Are you a bitch? Or a business owner? If you’re a woman, you’ve probably been labeled a “bitch” because you stood up for your worth and your values.

I bet you’re not really a bitch. (Are you?)

I have been “dissed,” if you will, three times this month by people I made a priority. As a business owner, that’s how I roll. And I get that being dissed (or as I call it, disrespected) happens to the best of us. But my response to these people has me asking myself, “Am I being a bitch? Or a business owner?”

{Have You Been Disrespected?}

are you being a bitch or a business ownerThe first time I felt I was disrespected was when a colleague didn’t meet me at our scheduled time. I honored her request to sit down and discuss possible collaboration. I made time in my schedule and put it in my calendar. I even drove 45 minutes to get there. She didn’t show.

Grrrr…. The excuse she gave the following day resembled that of a Charlie Brown comic strip. I can’t do business with Charlie Brown. Lucy, maybe. But not Charlie Brown.

The second time was when a contractor neglected to respond to me for two weeks to my request to send me information so I could complete his project. I made the project a priority. I always do. I called, emailed, I even sent smoke signals asking for the info. Radio silence. Two weeks later, I got the info I needed, but it set me back with my own work. Not cool.

The third time was when a potential client canceled his already paid for consultation not once, not twice, but three times, and just hours before we were to meet. When he asked if we could reschedule a third time, I said no and sent him down the river.

To me, all of these “disses” translate to disrespect. And frankly, I won’t tolerate it.


{How Should You Respond to People Like This?}

Am I being a bitch or a business owner?Some of you may be thinking, “Jeez, Joleene. Maybe your colleague was ravaged by a pack of angry wolves and couldn’t get to the phone to tell you she couldn’t make it. Ever think of that? Or maybe the guy with the contract got lost in a dark mine and was chased by zombies for the past two weeks. Ever think of that?”

Yes, yes I have.

And here is my conclusion: If a professional can’t make a scheduled appointment or reach out in a timely manner, it shows me that what I do and how I might serve them isn’t that important. And if it’s not important to them, it’s not important to me.

Having said that, I have responded to these individuals accordingly by no longer making them my priority.

To the woman who didn’t show and gave me a crazy Charlie Brown excuse, I rejected her offer to meet a second time, telling her I would reach out when my schedule opened up. I don’t think it’s going to open up.

To the contractor who intentionally chose to not reach out to me for two weeks, I vocally expressed my frustration during our meeting. He shared a series of excuses that, quite frankly, didn’t impress me. I’ve been where he is. I’ve experienced some pretty crappy things in my life that have knocked me on my butt, but never during that time did I neglect or ignore a client for two weeks straight. Needless to say, I cut him loose. He is no longer my client.

To the man who canceled the appointment thrice and wanted to schedule a fourth, I simply said: “I’m afraid I don’t have any time. I respectfully held space for you twice and you didn’t reciprocate. I have since returned your consultation fee. I wish you the best in your endeavors.”


{Bitch? Or Business Owner?}

am i being a bitch or a business ownerSooooo….do these responses make me a bitch?
Or a business owner who values her time?

I believe I am the latter. I know I’m not always perceived that way. I also know that there are plenty of other business owners, corporate leaders, or entrepreneurs who would respond the same way. Someone said once, “Never give someone the opportunity to waste your time twice.” I wish I knew who that was. I would hug them.

And look, if a pack of angry wolves gnawed your leg off, just call me and let me know. Things happen. I get that. I really do. But if you don’t respect my time and the fact that I’ve specifically opened space for you, you can’t expect me to respect yours.

I suppose that makes me a bitch.
Or…a business owner who values her time.

Either way, show up with integrity the first time around.
A person’s actions will tell you everything you need to know.

Joleene Moody is a former television reporter and anchor turned ghostwriter and speaker, based in Central New York.
(No, not New York City. Not even close. 🙂
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