I didn’t want to write this. I didn’t want it to seem I’m spilling the bean. It’s suppose to be a secret between me and a friend; my best friend. We’ve shared a lot of things; deep things.
Matters of the heart in fact. But for once, I’m going to be the betrayer. I’m going to share with you the details of the secret we shared recently. And you will understand ‘why’ as you read on.
It was a week ago when she called. Her voice was distant; the usual liveliness that often enveloped it was gone. It was weak. It sounded like one who had lost the resolve to continue with life.
“Are you Ok?” I asked with a worried tone. “Talk to me Tina”.
For good one minute, she sobbed over the phone. I allowed her to cry, to let the tears flow. To let her release those pent up emotions on the inside. Then she calmed. And sniffing between intervals, she said:
“Joshua, my business is dying! My world is crumbling! I’m dying! I can’t take it anymore!”
“What? What happened? Why…What happened to the business?! I don’t understand”. Truly, I didn’t understand. Her business was just barely two months old. In a few seconds, all the times and effort we had spent planning for the business rolled before my eyes. So, what in the world was going on?
“People are owing me up to #200, 000. And they’re refusing to pay” she whined.
“What? 200k? Why would people owe you up to that amount? Who are these ‘people’ by the way?” I was getting a little angry.
“They’re… They’re… They’re some of my friends and close relatives. I’ve called on them several times to pay. But it has been to no avail. I’m truly confused
…. I can’t continue anymore. I can’t tell you the rest of what Tina said. What we discussed. I don’t want you to see me as someone who cannot keep a secret. But you will understand why I’m doing this? Why I needed to do this?
I’m doing this because I know there are individuals like my friend Tina; maybe even you reading this.
Their business is currently going South because they made the mistake of being sentimental with their friends and family. They were manipulated by the false sense of ‘entitlement’ people tend to have when they helped you start up something.
Just because they helped you broadcast your business doesn’t mean they should have access to your products for free or on credit basis. Just because they gave you the money to start doesn’t mean they should collect without paying. I told Tina about this the first time I patronized her. She didn’t want me to pay. But I shook my head. “Business is business, and it has its own life”, I told her.
Oh gosh! I still said something about her!
Anyway, business has it’s own life. It’s a living entity of its own. It breaths on the principle of buying and selling, give and take, in and out.
And not ‘out and out’ or ‘in or in’. The moment it starts breathing ‘out and out’, it will start dying.
Even human lives by breathing ‘in and out’. So, you can’t afford to be sentimental. You can’t just afford people to manipulate you with a false sense of entitlement.
If you’re going through this or doing something like my friend Tina did, please stop. You’re hurting yourself. You’re killing the business. Tina my friend is still finding it difficult to collect all that her friends and family owe her. They’ve insulted her and laughed at her. Some are no longer talking to her; they’re now enemies. I fear the business may even wrap up soon.
I don’t want you to suffer like her. And that is why I’m telling you this. Please, learn to tow the line. Learn to say ‘No’ with wisdom.
Business is Business and it has it’s own life.