Why it’s nice to be nice.

beniceI’m a nice guy. Honest I am.. sure there are times when I’m not at my best, and have the odd bad day, but on the whole – I’m one of the good guys.

And why not… Life’s too short to frown, to moan, to hold grudges, or to be a grumpy person.

And it pays off… The other day I was travelling back from the Isle of Mull on the ferry to Oban, and while sitting in the dining area of the ferry quietly typing up a client website report, I noticed a family at the table behind me taking a photo. The “mum” was taking a family photo of the kids, and grandparents. Having been in that position myself, I immediately got up and asked if she’d like me to take one of all of them. She initially declined, but Granny exclaimed that “Yes – I want a family shot”, and thanked me for the kind offer. I politely smiled, asked them all to “say cheese”, took the photo, sat down, and back to work. 30 seconds of my time, but a treasured family holiday snap for them.

So what’s the point of this story? Well as we were about to disembark, the mum came up to say hello again, said she noticed I was on my laptop, and saw the logo (and strapline) on my branded polo shirt. “Is it websites you do?” she asked? And so I briefly explained that yes – that’s what we do, and I’m in Mull right now to help some other local businesss etc etc. She asked for my name, took my business card, and explained that she needed help in exactly this area. Will she call? Who knows… but she might. Why wouldn’t she call the “nice man that took our photo” when she’s comparing web design companies. Did I take the photo just to maybe get some business? No – I took it to be nice, and because it was the right thing to do – to help people when they need help.

In a world of social media, where angry rants are common place, it’s easy to not be nice. It’s easy to moan… but the truth is, no one wants to befriend or offer work to a person who moans all the time. Who clearly isn’t always one of the good guys.

It’s not easy to always be at your best. But we should all try. It benefits you, and everyone around you, and very often (in a business capacity) it pays off. So let’s all be nice. Give it a try. As my dear old mum used to say (so much so that we engraved it on her headstone) – “Keep Smiling!”

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