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?