Sunday, December 09, 2007

Loyalty, Friendship and Business

Over the years I have narrowed my client list to those companies and people that I like, respect, admire, and who pay me on time. When I spend my own money I like to make a conscious choice about where I spend it. For instance, I no longer buy from Circuit City because of their recent HR move to fire experienced employees and hire cheaper labor.

I like to support my friends and will use their services first before searching out a stranger.

Mostly I'm idealistic about how I think the world should work, and then I'm brought down to earth by careless actions of people close to me.

My best friend is an independent rep selling accessory items to commercial designers. I recently discovered (not through her) that she has partnered with a local photographer who is a direct competitor of mine and together they are making presentations to my clients. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. To me, this has nothing to do with business, and everything to do with our friendship. I feel betrayed. She says I'm overreacting.

She said "There's no friendship in my business."

I guess if she was willing to sell out our fifteen year friendship for a few dollars commission it really wasn't much of a friendship anyway.

I know that I shouldn't look back at the kind of friend I've been, the things I've done for her and all the secrets I've kept and not shared. I know none of that buys me anymore loyalty than what she's willing to give. I would still do the same things, because I am who I am. And it would end this same way because she is who she is.

It doesn't feel good to lose someone close to you, no matter their flaws.

But life goes on.

10 comments:

CMC said...

Yeah...it does hurt when people do this. Makes it hard to keep your ideals sometime but like you say, you are who YOU are....I feel the same way myself. Optimistic for idealism but never totally surprised about human nature either since I'm also realistic.

I say...what goes round comes round or however that old saying goes.

Annette Bush said...

Aw gee, Robin. I'm sorry. I know that icky feeling. Even years later, even if fences are sort of mended, there is still a feeling of distrust which defines the relationship or non-relationship. As I said. Icky.
A

Anonymous said...

I hate the feeling of betrayal.

I understand.

I'm sorry.

Pat

KJ said...

That hurts! I know because I was also recently reminded that business comes first. She also felt I was over reacting... 20 years, down the drain. Yep, it hurts!

Walker said...

thanks everybody. I'm trying to come to terms with it. Actually had a week already to think about it, so I'm making progress.R

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Walker said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I have deleted a comment posted by the person referred to in this blog. The reason I did that is that it contained names of my clients and design firms that I work with. I don't name my clients or designers and I am protecting their privacy. Robin

andrea said...

Good for you for talking about it, something I haven't had the nerve to do on my blog, though I've had two similar experiences lately, though not quite as blatant as yours. I hope it was somewhat cathartic. Like you, I am always taken aback when a so-called friend, who has similar aspirations to me, allows professional jealousy to do anything from withholding interest in what I'm doing to blatantly deceiving me. It shocks me every time, especially as I willingly share any info or secrets I think may benefit the other. Jealousy is a powerful force and it's sad when a friend allows it to be more powerful than her affection for you. Good judgement call, Robin. And I do believe in karma! :)

Mary Richmond said...

This is definitely a betrayal in my book. Years ago we had a death in our family and the woman I had hired to help in my studio helped herself to my client list, financial information, etc. from my computer while I was at the ICU. I came back to do something in the office and caught her red handed. Interestingly, I would have shared information with her and helped her start her own business if she had just been honest with me. As it was I notified all my contacts and told them what happened and her business never got off the ground. She is actually a successful artist in another medium now so don't feel too sorry for her. I hope your "friend" learns that there is always loyalty, always trust in all relationships, friendships, business and otherwise. Without trust in business relationships very little meaningful business would happen. Hold your head up, let your clients know what you stand for and why they should keep you and I'm sure they will be fine. Good luck and I'm sorry for your hurt. Hang in there.

Walker said...

Thanks Mary --
What an awful thing to happen to you -- during a time of great emotional stress, at that! It's hard for me to reconcile how people really are with how I expect them to be. Like you, no loss for me, really, I don't even miss my "friend". I'm certainly not worried from a business aspect -- I have more work than one person can handle, amazingly.

What a true statement: "Without trust in business relationships very little meaningful business would happen." Thanks for that --

Robin