Alcohol Can Hurt Your Business
Sometimes, even if our intentions are good, people can be offended by whether alcohol is part of our business or personal lives. You see, we each have a set of values and perception of how things "should" be done.
I was recently at an appointment with my family doctor. Last Christmas I had given him a bottle of wine and, at the time, he expressed sincere thanks for it. This year, he explained that a drug representative had sent him a bottle of alcohol for Christmas and he was not impressed. He explained that in his mind a gift of alcohol is a personal gift and not one that "strangers" should give to each other. To him, the rep was not close enough to be giving such a gift, This really made me think about how each of us is unique and needs to consider the receiver before sending any gift.
There are some groups and religions who do not use alcohol and would not appreciate a gift of alcohol. I think of the Mormons who actually do not consume any beverages that would stimulate them - even soft drinks as they have caffeine. Those who have sworn off alcohol because of previous addiction or alcohol abuse would also not be a good candidate for a gift of alcohol.
But it is not just giving alcohol that can hurt your business, you need to consider how consumption can be a minefield. Let's say that you set up a cocktail party for your clients. How many do you think might not attend because they do not want to take part? Some might attend but not partake. Still others might be slighted if you do not offer choices for the non-drinkers. You might be better to have a social event and just not include alcohol at all at the gathering.
Finally, let's consider how your use of alcohol can hurt the business. If you are drinking during business hours, you risk the chance that you will not be at your best, Your focus, speech and thinking might be compromised. And the smell might easily not only give you away but lead to a situation where your client loses respect for you. Even your alcohol use after work hours can negatively affect your reputation. People are watching to see how you act and whether you like it or not, make judgments about you and your business based on what they see.
A long time ago, I made a decision that if I am going to drive, I will limit myself to two drinks - because I do not want to lose my driver's licence. If I am taking a taxi, I limit myself to three drinks - because I do not want to lose my dignity! Yes, the choice is yours but I do caution you to consider that your values and choices might not be ones that would be welcomed or adopted by the clients who you wish to serve.