, what do you do if you have a situation where you do have somebody who is financially challenged?
Well that’s what you have payment plans for. So if they can’t pay for you in the one go, you have payment plans to help them. And if it’s somebody who you know is going to be good, you know they’re going to be able to pay. But they may be having struggles, well you can negotiate payment plans, but you’re not making that decision for them. You’re letting them know that you have ways to help them if they need assistance with cashflow. Now the other side of that is just because somebody hasn’t told you about something else that’s happening in their life, why can you assume that there is nothing else happening in somebody else’s life and you’re not even taking into consideration that they may be having hardship? So keep that in mind there as well. You do not know the stories of every body else.
It’s just that they are choosing not to let you know. Um, they are choosing not to be dis-empowered. So I know that this is going to be a really big challenge for a lot of people out there. And if you find yourself that the idea of being able to stop feeling guilty about taking money from people because you’re not taking money, you are providing a service, a solution, and this is the energetic return, which is the money, that is your business. If you’re feeling really bad about that, well then you may have one, you might have a certain percentage of what you do that is scholarships that can be applied, you know, for people that you think would really benefit from them. So you’ve got that part there that allows you to have a philanthropic side without it being you being the martyr, you dis-empowering your clients.
I’m really curious to hear from you. Have you listened to this and you’ve just thought, how insensitive. What on earth are you talking about? I’d like to hear from you. I really do want to hear from you on that. ,Because this would have shocked me to hear this maybe 10 years ago. If you’re listening to this and you’re thinking of from either side, one side, which is where you are the person who has been tempted from a sense of being the good person to help other people and be selfless. Does this help you? And also from the outside, if you’ve been the person that has been having a difficult situation and you found that somebody was offering you extra support when you didn’t even ask for it. How did that make you feel? Loved, or did it make you feel dis-empowered?
I’d really love to hear from you. Okay. So go forth. Treat the world with kindness, but don’t dis-empower them. Okay. Bye!