Much of Growth Architecture focuses on building relationships. The first and most important lesson in business is this: it’s not really about business; it’s about the PEOPLE you do business with.

Think about it. A person approves the budget. A person collaborates with you. A person releases your payment.

I am a recovering jerk

It’s true! I used to be a real jerk. I was all business and made no time for building relationships. I wanted to be known for the quality of my work, not my dazzling personality. I thought the work I did would speak for itself.

Perhaps you can relate… In my mind, when the work is good, there is no need for all this fuzzy emotional stuff wrapped around a business relationship. And besides, who has the time?

Oh boy was I wrong.

After mastering some really big blows (like facing bankruptcy and losing my business in the aftermath of September 11th), I am fairly unflappable. It was a jolt to the ego when things were crumbling beneath me, but I managed to maintain an outward appearance of confidence that helped me regroup and rebuild. And one thing I learned along the way is that business is all about the people. Support from people helped me pull through.

How To Not Be A Jerk in Business

Make a connection

There are two schools of thought about how to prepare for your first meeting with a potential client. One is to research thoroughly and enter the room with as much information as you can and then demonstrate what you know.

The other, and I learned this from the amazing Chris Do from Blind, is to go into a meeting with a blank slate. Why? Because Chris wants his potential future clients to explain what they do without having any jaded or preconceived ideas. Chris’s work is in branding and design, so the clients’ answers give him critical clues as to where they might be stuck or what they may need.

For you, it’s crucial to develop an approach that suits you and is consistent with your brand.

TIP: Determine your approach as part of your Lean Start Up strategy.

In my business, I call this the Uncovery phase. It’s a mix between uncovering and discovering our clients’ needs. It includes a series of questions that help pinpoint exactly what it is that we can support our clients with.

When We Know Where It Hurts, We Can Fix It

Once there is a clear understanding of the problems a client has, it is so much easier to offer the right solution.

For me, I stopped being a jerk when I stopped selling what I could do. I learned to shift from selling to solving. I did this by focusing to the problems my clients faced. Something that we are discussing how to do in our upcoming launch for our first live event in Los Angeles: How To Sell More And Feel Good About It.

So do not be a jerk in business. After all, your business is not about you—it’s about what you can do for them, the PEOPLE.


Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect and a results-oriented businesswoman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record in growing, building and scaling women’s businesses. Once $135,000 in debt and a single mother, she successfully sold her business to a global entertainment media company owned by Bill Gates in a multi-million dollar deal.

Through her online courses, one-on-one training programs and live speaking events, she mentors women entrepreneurs with her 5 Star Success Blueprint, developed with the knowledge gleaned from her growing, scaling and selling her own company. Beate has a deep commitment to supporting women.

She is the creator of The Women’s Code, the fourth step of Growth Architecture that is focused on Supporting Balanced Leadership. Her proprietary methods specifically address women’s obstacles and she leads from experience, having survived in business in a highly competitive male-dominated environment.

She is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the book “Happy Woman Happy World How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome”, a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”

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