I’d like to remind you about a saying that I know you’ve heard:
“You can please all of the people some of the time and you can please some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
And, it’s wrong, because you can’t even please all of the people some of the time, not a chance. The bigger issue though, that will corrupt your business and success mindset and your focus, is trying to please
people — period.
Listen up, you’ll never hear anyone tell you straight about this whole “people
pleasing” thing, at least usually they all tell you what they think will be popular,
I’ll tell you what’s true. As long as you are living your life around trying to
please people you will be desperately unhappy, frustrated, and lost in a maze of
confusion around what your real purpose is.
I have long ago recommended the book, The Four Agreements – that I stand behind as
the most influential book I’ve ever read. That explains why this doesn’t work…so
I’m not going to go into that here, I am going to say that the problem with people pleasing is
that what pleases them doesn’t usually and won’t always satisfy what you are trying
to achieve, what your life is about, etc.
Now, family, spouse, children, etc you can be the judge there, but even still, if
you are the leader then you should know what’s best, and what pleases them isn’t
I am a big “relationship” person who believes that is the most valuable thing in
life, with customers, with family, with those people you serve; however, it is not
what makes you. You have to make yourself, stand for something as the old song goes,
or fall for anything, otherwise known as being a servant to everyone but yourself.
The marketing lesson here is simple: ALL PEOPLE and ALL CUSTOMER and ALL
RELATIONSHIPS and ALL OPPORTUNITIES in your life are not created equal, cannot and
should not be pleased, pursued, made happy – not a chance.
I believe in high quality relationships and the first and most important thing about
them is you have to give value to those relationships – show me a person with too
many relationships and trying to balance them all out is no different than someone
splitting their love and attention between people and expecting all of them to feel
well served — do it the wrong way as I’ve learned the hard way with “significant
others” or do it with your children and you will know that you’ll never get it
That is why in business and in your personal life you must establish a focus, a
priority, a hierarchy of people and the relationships and pursuits you choose and
then do right by them and they should always be made up of what best serves your own
You have to put your agenda, your well-being, your business and the goal and
objective of that business first. If you provide value your customers are happy, if
you give sufficient customer service they are happy, but you can never forget the
purpose of your business – to make a profit, to fuel your wealth and personal
Mr. Wonderful on the Shark Tank (Kevin O Leary) is always right when he says it’s all
about the money – in business it is about relationships, but you keep score with the
money. In your personal life it isn’t all about the money and that’s why you have
to take care of your relationship, but you can’t serve more than one master and be
congruent and have integrity.
Serve yourself first. Then you will find everything else falls into place.
Look, you can take this too literally and some will, or you can understand the
principle and the concept of it all and apply it to your life…you can’t argue with
it because I guarantee the things that drive you crazy, the things that distract
you, take away your focus, make you less productive, steal your profits, and leave
you wondering why things aren’t happening more, better, faster is directly related
to too many people taking too much away from you – because you let them!!!
Remember, you’ll never please all the people, will only please some of the people,
so pick carefully which “some” those are and make sure that you are the top on the
In your business, please the best customers, go for what makes you the best, builds
your business most successfully, serve those objectives and remember that a business
NOT-in-business serves no people, is not successful, is not profitable, is worthless to
you, those you care about and the customers you had or are yet to get.
Don’t be a people pleaser be a focused-on-what-drives-you-to-your-committed-goals
pleaser and how everyone lines up to reap the benefits and thank you for your
success and efforts.
On this earth, your master is yourself. If you’re not confident enough in that, get
guidance or get out of business and go find someone else to please you…otherwise
you are the person completely responsible for your success, happiness, income, and
all other things – if you’re not pleasing you, you won’t be pleasing anyone else
around you for very long anyhow.