Recently over lunch a friend and I shared different stories of how someone had taken advantage of us. As we chatted we came to the conclusion that in life there are givers and there are takers.
When you are giver, it is second nature to want to help someone. I remember years ago meeting up with someone who was starting a group similar to Company of Women. I shared information freely, wanting to help her be successful and avoid some of the mistakes I’d made.
Imagine my surprise when I went to her launch to see not only how she’d benefited from my advice, she’d copied everything we did. I mean everything. Even the website looked like a replica. Now I have to take some ownership for the outcome because I never spelled out that she couldn’t copy our material but that was because it never crossed my mind that she would. I guess I was naive.
I am not sure if it is this tight economy, but more and more I am bumping up against the takers, who put making money (for themselves) above all else. And I never learn. I guess I see everyone through my own rose-tinted glasses, and believe that they will work with the same integrity I bring to my business.
But sadly no. As both my friend and I have found. It is discouraging, and it makes us givers, less willing to give and more cynical about these “win-win” alliances.
I guess at the end of the day, all you can do is take responsibility for your own actions. Act with integrity, and know that at least you can sleep at night, having been true to your values.