Water glasses and coffees appeared on the table. We ordered salads and gluten-free pizzas and did the getting-to-know-you dance.
First, the conversation focused on business. What do you do? Here’s what we do. Any chance we can work together or refer each other or send business your way and mine?
But as the food arrived and the newness eased, the conversation turned to spirituality. Talk mentioned children and grandchildren. We danced around the subject of beliefs and higher power and what drives each business, something way more than just making ends meet.
Yes, this was a business lunch. So I began to wonder how we got to the topic of spirituality.
First the details: The other day I had lunch at Crispelli’s in Berkley with my client and friend, Katherine Austin, who owns Karma Yoga, my friend Danielle Workman, who is membership director at the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, and Christophe and Jon Dean of Dean Chiropractic.
The mission: to look for compatibility between chiropractic and yoga and the personalities behind each business for perhaps referring one another down the road.
A simple task. An easy lunch. The food was good. Outside, Michigan was unseasonably cool and gray.
An hour can do lots of things to you. You start off as strangers and leave with familiarity. And this lunch somehow wove into its fabric talk of spirituality and higher purpose and whether clients must align with your beliefs or not.
We even got to the idea of using only one Facebook profile, not separating between business and personal.
I’m a big believer in weaving who you are into what you do. It all ends up that way anyway, doesn’t it? You can’t be corrupt or mean or uncaring and fool people for long.
And if you pretend to espouse different beliefs than what you hold dear deep down inside, eventually you will be exposed as a fraud.
It’s a new era if we can have business lunches that revolve around spirituality. And an era I wholeheartedly sign onto.
Lately, it seems my deeply-felt love of spirituality and the universal truths behind the many world religions is combining with my business. I can’t believe it took so long! I mean, doesn’t it seem like a ready fit?
When people begin as business owners or entrepreneurs, many start with the notion that they can be all things to all people. Whenever a new client tells me her audience is “everyone,” I shake my head and know we’re going to have a lot of work ahead of us.
Your audience can’t be the world. The finer you sharpen your focus, the more people you can truly reach and connect with. A narrowly defined customer base is a huge gift.
I don’t need the world. I need truth. Clarity. Connection to source. From there, everything else makes sense.
So back to the lunch. It was a good first date. That’s the kind of matchmaking in business that makes sense. Someone (Danielle) who knows both parties creates a setting where real people can have real conversation and get to the core of the matter.
In the end, we all do business with people – we don’t interact with a brand solely on its form or function or messaging. All of that matters, yes, but if the brand doesn’t stand for something real, if there aren’t living, breathing humans behind it, it won’t last long.
Trust me on that.