Entrepreneurs can thrive through the relationships that are developed prior to, or during the development of a business. The relationships that are formed can play a one-time role in benefitting you as an entrepreneur, or that relationship can benefit you multiple times throughout the course of your businesses. This is why, no matter the circumstances, that you should never burn any bridges if possible. It doesn’t matter how negative of an experience you had with someone, at some point down the road you may wish you still had that certain contact.
Relating back to my Week 3 post of “Accumulating Capital”, it is important to build up all types of capital, especially social capital. Stated in the book “The Founder’s Dilemmas” by Noam Wasserman, “the accumulation of one type of capital can be a virtuous cycle”. Research has proven that people who collect more social and financial capital are able to start their business venture that much quicker. With that being said, don’t get rid of any of social capital, continue to build it, even if you have negative experiences with someone. People do change, sometimes for the better or worse, but you never know which direction they may go in and how beneficial it could be to know them.
At some point you will encounter someone who will disappoint you in some way, it is inevitable. As easy as it may be to just blow this person off and never talk to them again, this person that caused disappointment can still benefit you in some way in the future. You always need to cautious with everyone, but with someone that has disappointed in the past, just be extra leery of them in the future. In the book “It’s A Jungle In There” by Steven Schussler, Steven gives a very personal example of his father walking out on his family when he was a child. Steven started to rekindle his relationship with his father once he got older was in the process of developing his restaurants. His father actually made it possible for Steven to meet the future investor of the Rain Forest Café restaurant chain. If Steven had never rekindled that relationship with his father, the famous restaurant chain may have taken that much longer to secure funding or may have never have came to fruition at all.
Steven says to not burn any bridges, just make sure that the next time you go to cross that bridge, do so carefully. Steven also emphasizes to not like your ego get in the way of a business transaction or any form of a relationship. It is important for entrepreneurs to have a healthy ago, and make sure that before you walk into that big meeting, to check your ego at the door. The saying “its not what you know, who you know” is a lot of the time very true in the business world. Keeping this in mind, don’t destroy any relationships that can make a difference in your business.
Schussler, Steven. It’s A Jungle In There. New York. Sterling Publishing Co. 2010. Print.
Wasserman, Noam. The Founder’s Dilemmas. Princeton. Princeton University Press. 2012. Print