Music Gro: Growing Creatives

How to Rise Above Entitlement Attitudes in Your Service-Based Business

Hi friends, I thought I would do a quick video recording, or a blog post about what I learned this summer. Many of you know that I work in a service industry, I take the summer off from my teaching studio, and I work in retail or food service or some other type of hospitality, industry or service industry as part of a tourist area. And as part of my summer getaway, I love doing this because I get to do something completely different for a whole summer, I get to enjoy a whole different part of the country and a much different pace and get to experience a different side to the service industry. And every summer, I come away with some new things that I learn and how that might affect or impact my own service industry business, even though it's different than, let's say, working in a restaurant, or working retail. So let me share a couple of things that I have learned. First of all, entitlement is not new. One of the things that we learned in the summer of 2022, is that entitlement was even more entrenched, threw even more people across the board in our society. And the entitlement attitudes were even stronger. How did this play out? Well, there was a lot of rudeness, there were a lot of self centered expectations. And there were a lot of people who were much more quick or quick triggered in terms of their temper if you couldn't meet their expectations, their exact expectations right away. So this plays a huge role in the service industry. And in what we do in general. Let me share something else, though, that I discovered people who had the entitlement attitude during the pandemic, still were able to kind of get over some of their frustration and were able to tolerate some things. Now, as things have opened up in the US, that entitlement attitude has been fueled by people's disappointment and anger, that not everything has returned back to quote unquote, normal the way they expected. So the businesses that they used to frequent on vacation, the restaurants that they used to go to, many of them are shuttered. Many of them are gone completely small business, business owners may have gone out of business or have even passed away. Remember that we lost in the United States alone, over 1 million people due to COVID. And we still lost a lot of business owners all across the world due to other just illnesses. So when people came back to their favorite, beloved vacation places in the summer of 2022, and Natalie had that sense of entitlement, but now we're angry that their favorite places were no longer there. It fueled the entitlement attitude even more. There was also that layer of disappointment in seeing that even if their favorite places were there and still operating and existing. Maybe they were operating under new ownership. Maybe they were operating under new hours. Or maybe they had different requirements now like reservations that they did not have in the past. Sometimes those limited hours of operation, changes in staffing changes in ownership, not only caused disappointment in visitors and tourists, but heighten that sense of entitlement and anger that people were experiencing when they really just wanted to go to their favorite places, and have that comfort of enjoying their memories of their favorite places and having those experiences again.

So when we take some of those issues into account, it should not surprise us when we in our own service businesses are experiencing even more pushback than ever before, on some of how we operate as business owners. So I want to focus on one key area and how you can rise above the entitlement attitude as a small business owner in the service industry. Number one, policies, policies policies, make sure your policies are clear, simple, easy to read and understand. Going into too much detail doesn't really serve anyone very well. Have a second set of eyes or a few different people who run successful studios, review your policies and make some suggestions about wording. clear, simple, concise wording is better than long, drawn out explanations or justifications for why your policies are what they are, there's no need to justify. In fact, most people won't read your policies anyway. So the shorter the more clear or even bulleted lists that you can create in your policies will be better for you as a business owner and better for your clients. Be clear about your policies, but also know whether you can back them up. If you can't back something up, then it shouldn't be in you policy, if you've never backed something up, it shouldn't be in your policy. Here's why that matters. If you're the type of person who has a long list of policies, but you haven't enforced half of them in 20 years, then just take them out. They're not serving you. And they're not helping your clients. They're just a point of contention and confusion for your clients. So just take them out, if you're not going to enforce them only include the points in your policies that you actually will enforce, or that you're committed to standing behind and enforcing in some way, shape or form. The other thing about your policies is a lot of people because their policies are written out and maybe even signed by their clients. Some people still have a hard time enforcing those policies and standing behind them. And some people will argue with me that, well, no matter what I do, people come back and try to take advantage of me even if I have a policy in place. That's where as business owners, again, it's helpful to have a script. If you don't know how to respond to someone who challenges your policies, I want you to write out a script, you have great experience, probably handling these situations already. If you need help putting together a script, there are lots of groups out there that can help you but just are jotting down some thoughts about, again, very simple, very clear, very concise ways where you can reiterate your policy, almost broken record style, to respond to a client's problems, or challenges to your policy, whether it's a makeup policy, a fee, or whatever it is that you have in your studio, whatever, whatever you're dealing with, try to come up with a script that you can basically read from when you're dealing with a client or an email template that you can basically just copy and paste. When you're responding to client questions or challenges to your policies.

