The parable of the lying tailor and the compassionate customer.|

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Yesterday, I suffered a shocker. A huge shocker indeed. Because I learn’t the hard way why mixing business with friendship in these dangerous times has bitter consequences.

The story started four weeks ago. See, there was this tailor in town that I was used to bringing him my clothes to mend for close to one & a half years. A forty something year old man with grey hair & a business I was yet to fully comprehend. Or at least, I thought I had.

Then one day, which was a month ago, I decide to give him a chance to make me a suit. So I pay him half the amount for the material to use for the garment & trust that in one week, he’d finish the suit (mind you, I never even demanded for a receipt from him out of trust).

But woe unto me!

1)Personal matters aside, keep it strictly business.
So after week one, I come to the tailor & he tells me that he couldn’t finish the suit in time. And why’s that? Because apparently, he spent the money I had given him on his daughter’s medication (personal matter #1).

And since I had worked with this old lad for close to two years, I thought; well, for community’s & courtesy’s sake, it would be wise to ‘forgive’ the old lad & add him some more cash, which I gladly did out of trust & compassion (personal matter#2).

So another week passes & another week passes as the old lad gives me excuses about taking the suit to this tailor & that tailor to put this & that design & I was like okay…

2)Demand for your right! It’s first come, first served!
So two weeks ago, I pay the old lad a surprise visit & as it turns out, he was mending suits for another wedding that was happening far away (mutual respect compromised*).

My patience was running out & though I felt like  ranting & raving, I knew that I had to be courteous. So I asked him why my suit was still not ready yet & he continues with his excuses of his personal life, & how my suit was (still) being designed by so & so.

He even went further & asked me to be courteous enough to excuse him to make the current order of suits for a certain wedding because it was urgent (personal matter #3) .

That’s when I had mixed feelings. Though my instincts told me to trust this lad by virtue of his word, my mind told me that I was being taken for a ride…

& guess what?

3)My Mind was right! Businesses will likely use friendship to take advantage & compromise upon mutual respect after all.

And so the old lad promised me that this week, which is the fourth week, would be the ultimatum.

Monday passes, he promises Tuesday & Tuesday passes & so forth… which is basically what he had been doing for the past three weeks.

Thus, I declared that Wednesday was fed-up day & called for the intervention of someone I knew talked tough & kept things strictly business (personal matters aside). And that was none other than my mother (since I knew that my dad’s kindness & courtesy would be taken advantage of.)

And my oh my, here comes the shocker. After a thorough confrontation from my tough stanced mother, who wanted either the results or the money there & then, the old lad had no other choice but to confess.

That he hadn’t even began making the suit after all. That he wanted to start making it & finish the shoddy job on that same day. What utter nonsense!¬†

Of course, we could hear none of that & demanded for the money. It even turned out, based on the testimony of tailors in the locality that the old lad is a chronic liar after all.

So what else can I say. I trusted the old lad like a father but he repeatedly stabbed me in the back with fake promises. All my precious anticipation, energy & time was wasted for nothing. Without compensation!

That’s why I love quoting these wise words by Confucius;

Signs & symbols rule the world. Not words nor laws…

Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…

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Welcome to the World of Complementary Competition.|

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Facebook & Yahoo had numerous lawsuits against each other till recently when they realized that working together as competitors would be more rewarding than tearing each other apart. And that’s what I call complementary competiton.

The business world today has a lot of mounting pressure & the last thing you need is to add enemies to your competitive list. In fact, many people would rather have frenemies in business than have outright enemies in cut-throat business competition. So what’s within the complementary competitiveness package?

1)Staying informed.

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Frenemies in business communicate to each other once in a while behind the scenes to keep tabs on what’s trending & the evolving do’s & don’ts in a fragile business world. They do know that trying to pull off a superman stunt may be costly in the long run.

Because whereas an outright enemy would propel you with mischievous bitterness to ‘prove yourself’ by making rash uninformed decisions, a frenemy on the other hand warns you knowing fully well that you’re likely to warn ‘him/her’ in future. I call it the ‘tit for tat’ game in business.

2)Business prospers in Peace.

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I once saw this movie in which the Germans & Britons were fighting in World War 2, & as they were on cease fire, there was this horse in the battlefield that was trapped at night. And so a german soldier & a british soldier volunteered to go to the horse & free it.

