I was chatting to a distant friend about his business. I was asking basic questions like who did his videos, who was posting the beautiful Instagram photos and where he sourced talent from.
He then got pissed and said the following:
“So, you’re asking for my business model?” in a sarcastic tone.
I asked another question around whether he may know any good freelancers and he said: “You have a network, don’t you?”
Both responses show me one thing: he had a scarcity mindset.
I wasn’t trying to get the ancient secrets from thousands of years ago. The questions I was asking were out of curiosity more than anything.
Your business is not that secret.
I didn’t say this to my friend, although I should have. Most things about your business can be found out. His business model, for example, was easy to work out. He sells a course and does consulting. You only have to watch his videos to see this.
The people he employs are also easy to find if I wanted to steal them – which I don’t. All it takes is a Google Search and a bit of looking at his LinkedIn connections to work it out.
Hoarding information is ridiculous.
If my friend helped me then what he didn’t realize was that I could have brought him in. He could have actually been brought onboard as a consultant. I may have even used his services to help with producing videos.
“You lose more by hoarding your information than you do by giving all of it away”
Being sarcastic does not hide your scarcity mind.
The sarcasm I received from this friend was a cover for the fact that they are scared. Not wanting to share is the sign of someone who may have a scarcity mindset driving their decisions. This friend once told me that they wanted to buy a house in the next 12 months.
Maybe they saw me as a hindrance to that dream which is why they kept everything secret. What he forgot is that to get the house in 12 months, you need to work hard and collaborate. Trying to do it all yourself won’t get you that nice new house with a white picket fence in one year.
“Compounding your efforts through collaboration adds more value thus resulting in more money”
Cost of missed opportunity.
Given the outcome of this conversation, it’s fair to say I wouldn’t ask this friend for help again and will reconsider their friendship. It’s not because they didn’t help; it’s because the way they said no and the selfishness behind their intent doesn’t vibe with me.
Selfishness repels people from you and being sarcastic and overly blunt is unnecessary. The thing is, the people that act in this way forget about the cost of missed opportunity. What does this mean?
Simple: in the future, I probably won’t work with them again which means that they could be missing lots of opportunities. Only two weeks earlier, for no reason at all, I referred this person to a new client because I like their work. I didn’t ask for anything, it just felt like the right thing to do.
If given the option again I probably won’t make the same decision. By making foolish, selfish, short-term decisions, you affect your chances of getting opportunities in the future. This screws your dream of buying a house in 12 months.
Here’s the secret.
Most of your business is not that secret. Hoarding your ideas and connections like you’re the CIA will give you the opposite result you’re looking for.
People remember kindness, love, compassion and how you make them feel. Selfishness, sarcasm and a big ego doesn’t make anyone feel good.
The secret to business is there are no secrets.