My wife made a rather interesting observation recently that has had me rethink my past business experiences. She noted that people focus on themselves when they look at a photo of group of people if they are in the picture. I do it myself I see the picture and usually comment about my pose or about my hair or something that isn’t really that important. The point is we focus on ourselves. In business it’s the same. People even when they say they want to promote your business the bottom line is they really are in it for themselves. This doesn’t mean people only help themselves and that they 100% selfish. It does mean though more often than not they will take the opportunity which benefits them the most even if it means not helping or even hurting others in the process.
My business career is littered with such examples. Once I helped a real estate agent to get #1 for his market with the provision we would split the profits. For awhile it worked but he was given a golden opportunity to start a new business which at first it looked like I would be invited to be partnered in on. The opportunity was mainly a result of his online success which was 100% the result of my efforts which took his site from receiving 5 leads in a year to 5-10 leads per day and 100 home sales per year. However, if he gave me the credit I deserved his cut in the business would be jeopardized so while I was on holiday he copied all the content from the site I created and later phoned me to say that he was grateful for the work I had done but he would be cancelling our agreement. I was taken out of the picture.
Sure I’m bitter about this, but as people say that’s business. Of course it has never been my business practice. I have always been honest with people that I work with and stand behind my words. Often I would rather lose money than lose respect or a friendship. I don’t want to stand on some soapbox and preach, but my point is maybe the “that’s business” attitude needs to change. When I do marketing for clients I generally am successful. I like to test things with them new strategies and new ideas. Sometimes these tests work sometimes they fail but I’m honest about the process. As the result of my honesty and my treatment of clients where I often put their needs before my own I have almost a 100% client retention rate. There are others who maybe make more money than I do through backstabbing and betrayal but sometimes the last man standing is the honest one.
I apologize for the rant, but just I hope it is something people consider when they make their next business decision.
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