You know, the toughest thing about working for yourself is, if you're not getting a referral, you have to reach out to people and companies to see if they can use your services.

I'll admit it; I absolutely hate this part of the business. I'm not very good at it because I'm often forgetting what's supposed to be the prime rule; it's not personal.

Course, it's hard not to take it personally when you get comments like this: "Why do you people persist in calling us, because we're never going to need your services." The truth is of course they're going to need our services; they just might not need them now, or they might go with someone else other than me. That's kind of the thing about advertising, isn't it, to make sure people who need services you provide will at least remember your name so they'll give you a chance at getting the business?

I expect people to react badly if you call them at home, which of course I'd never do for my business. However, even then, some people do have to call homes, especially insurance salespeople, often because they've been given a referral from someone, and, unfortunately, the person being called is often the last one to know their name has been given out.

But when it comes to businesses, there are very few who are insulated enough so that they never have to pick up the phone, or have someone else pick up the phone, or send a letter or an email and contact other businesses in some way at some time in order to try to get business, or at least get known.

And if most business people remembered this rule, at least business might move along easier, and there would be fewer times when people would take it personal.