Is there Room for Sentiment in Business?

In today’s day and age, is there room for people to show some sense of sentiment towards the underdog? Is sentiment good for business? Some business gurus would argue, and say that its not. I beg to differ.

Why? Firstly, let me switch the cards … and look back in my life to see when others have helped me.

As an entrepreneur, there have been many occasions in which I have been helped by others. I live in India, and the dollar is much stronger than our local currency – and hence buying overseas products and paying in dollars is harsh on us. Many software’s cost a lot of $$.

However, many times, when I cannot afford it budget the full amount, I send out a polite email to the developer, explaining my situation and asking for any help in the form of a concession in price. This works and 99% of the time, people help out and I get the software or service at a better price. In my experience, smaller companies are more likely to help out than the bigger ones out there.

To cite one incident. I remember Andy of cgiscrpt.net – who helped out immmensely by giving me a whole set of scripts at a good bargain. To show my gratitude and appreciation, I sent him a few mini-elephant carvings from India! Thanks again, Andy.

Similarly, when I get a request – I help out and “pay it forward”. I love to help the “under dog” …. the person struggling his way up… trying to survive. I think its OK to help – even if it means a large cut into your profits. Still, some people will show little sentiment and argue otherwise.

Helping the small rising individual or company is something that should come naturally to all entrepreneuers, and if it doesn’t, try to inculcate this habbit. Its good Karma. And, someday, when the small ant becomes a big elephant – they will remember you.

We all like to make money. But sometimes, helping out for free is more rewarding. Some business experts will say otherwise. DO NOT listen to them! Make your choice, based on the unique situation at hand… and show some sentiment. Base your decision with both your mind and heart (without compromising your duty towards your company), and you will have a lot to look back at, later in life… with a smile.

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