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No More Ms. Nice Guy

Do nice girls really finish last in the business world?

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This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Do women business owners succumb to the "nice girl" syndrome? "My biggest struggle is remembering that it actually pays to be nice," admits Catherine Meyler, 48, founder of Meyler & Co. Inc. , a $1.4 million Los Angeles firm that represents private homes as locations for print, TV and film. "But there's a thin line between nice and stupid." From the beginning, Meyler made it a company policy to always be extremely polite, courteous and respectful, yet at times, she believes she gave in too easily to client demands or let customers take advantage of her.

Her solution? "I explain why I am unhappy, but [do it] in a calm and logical fashion, [suggesting the client] look at this from my point of view," Meyler says. "This underscores that I'm willing to help, but they shouldn't expect favors every time."

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