Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Much Is Your Name Worth?

In business, I am often faced with a dilemma of making money to help me and my family make it in this world and doing business with the wrong people. I am reminded almost daily of how doing business with the wrong person or group can really have a negative impact on how others view you.  The question we have to pose before launching off into ventures with others is, "How much is my name worth and will doing business with this person or people or company cost me in the end with regards to who I am at the end of the day?"
It's not an easy question when money pops its little green eyeballs at us with those dead presidents staring at you. The lure and love of money have taken down many a person.  Ask anyone in Gamblers Anonymous or the bank robber, or the illegal trading stock broker. The chance to get buried under cash is a big bit of bait in a world that constantly asks for more and more of us. We might be faced with a financial crisis of our own and we need the funds to get us back to even. Medical bills, college tuition, weddings, funerals, cars, homes, etc. They all add up to needs in this world and all of them come with a price tag. However, as we are sitting in the car mechanic's shop waiting for the total of the "damages" of getting the family truckster fixed we have to contemplate what really matters and what we will be willing to do to make ends even meet, much less thrive monetarily.

I can easily get off point here and preach for hours, but my initial point was to talk about who we choose to do business with and how that will effect how others see us. As you do business in any venue, stop and ask yourself how much your potential partnership will make you versus how much it could cost you in terms of loss of character and having your name associated with the wrong people. Consider these things:

1 - What is the reputation of the person or people you are about to do business with? This one should be an easy one because as the old saying goes, "Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster." While not all the bad news is really relevant to your partnership, weighing this is crucial to any initial questions and fallout from those who would question that partnering. When you hear words like liar, cheat, dishonest, greedy, slimy, etc. I would advise running the other matter how much money that partnership might bring you. When you hear fair, honest, awesome, listener, caring, compassionate, etc. you can be rest assured that a good character will only be enhanced by such a combination of people doing business together.
2 - How will this effect the relationships I already have in place? If you have ever cringed when someone told you who they presently work with or have worked with in the past, join the crowd. Also realize that the same holds true if you tell others who you work with. Our true character and reflection comes out in the referrals and reflections we get from others. Any time your name is mentioned it will bring up one of three responses: (1)People don't know you. (2)People don't like you (3)People like you. If you have a great relationship with others in your circle and you value them, be very cautious and possibly even get their input when you are thinking about adding someone new to your colleagues list.
3 - Can I walk away if things go badly? While the money may look good and your fridge is full, you always need to be able to have the strength to walk away if a business relationship goes badly. Many times things start out great. Remember what I said about money and its effects? In a partnership only you can be truly responsible for you and your reactions to it. With another person, that's up to them and their case of the "money at whatever cost bug" might be more severe than you could have planned for. You can try to talk them down off the ledge, but you can't be afraid to walk away and leave the negative vibes behind. Like it or not, those actions and switches in attitude are seen and effect the group...not just the individual.

Our own name is all we really have. When we decide to enter into any relationship, but especially a business one, we become associated with that other entity. Some relationships are better left alone at acquaintances or cordial friends. Other relationships are perfect to go to the next level and to be a mutually beneficially pairing of good business practices and ethics. A name is not something you can have to earn it. Sometimes it gets drug through the mud and it can take a lifetime to get it back to where it's clean again in others' minds. Choose partners wisely and your name could be your legacy.

With a deep blog like this, you need a little something to ease the moment.  This short video on good versus bad character might do the trick (just remember, save your drowning friend...don't help him drown):

Would you like a partner in your business ventures? Would like to involve yourself with me and what i do daily to help others in the area of insurance and employee benefits? Maybe you want to play a good game of tennis or learn to play the trumpet. I'd be happy to speak with you there too. I'm pretty multi-faceted and would welcome an opportunity to see if we can do some business together. I try to always be a phone call (205-370-8453) or an email ( away. I look forward to our future interactions.