Mixing business and pleasure… Some would say it’s a foolish thing, maybe even “whoreish”. And by “mixing”, I mean the opportunistic sleep your way to the top approach. I agree. That may be a little whoreish but nonetheless I don’t want you ladies ruling out the whole aspect of mixing business and pleasure all together. What do I say to those who suggest keeping things
“Strictly business?” I say that’s silly! You heard it right. I said silly. S-I-L-L-Y. Just because a man tries to get with me, I’m going to shut down a business opp? “Not I,” said Chazeen. Too many opportunities would have been passed up if that was the case. So how does this work, you ask? You find the perfect medium.
No one likes the stuck up bish that’s all stone-cold business and no play. Once you make it to a certain level, of course, you’re free to act as you please but for those who are still climbing up that ladder of success, business is about schmoozing. People often help those who they know, those who they get close to, and those who they share a bond with. So how do you salvage a professional connect that’s becoming borderline inappropriate? With Finesse. Peep my 6 lessons below chicas:
1. “Sorry sir, I have a Boyfriend” Golden. I know most men will respond to this by saying “That doesn’t matter. He won’t care.” And they’re right! He won’t care BUT that will give you just enough cushion room to politely decline his dinner invitations and pick and choose when, where and how often you guys will be meeting up. I mean… as far he knows, you have a boyfriend so he couldn’t possibly get upset when you don’t completely feed into his shenanigans. An occasional lunch during business hours is A Ok with him.
2. As I always say… Confidence is key. Confidence is attractive but it’s also a bit more intimidating. Prowlers can sense doubt or fear and they prey on that bad boy. Even if you’re uneasy, shake off that school girl, new intern green glow. Take control of the situation and exude the character of a confident business woman. Yeah that’s right punk! You can’t take advantage of me (oh… mini vent haha)
3. You know what? It’s Ok to do a little flirting. Or maybe I should call it “schmoozing.” It’s just a different take on the word. Like I said before, schmoozing is a part of every industry. Every connection and network builds when a relationship is formed. You don’t refer people that you barely know. Do you? Not too often. You refer people that you’re cool with. People that you’ve gotten the opportunity to get close to. Someone whose career you actually follow because you see or chat with them often. Light flirting/schmoozing (a few, laughs, some jokes, kudos and compliments) creates a more personal relationship and can potentially strengthen the bond you guys share. No touching necessary and you don’t have to initiate the flirt. You don’t want to encourage more flirtation on his end. We don’t need him thinking that you’re trying to date him. Just accept the comments and brush overtly flirtatious stuff off as if you don’t know what the intent is behind them.
He messages you on Facebook: “Hey! I saw your new Facebook profile pic. Sexxy!
You: Act like you didn’t see it and run with that story if he should ever choose to address it.
Him: “You went to the gym this morning? Why? Don’t lose those curves. You’ve got them in allllll the right places.
You: “That’s why I go to the gym my brother. Also need to be able to run a mile without fainting. haha. So on to the the meeting shall we?”
4. Gotta know your stuff baby! Be that chill attractive girl who is well versed and knowledgeable about whatever you specialize in. Gotta bring something to the table here besides your looks so that you can be taken seriously. If you can’t bring talent to the table then his purpose for speaking to you can really only be to sleep with you. Makes sense right?
5. Promise me that you’ll exercise boundaries. Don’t attend an event as his date. Don’t let him come to your house (Common sense right? Not to everyone). Try to keep these meetings early and try to limit or properly mix in the one on ones. Lunches are good. Drinks are cool (1 -2 drink limit as Patti Stanger says. Don’t let the tipsiness get ya). Dinners… try to avoid those. Aim for splitting the bill. If he insists on paying… ughh (I hate that), judge it on a case by case basis. What feels right? Maybe grab the next bill and toss in a side joke “I can’t be having you cover every bill. You may think we’re dating. haha!” Cut any potential long, scary hugs in half. Do the same for “uncalled for compliments” and thirsty things of that nature. smh. Play stupid and act like you don’t see those googly eyes. No hanging out every weekend (I’ve seen some ladies fall into this trap because, at first, it seems cool to be hanging out with a major exec of blah blah Records). Couples hang out every weekend. Time is your most valuable asset. Once you give someone too much of your time, you’re sending a clear message. Make sure that your actions are aligned with the message that you’d like to give off. Once you start hanging out every weekend etc, consider it dating whether you like it or not. So much for your fake boyfriend, eh?
6. Of course…Stay in contact. I prefer to use email and Twitter as my methods of contact. Facebook, not so much. I like Twitter because it provides an opportunity to create conversation and meet additional people through your primary followers. He’ll also be less likely to broadcast lusty feelings to the online world. Texting can be done but social media continues that friendly vibe. If you must text, no long back and forth convo friends. That’s no bueno and sends the wrong message as well. Email shows that you’re still looking at the business aspect of this relationship. Don’t ever let your conversation become all friendly talk. Keep it 90% business and 10% friendly chat. Don’t wait for him to hit you up. Hit him up… It allows you to start the convo off and direct it towards the topics that you would like to discuss. Whenever someone is trying to network with another person, they should be hitting that person up, not the other way around. You need to show that you’re serious about what you do.
I’m sure some of you are going to say that this theory is ridiculous and unfair but there are a lot of unfair situations in the world that you have to learn to deal with. You don’t have to condone it but if it’s relevant to your life, there’s no avoiding these obstacles : ( Global warming may not end anytime soon. Racism is still present in this world. There’s a chance that your future husband may cheat on you and yes men of authority, within any industry may try to get with you or sleep with you. The question is: How will you deal with it? And how will you make sure that you don’t crumble in the process?
I wrote these notes for you chicas…Hope you can learn from it.
P.S. Oh! Really Important! If someone is ever being ridiculously inappropriate to the point where you feel disrespected, go ahead and burn that bad boy [bridge]. Dignity will never break your professional life!
P.S.S If he doesn’t seem willing to help you, on to the next one…but don’t burn that bridge. You can tell pretty early in the game if someone is down for the cause of helping you develop professionally so if you just don’t see it happening, don’t invest anymore time. Keep it cordial and work in the occasional email or response on Twitter. When you’re doing your thing, they’ll have no choice but to recognize and acknowledge your success. Words of Chazeen Pemberton.
So… Your thoughts? What I’m saying makes sense right? Let me know in the comments section. Got some additional advice? Share it. Spread the wealth!
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