A long-time personal friend of mine is also one of my firm’s
clients. Unfortunately we aren’t seeing eye to eye on an
important contractual issue and this has led to bad feelings.
This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced my personal and
professional life not jiving and unfortunately I never seem to
know how to handle it well. Any advice on how friends should
handle doing business together?
Kathy in Pennsylvania
Don’t! Your best friends are your worst
customers. Businesses get paid to serve their customers, which
makes the customer the ultimate boss. As WalMart founder Sam
Walton used to say, “There is only one boss - the customer. And
he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down”.
Just as you shouldn’t hire a good friend because you
wouldn’t want to fire a good friend, you shouldn’t let them hire
you by letting them become your customer. You can always find
more customers and employees, but good friends are few and far
Thanks for your question.
- Glenn in Nashville, TN
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the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may
remain anonymous if your prefer.
There’s an unspoken assumption that
people who've lost their jobs and say they’re looking for a new
one are working hard to find one.
But nothing could be
further from the truth.
Several years ago, I’ve offered
to help three people find new jobs and each gladly accepted.
I bought a copy of Jay Conrad Levinson’s “Guerrilla
Marketing for Job Hunters: 400 Unconventional Tips, Tricks, and
Tactics for Landing Your Dream Job” to help them, but never
heard from any of them again. One didn’t answer my emails, and
the other two didn’t call me as they promised to.
working harder to help them solve their problems than they were.
Unfortunately, this was nothing new. Over the years,
I've noticed that what many folks who've asked me to help them
get a job really want is for it to be handed to them on a silver
Once while I was speaking at Auburn University,
I met a woman who was struggling to feed herself and her
daughter on $20k a year. She told me she needed to make at least
$24k a year.
She was an accounts receivable manager and I
knew that anyone who's good at bringing in past due accounts can
easily make more than that. I had her write a promise that she
would call five law firms that I referred her to and apply for a
job. I followed up, but she never returned my calls. I also
mailed her a copy of her promise, but never heard from her
I would have thought that when the unemployment
rate shoots up, this might change. But time and experience have
shown that it doesn’t.
The truth is that a lot of people
are just too lazy to look for a job, and deserve to be
If they’re not going to work hard to find a
job, they're not going to work hard once they get one.
The good news is that no matter what the unemployment rate is,
you can always find a job IF you’re willing to WORK hard enough
to find it.
To Your Success,
Here’s an example. Megan was 21 and wanted to find a job in a
hair salon in Nashville. Instead of looking in the Help Wanted
ads, she Googled “The best hair salon in Nashville”. Breon’s
Hair Salon came up, but she didn't call and ask if they were
hiring. Instead, she showed up with her resume in hand, and got
the job. While that won’t work everywhere, showing that level of
initiative puts her miles ahead of others who think that
applying for jobs online while in their pajamas is enough.
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