The private sector is notorious for being cut throat, unapologetic and hyper-competitive. The best salesman wins another meal for the night while the loser needs to find another way to pay that month’s rent. With today’s turbulent economy, the business world is a scary place- especially if you own your business or want to launch your own business or innovation idea. As a small business owner for the last 17 years, I know firsthand the fears and doubts of being the underdog of the private sector. It is the survival of the fittest and the smartest and the most sellable. In more ways than one, in any field of business, the stakes are high and the pressure is undoubtedly felt. It is so easy to view everyone your economic enemy, accept the mentality that if you are not making the money, then some else is stealing from you. Sometimes, unfortunately, this is true, but more often than not everyone is just trying to put food on the table and pay for rent, just like you. As a veteran of small business owners league, it is my duty and honor to bestow onto you this secret that I have learned over my years:
It is better to build than burn bridges.
Because people are in the same survival mode as you, is it not better to use each other and each others resources to help one another succeed? Don’t be competitive against one another but be competitive WITH one another. Build yourself a team who will support you in your economic endeavors through networking and resource sharing. In my golden Rolodex, I have business associates in which our relationships have been built around a mutual understanding of ‘if you help me, I will help you’. If you provide me with "Daddy" Warbucks private number, I will introduce you to Richie Rich. Use your resources to gain business friends, not enemies. It will get you farther than you realize.