I often talk about how to manage time better in business as well as about my business ventures in Costa Rica. Last time I wrote about the importance of using statistics to the best of your advantage to make more informed decisions. Today I’d like to take it back a step to the things we learned in Kindergarten : virtues in business. I remember reading a book titled “All I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten” and the title hits me well. It’s about the basics. Of course, I will write these in not-very-preschool vocabulary.
- Reciprocate. Business will be better in the long run if you strive to create a lasting relationship that benefits both parties (or multiple parties involved). Try to make the quick easy buck through cheap methods and you cannot last very long. Even if you do make some dough, how good can you possibly feel about it?
- Fairness. Be fair. If you feel that the other guy’s getting the stiff end of the stick, take a step back and think about it. At the same time, do not be taken advantage of – if you feel that you’re putting out more than what your compensation is worth, it’s time to re-evaluate.
- Keep business and personal matters separate. I know a lot of idiotic people who simply cannot do this. They let personal affairs interfere with their business and vice versa. And I’m not perfect – I’m sure I’ve made the mistakes before but I always try to keep them separate.
- Loyalty. This is a trait I emphasize even more because I am Korean, and loyalty is a big part of our culture. Do not jump ships easily based on hasty decisions, and do not backstab people for immediate gain. Keep things in check. Even if something goes bad or you have negative feelings towards another, do not take it out on them in any vengeful way – it will only diminish your character as a cheap and dirty person and people will lose respect for you. The sense of double-crossed revenge may be satisfying but it’s not worth it at all. And once again – think about how you’ll feel later.
- Their money is your money. Respecting other peoples’ money – whether you deal with a start-up realtor with limited funds, or with a large corporation with loose cash – always respect their money. Regardless of how much or little they have, treat it the same way and give them their value. I’m not saying there’s something severely wrong with giving discounts to smaller businesses out of pity and also to get their business, but I’m saying that it is wrong to assume a large corporation will blindly pay you out funds that you do not deserve just because they have it. You may fool them once or twice but it won’t last.
Now you guys may understand how I managed to stay in business and grow my business as a self-employed marketing engineer over the last year and 8 months, without doing much marketing at all – just word of mouth is all I have had to rely on and it’s paid off well.