If you wish for longevity in business you need to know who you hang around with counts. Or in Kate terms, s*** sticks. If you hang around with them too much then it starts to tarnish you and your reputation.
It is well known in social terms that we are collectively the sum of our peers. For me, it’s even bigger than that. We are judged by our actions, their results, and our peers. And with our reputation is everything, your peers are a BIG part of that.
People have a very long memory in business and so they should. Business is a marathon and over your long journey many the people you come across are either going to help you on your way, or thwart it – and you need to bank those experiences to learn from them.
And when people – whether they be clients, suppliers, employees or others – come to evaluate you, they apply filters. Very simple filters to evaluate whether you are friend or foe. Whether you are going to be good for them, or detrimental. It’s a biological imperative honed in after millions of years of evolution. We filter via our own biases and prejudices.
If you are hanging round with people who don’t do business in the way you would or don’t run their business in a way you would you need to know that how others see you. That your morals are aligned with that person and how they do business.
Even if you don’t agree with how your mate is doing business but you continue to be affiliates to them then you have a problem, Houston – because their reputation will tarnish yours by osmosis.
You have to share a moral code and performance standards with those you hang around with.
This is a big deal. There is a real reaction today to foul play an underhand business. Society in these tricky times is sick of being cheated, and ripped off and abused – and these people who have little morals, or play underhand games, or exploit others are getting their comeuppance karmically as well as financially and definitely socially. And you do not want your business to go down with them.
There are people who have stolen business ideas and copied them, there are people who have sold businesses and stolen them back, there are people who phoenixed businesses over an over leaving unsecured creditors like courier companies in the s***. These people are pariahs, and whilst you can leave their comeuppance to the universe (karma people, karma) you can make a choice to choose your acquaintances if they choose to work like this.
I am telling you – s*** sticks. So be careful who you hand around with. If you don’t mind attracting flies then go for it – but if you want to attract clients – you might want to change your mates.