To say it’s been an interesting start to the year would be an understatement.
What new entrepreneurs often explain to me are the dreams, opportunities and goals that they are going to achieve. This is the lovely, endearing and inspiring part of entrepreneurship.
What is harder for them to understand, indeed you can only live to experience it, is the sheer amount of BS you need to deal with. (Seth Godin or Gary V don’t mention that part).
The majority of people are great. A small, toxic minority seem to be attracted to business. Things like staff trying to steal your intellectual property, customers not paying, suppliers being difficult and unhelpful and not delivering what they promise, and then ‘the jealous brigade’, the perennially disgruntled political activist, the angry, and the outraged.
You know it is very hard to hire people. It is hard to judge people’s characters. Not matter how well you think you know someone, or how much you trust someone, people will lie to your face while stealing your property.
While entrepreneurship hardens you to rejections, the challenges, and put downs, it is still painful to be betrayed by people you trust at the end of the day. Betrayals hurt, especially with people you try to trust. You can judge this by people handing in poor quality work, smearing your reputation on line, extortion, and theft.
An approach that some people take is to simply becoming mean and cynical. It is understandable. It is much easier to stop trusting people, believing that the next person might be better. In the creative world, this is particularly true.
I can’t go this way. A better way I think is to aim to surround yourself with good people. The good people will protect and support you. They will help you kick the bad people out. This is why great teams are so important.
Great teams are built on trust. Trust builds over time.
The moral of this point is that you got to cut your losses when you can.
Entrepreneurship is far from glamorous at the best of times. You will find people who are greedy, cynical and unfair. It really worries me that young people growing up on social media think that they are either being used or need to use people. It’s a worrying trend for the future.
Having said this, you can’t please everyone – so don’t even try.