Last night was a good example. I had a problem with a customer. There were these issues with their configuration, and they were complaining. They ended up setting up a meeting with my competitor - at least, I was pretty sure about it. When people complain, you need to deal with the issue. If they're making noise, but you're fixing the problem - then they're probably okay. It's when they get silent on you, that you know you're losing business. They're going elsewhere.
So, I was kind of down about it all. I was trying to get with this customer and let them know what I'd done for them but they were 'out of the office'. And then I checked in with my competitor and asked him if he'd heard about anything from these guys. He said he didn't. He lied.
I caught him up in their server room today. And you know, it hurt. This customer is an important customer to me. And to have them cut off like this is a real pain. The guy is trying to sniper my customer. Grrr.
But that was today. Yesterday, I just had a vague sense of bad feeling about what was going on. I took it home with me. When I opened the mail, I found that my son had done very well on a key exam he had taken. An exam that would let him into a very good school. And slowly, it began to dawn on me that my son was more important than my job. I even said it this morning - I didn't scurry into work as fast as I could. I just drove in at the normal time, and relaxed along the way. It took about an hour, really - for it to sink in that the kid did a great job.
And suddenly, everything seemed a little better. Still not great, but then, hey. We do what we can. Right now I'm going to focus on taking care of the existing customers. If my competitor gets in there and screws around with my new ones, hey. That's life. I'll make sure he gets his. I'm not going to make it easy for him.
But in the end, whether or not the guy will get this customer away from me depends largely upon whether or not he's going to be able to pry them away from the work I've already done for them. Work that is largely finished. If they want to spend more. They can. It's up to them. We're going to hold a meeting and check off what was done. I'll be ready for it.
What is important is that my son did well. And that makes me want to do better in my own life. I may be a bit messed up - but if I can maintain my priorities, I think I'll be ok. Right now, the new customer just dropped lower on my list than they were before. Some might say that's bad for business. Yes.
But it's going to be great for my mountain bike schedule.