Sometimes it pays to be a bitch…

A true businessman will respect your no just as much as your yes,”

An old friend told me this and it is something that I have always held onto.

Setting boundaries in business relationships can be tough.  No matter how “nice” you are, some people will just screw you over.  That’s why sometimes it just pays to be a Bitch or an Asshole to get things done.  By this, I don’t mean a bully or a con artist.  What I mean is a plain old fashion Bitch or plain old fashion Asshole (choose whichever word fits you best).

I own rental property and what I have consistently found out is tenants that I give the most leeway to have screwed me over the most.  Tenants that I have repeatedly waived late fees for,  and who have consistently paid me late are usually the first ones who move without notice, default on the rent, tear up the house or do something else so remotely lowdown that you question long and hard on whether or not you should hire a hit man.

On the contrary,  tenants who I was firm with, the ones I didn’t accept partial payments from, who I charged late fees to when they were due, or I kept in constant contact with were my prime tenants.  They took care of the houses better, they were seldom late and if they were, it really was a genuine and understandable reason.

The same thing applies in any goal we are accomplishing especially when we have to work with other people to get the job done.  The results use to surprise me every time until I thought about it.  How did I sometimes view people I judged as “soft”?  Well, I noticed I didn’t respect them as much.  When they were in leadership positions, I didn’t take what they said as seriously because often times there were no consequences if I didn’t follow through.

When I realized how I responded to people who behaved this way, first thing I did was changed myself and how I responded to them.  If I disrespected them, then I disrespected myself.  More so, I took a look in the mirror and assessed how many times I was too afraid to set a boundary with somebody because I was afraid I would lose their business, their friendship or whatever I was afraid of.

Secondly, I made slow progressing steps to setting clearer boundaries when working with people.  Yes, it felt very uncomfortable because I wanted them to like me.  But liking me doesn’t pay the bills.  And when someone doesn’t honor an agreement that the two of us made, then that says a lot about how much they “like” me anyway.

So remember, I am not advocating being a bully, uncompassionate, or a con artist, but quite the opposite.  Realize your business is your livelihood, it’s how you make your living.  Your customers, tenants, merchants or whomever you’ve established a relationship and an agreement with do not work for free, so it’s actually bullying, uncompassionate and cunning to ask you to.

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