One of the biggest challenges faced by business owners is choosing whom to do business with. One wrong “ally” can result in lost revenue, stolen customers, or pirated intellectual property. The best way to separate the wheat from the chaff is to align yourself with people who do things solely to help you. My father used to tell me that if you give to get, that’s not giving, that’s trading. And in today’s business world, it is imperative that we continue to find others who work for a higher good over their own personal benefit. These people are the real deal
and embody the term adding value
Make sure your closest advisors, board members, mentors, consultants, and key personnel are true evangelists for supporting your business or cause. Whether it is referring you to their clients, or simply forwarding an eBlast or tweet, they are “on your team” to promote you. Make sure they are doing this or find someone who will.
Watch out for people that won’t do anything for you without a cut. I’ve had people call me about a promising client or sale and in the same breath begin discussing their cut. I may be old school, but I truly believe Zig Ziglar’s famous quote, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Again, I want to align myself with helpers, not traders.
There are plenty of consultants out there who will charge you to grow your business before they’ve delivered results. Be very careful investing upfront with anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game
. If someone is really that certain or savvy about delivering the results they’ve promised, they should be more than willing to wait for the actual results.
As a publisher, we invest in authors because they can transform the lives of others. Take some time to ensure that the words are an authentic representation of the person putting the ink on the page. You can’t teach others to get their house in order unless yours is. Do your homework, get references, run appropriate checks, and remember: actions always speak louder than words. This is critical for any business, regardless of the end product or service.
Following these brief hints will ensure that you are working with those who truly have your best interests at heart. The greatest supporters in my business have come to me willingly, doing things without my request, and stepping in to provide their expertise without trying to negotiate a deal. And in helping me, I have added helping them
to the top of my strategic plan.