Cup of Joe: When To Be A Jerk, and When Not To

Jerk I would say that the hardest part about becoming an entrepreneur is learning how to work with people. It’s hard because everyone is different. Everyone communicates differently. Everyone has different ideas and expectations. Everyone has a different agenda.

This week I learned that sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are at communication, some people are only interested in themselves. Some people are content with taking advantage of others.

Some people are jerks.

Learning this helped me realize that sometimes I have to be a jerk too.

Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Gandhi was an amazing human being, but you can tell from that quote that he never had a web development client!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I need to treat everyone like crap. In fact, I used to have this general mind set that if I treat everyone well, they will do the same for me. Even though I think that 95% of the time that’s still true, it’s that extra 5% that is killing me. It’s killing me because I don’t want to be a jerk. I hate the way it makes me feel and the way it makes others feel.

But as my company grows and more opportunities come my way, I am seeing more people trying to take advantage of what we do. I am realizing that if I don’t say NO firmly, no matter what the case, I start losing money. Money that we work very hard to get.

I have come to the conclusion that when someone puts your principles, self worth, intelligence, and integrity in a position to be manipulated or abused, it’s jerk time! Without standing up for yourself and your ideas, what’s the point of having them in the first place?

[photo credit]

  • http://enormous Thunder

    I agree with you that there are times when you must say “No” firmly otherwise you would definitely loose something.

  • http://www.internetmarketing4noob.com NgPillai

    It will be easier to communicate and work with people whom are having similar aim and achievement as yours. But sometimes in such situations also u end up having conflicts so it all depends on how the individual set their mind…;)

  • http://homeremediesmd.com Home Remedies MD

    I feel I have to be a jerk when i feel that someone is wasting my time

  • http://www.theistudio.com/muse Judith Kallos

    Joe,

    After following you for some time, I can’t even imagine you being a jerk. Those who get you that way must be jerk-squared!

    With that said, I get what you are saying….. The moment my time and knowledge is not respected, I’m all of a sudden too busy for that client, project, or “opportunity”. You know what they say — when you do what you enjoy for a living you never work a day in your life! So I respectfully eliminate those who take the joy out of what I do and leave them to find someone else to be a jerk to.

  • http://justindupre.com Justin Dupre

    You don’t necessarily have to be a jerk but when you sense that someone is taking advantage of you then a firm No will work.

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    It’s tricky, because you’re growing a company, but at the same time, it’s also your responsiblity to see what works and what doesn’t. I don’t think it’s a case of being a jerk, but just being a wise entrepreneur.

  • http://www.highland-building-services.com highland builders

    Web Development would be a great job. If it wasn’t for clients!

  • Erica

    Agreed, when somebody abuses your kindness, you have to be a biatch

    sometimes exceptionally dumb people deserve it as well

  • http://www.solsticemedia.blogspot.com Pete Ricci

    I agree. You have to be firm. I wrote something along those lines in my blog. Talked about doing business with friends. Good stuff. Keep writing!