Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

I’m selling a house and remodeling another one that I’m moving into. This has put me out in the market place, doing business.

Everybody wants their cut. That’s one way to see it. The business dealings seem impersonal, often out of control, with people I don’t know, people who are taking my money. The price is what someone else says it is, for the termites, for the repairs, for the Escrow, for the new flooring, for the countertop fabrication.

The other day my wife met the buyer of our property as she was coming out of our house with her agent. My wife coming home to her soon-to-be not-home. You are not supposed to meet the buyer. You deal with them through your paid representative, your agents. They remain invisible behind the paper, offering and counter offering through intermediaries.

But my wife met the buyer, they exchanged pleasantries, she is a person, a nice person. She too is selling a property, and buying one at the same time. She too is just trying to wisely make her way through this deal.

The market place can feel simply contractual. It’s really personal. Our buyer has her own anxieties, perhaps about paying too much, perhaps about dealing with the needed repairs. In her new home she may not be able to afford new hardwood floors like we can.

This week I met our countertop estimator. He drives an older car. He is not the owner of the counter top company; he too has needs, a schedule, a family. He may not have granite in his kitchen.

What posture might I strike as I do business with him, with everyone I sign contracts with? I am tempted to only be concerned about myself, my money, the best deal I can get, my time, my schedule. But I am dealing with people, people just like me. They have the same needs that I do. Many of them have more needs than I do.

What to do?

I am learning to see contracts differently. They are relationships. I am moving toward wanting the good of the other, not simply myself, to pay what is asked, to pray for the person on the other side of the table, sometimes to even give more than asked, bonuses, tips.

Life isn’t just business. It’s people. It a people business.