Apparently, the horse was trapped by some barbed wire & badly bruised. And when these two soldiers asked for a pliers to cut the barbed wire, both sides of the warring camps threw in many pliers without a care in the world. To cut the long story short, the horse was freed & the horse was ‘peacefully’ handed over to the British camp. (Unfortunately, the soldiers went back to business the next day.)

Such memories stand out in business. Because it’s a win-win situation for both sides of the conflict to have an agreement without a fight. Harmony in business is like good music. I’m yet to see warring businesses saying;

“Good news guys! Tomorrow we settle a dispute in court!”

I’m sure Facebook & Yahoo were happier & relaxed settling their disputes in a boardroom than in a tense courtroom.

3)It all revolves around your reputation.

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The likelihood of a frenemy doing business with you largely depends on how quarrelsome you are; & that doesn’t necessarily mean raising your voice at someone during a confrontation. It’s about the jargon of unnecessary rules & regulations you stipulate in a contract before a consensus is reached.

Such rules & regulations portray your reputation. Behind all the words in black & white are questions such as; are you mean? Are you a miser? Are you domineering? Are you insecure? Are you principled? Are you manipulative & mischievous… & so forth.

In essence, keep it respectful, simple & straight to the point. Put yourself in the shoes of your frenemy before forwarding your terms & conditions of doing business.

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Don’t chase them away. Bring them on board through complementary competition. Though strict boundaries ought to be respected, this mode of business is inevitable for those who want to survive in an everchanging world.

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Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…

Hope in the face of Despair.

Many times we do find ourselves dangling at the edge of a cliff; friendships on a downward spiral, unsuccessful relationships, debts at an all time high, financial droughts year after year, opportunity after opportunity passing us by, fruitless efforts… the list goes on & on. The point where our dignity is at stake & life seems only unfair to us as the undeserving spoilt brats get to live a smooth life & get what they want, when they want…

These are the moments of despair… moments that make time to slow down as the pangs of pain seem to be elevated & exaggerated beyond our prior experiences. And with each passing day, one tends to wonder whether he/she was born to suffer; & whether destiny had a grudge with them before conception. Do problems discriminate? Do they have an invisible source lurking somewhere? That’s a question for another day…

But for now, lets focus on your one on one encounter with problems. What do you need to withstand them?

 

*A STRONG MINDSET

Left, right & center, they’ll keep on coming. In fact, the more you progress in life, the more the challenges arise & sometimes they do come in humongous, complicated packages. It’s said that if you can’t take the heat, then you should get out of the kitchen; because it’s in the kitchen that the pressure keeps on getting higher & higher with every meal you cook. And the more experience you gain, the higher you go in terms of cooking more complex foods. However, it’s not always smooth sailing since you’ll mess up here & there as the heat & pressure keeps piling up & despair sets in. In fact, the mistakes you make may grow with every elevation you make! Such situations require a formidable mindset fortress that can offer the needed attitude back-up in case worst comes to worst! It definitely doesn’t come easy & it will require discipline to sieve out negative meditations that make you lag behind!

*A STRONG WILL

You’ve got to be willing to go through your challenges & realize that pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Learn to convert moments of despair into moments of ‘a step closer to victory’ by meditating on thoughts that propel you to keep pushing on! Don’t back out because sometimes it’s not about whether you can push the rock… it’s the will that counts. Just like in the gym when you find yourself lifting a weight that seemed impossible to lift, yet your will pushed you to do the seemingly impossible!

*A STRONG HEART

There are moments of despair that are so hurtful, it feels like a dagger has been pierced through the heart especially when you dedicate you heart, soul & mind to accomplish a certain task. One is then left wondering as to whether it’s worth the risk to go higher. It’s said that once bitten, twice shy. But have you ever thought of not letting the hurt get to your heart? You’ve got to learn to guard your heart from unkind & ruthless surprises that may dampen your spirit & tempt you to throw in the towel… only to realize later on that you were ‘this close’ to finishing your sentence in the problems prison.

It’s these three tenets of strength in moments of despair that will give you hope, because your mind is like;

“When I get there, I’ll forget that I was in despair in the first place!’