Several years ago, I was talking to a guy who I’d began dating, but wasn’t positive how much I liked him. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

You meet someone who seems nice enough. You’ve been out on a few dates which were at least good enough for you not to delete their number and unfriend them on Facebook. You think they have potential, but you’re not quite sure how much yet. Or you KNOW they have potential but not positive if it’s “happily ever after” potential.

I promise this post is not about dating. Although don’t be surprised if that topics finds its way into a future article.

My being a blog snob almost made me misjudge this guy.

I mentioned something I read on one of my favorite blogs in conversation one day, and he looked at me with that look.

That look of confusion, while trying to hide it and appear as if everything is crystal clear.

Being the incredibly perceptive person I am, I picked up on it and asked “what’s wrong.” He said, “you read this on what?'” I spoke more slowly and said “a blog.” He said “ok.”

So to make a long story slightly less long, he was just vaguely aware of a blog. I briefly turned up my judgemental nose. I told my best friend, “he doesn’t know what a blog is.” I was a little indignant. I questioned how informed he was.

My friend informed me everyone did not know what blogs were, and that didn’t make them clueless, unsophisticated, bad people. I grudgingly agreed, after defending my point a bit more.

Let this serve as a reminder to not misjudge, misread, or misunderstand people who don’t like, support, or are aware of what YOU deem important.

NEWSFLASH: what you consider freaking awesome is not necessarily the case with others. This also applies to business.

Be careful how you communicate and the judgements you make about your existing and potential customers, along with potential partners.

It’s actually possible the new contact you met at the networking event last week doesn’t know the difference between the free and the paid WordPress options.

Ms. Graphic Designer, everyone doesn’t think PhotoShop is as cool as you do.

Mr. CPA, some small business owners are actually not good a+t keeping up with their deductions or tax law. If they all were, there would be no reason to hire a CPA.

While I’m an avid reader myself and certainly appreciate others who love to read, I’m careful not to write others off who don’t share my love of reading. That has included family members as well as clients.

Something that still goes really far both personally and professionally is empathy. Fortunately, mine has steadily grown over time. How is your empathy?

No matter what your personal brand is about, make sure it includes empathy. Make sure it includes an open mind.

Thank God I’ve learned that lesson. Ok, I’ve had to learn it more than once, but I got it now. Good thing one of those times was over five years.

That guy I was annoyed with who didn’t keep up with blogs turned out to be my husband. To think what I would’ve missed out on…

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