The more we stand behind our policies and are willing to enforce them, the more we not only help ourselves as business owners, but we help one another. By enforcing our policies in our studios. We're showing people how to treat us. And when we show people how to treat us, we're also educating them in how the world of music lessons work, and how it should be done. There are lots of people who can go out and find cheaper teachers who don't stand behind their policies. Don't be those teachers don't be those small business owners, be the people who charge what you're worth, who have great value and understand that value. And who pass that value on to your customers for a great rate that is higher probably than other teachers. And then stand behind your policies. Respect yourself, respect your clients and stand behind your policies have pre recorded or pre written scripts that you can use, so that when those challenges come, you can answer those challenges politely, effectively. And without emotion, every challenge that you respond to, should be done in a way that is free from any emotion on your part. And the best way to do that is to have it pre scripted, or just something that is very ready or that you're very used to, you might want to roleplay it beforehand, or practice giving that response so that when it happens, you can do it effectively in front of your client or your student or whoever is giving you a problem. So having a script is important. Practicing that script is also important. Now look, I get it some of us are just better at other than others at dealing with conflict and dealing with those challenges. If you know yourself well enough to know that you just can't do that you can't stand up to a client, you can't respond in that way at all. I encourage you to delegate that out to someone who can, you maybe need to hire someone as an assistant or maybe you already have an assistant or virtual assistant who can respond to those challenges by email or by text and handle them in a very diplomatic, polite, non emotional way. And just let people know that your policies are going to remain in place and let them know that this is how your business operates. Let me give you an example. I recently had a client who did not want to follow my scheduling and payment policy. And so I didn't justify my policy. I just reiterated this is the way my policy is this is how I handle scheduling and billing. You're free to sign on with me as your teacher in my studio. I would love to have you. If this doesn't work for you. You are free to find another place to contract with or to do your lessons. And that was that I didn't justify my policies. I just answered questions and just reiterated This is how my policies are, this is how I'm set up for my business. Other people do business differently, you're welcome to go elsewhere. Now, I'm not encouraging someone to go elsewhere. But I was letting her know that I'm standing up for myself and my business. And this is how I do business. I don't negotiate, and I stand behind my policies for payment. I stand behind my policies for scheduling. Yes, other people operate differently. That's how they run their business. This is how I run mine. Thank you for being interested in what I do. And if we can't work together, I wish you all the best, has to be very simple, it has to be very clear. And there's no need for justification. Usually, it only confuses the matter even more, or give someone even more opportunity to argue with you. So just don't even go there. Again, keep your policies clear and simple. stay polite, always use positive words, and always call out the behavior that you want to want to see in your clients. For example, and I've said this before in other posts, and with lots of other people, instead of, you know, telling people something like, well, thank you for waiting, you some more positive, because that brings out a negative actually. So tell people, thank you for being so patient, because that's the behavior you want to see in your studio. Instead of, you know, saying something like to a client, you know, thank you for changing your lesson time. Say something about the quality, like thank you for being so flexible this week. And that calls out the quality that you're looking to see in your studio patients flexibility.

You can also call out kindness, understanding, you can even call out something as simple as, thank you for being informed, which means you read my email or my text message. So again, call out the positive things that you want to see in your studio, call those out directly to the people that you're engaging with. But then also in public comments, or comments in newsletters, or blog posts, or social media, call out those behaviors as well thank clients for being understanding thank clients for being patient, thank clients for being flexible. those positive things go a long way toward helping you enforce those policies in a kind, but effective way. Remember, friends, entitlement is an attitude. And the best way to combat and entitlement attitude is to check our own. We all have senses of entitlement when it comes to certain things. What do you have entitlement attitudes around? I do, too, we can always get away from it. So the best thing for me to do first is to check my own entitlement attitudes around whatever, whether it's scheduling or money or certain industries or certain areas of my life. Maybe you have the idea that you should never have to ever make a reservation at a restaurant ever. But you should just be entitled to walk in. Well, that's an entitlement attitude, maybe you have the attitude that you should be able to walk into any store any kind of shop anywhere, and pick up all the merchandise and handle it and not put it back in the right place or handle it and make fun of it. That's an entitlement attitude, and it's a little bit rude. So let's check our entitlement attitudes. First, make sure you have clear policies in place, make sure you are willing to enforce them. And either have a script handy and do some role playing and practice that or delegate it out to someone who can and we'll do that for you. And let's see if we can rise above the entitlement attitude ourselves, and help our clients rise above that entitlement attitude as well. Check your entitlement attitude about being a business owner. You're not entitled to your business. You have to work for it. We all do. You're not entitled to the money that you're getting paid by your clients. We all have to work for it. So remember, we all have these entitlement attitudes. We're not entitled to respect from our clients. We have to give it check yourselves. Let me know if you have any questions or reactions to this post. And I hope to see you around socials. Thanks for listening and watching

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