In my opinion, the phrase ¨Its business not personal¨ is one of the many gibberish terms widely used in the business world. I could back this stance up with a thousand reasons but for the sake of this article, I would only cite a few. Let me start by posing a question, have you ever heard that statement in a business situation where both parties achieved their set out goals for the business? No, right?. Usually, you would hear statements like ¨It was a pleasure doing business with you¨ or ¨Hope we can do this again¨. Point here is the fact that you would only hear people give the nothing personal spill in business situations where one of the parties ends up on the short end of the stick. So, you were dishonest during the course of a business, you took advantage of the other party because for the most part you only cared about your personal goal then at the end of the business arrangement, you hit them with the good old its business not personal line. That, my friend, is the exact definition of something being personal. Let me paint a scenario where I own a clothing line and I partner with a marketer who assures me of a certain number of sales from his operation. If at the end of our arrangement, he was not able to reach the number initially promised having carried out all of his marketing processes, I can accept that. In that case he does not need to tell me it is not personal, I get it, sometimes businesses do not pan out in real life as written on paper. However, if he sold the number which we agreed on but manipulated the records to show that he sold less, that is very personal. This marketer is exactly the type of persona that goes around saying ¨Its business not personal¨. This statement is just a convenient excuse for people that thrive off bad business practices. Another reason for my disdain for this statement is that it dismisses the common denominator of every business, human beings. No business exists without human beings and guess what all human beings possess? emotions, feelings, opinions and biases. We are not robots, of course, we can attempt to set aside our personal feelings every now and then in a business arrangement but even that has its limits. We do not have a switch that controls our human attributes, otherwise I would have switched off my hurt when the marketer manipulated the records he gave to me because hey, its not personal.
The importance of honesty and trust in business cannot be overstated. As much as I do not think its necessary to be best friends with everyone you get in business with, basic inter-personal relations and honesty in your dealings could be the beginning of a long-lasting business partnership. It is okay to do business and also be able to sleep at night.