When I was little (still am, just older), my idea of a businessperson was someone who was intelligent, busy, wore a suit and shiny shoes, was stern and wore a contemplative look on his/her face all the time. In fact, in researching the root of the word from Etymology Online, in Old English the word business was bisignes (Northumbrian) and meant “care, anxiety, occupation,” and from bisig “careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent”. As I get older, that’s simply not the case because there is a difference between b-us-in-ess(ence) and just abrupt busy-ness.
If you do something you love, something that lights that fire within, it shows. You can’t hide it; it’s a part of you because it emanates from you. It’s like watching a master baker kneading her dough until it’s just right so it bakes up exactly as she wants it, soft and airy with a bit of crunch on the outside, or moist and dense and filling. Or a nail artist who creates fantastic, colorful, otherworldly designs with the paintbrush of his imagination. Or a doctor whose gentle hands and gentle manner soothe a patient in distress.
Business is about connection. It’s about bringing value to people. It’s a vehicle by which change and opportunity happen. It also can be done with a pocket full of humor. After all laughter is the best medicine. Think about experiences you’ve had in the past when it came to customer service or meeting a new business associate. Did something funny work to break the ice? Did the lack of a human connection kill the deal?
Number are important. Data is important. However, so are the things that make us human, because after all the interactions we have are really always person-to-person with other things (like tech) as the intermediary. Or well for now, until the machine overlords take over*.