The Worst Phrase in Entrepreneurship: “It’s Just Business”

A graphic showing arrows coming from the mouth of a businessperson and piercing the heart of another.

By Andrea Savard, Certified Two-Brain Business Mentor

I will never accept this sentence: “It’s just business.”

When I worked in the corporate world, I was invited to national sales meetings complete with lavish hotels, high-priced motivational speakers, open bars and endless parties. Not two months before the meetings, the company had laid off 75 staff members due to cutbacks. “It’s just business,” I was told. At that moment, I knew I was in the wrong place.  

Growing up, I also remember watching my parents in tears when they were given the line “it’s not personal; it’s just business” as someone was stealing their lives’ work and selling it for profit. 

I call bullshit. 

Business is not just business. It’s people and their families, your staff, your customers, your community and your reputation.  

“It’s just business” is the biggest cop-out. You aren’t explaining your position or intentions. And you aren’t being a decent human or trying to see the effects you are having on others. In my opinion, it’s a cold and heartless way to run your business. 

There is always a better way.  

Even if the outcome of a decision can’t be changed, you can choose to run your business with integrity, morals and care for relationships.

If you regularly say “hey, it’s just business,” please lose my number. 


One more thing!

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