Four months ago, I got into a deal with a friend. It was a huge risk but I am big on taking chances when the opportunity presents itself. However, the deal did not go as planned.
The deal was to last for a period of 12months to which I and my acquaintance agreed. Few days after the deal he decided to change his mind and that hurt most of the plans I had. I lost a lot of money due to this change but I decided to go with it.
Till now I am still trying to make excuses for him. I do not understand the state of his affairs. Probably he is going through a rough time but how he has communicated in the past few weeks has been poor.
I honestly hope he used all that money for something productive because it would be sad if he didn’t. He had a huge opportunity to change his life for the better and it would be sad if he threw that away. Many people don’t get a second chance.
Unfortunately, I am always getting into these sorts of bad deals. Last year I got into a similar deal with another friend and the outcome was the same.
I have come to two conclusions: either I'm a bad businessman or I have shrewd friends. Either way, this whole experience with my acquaintance is something I do not want to repeat (because that will make me a fool).
One of the toughest lessons I have learnt from this experience is never to be sentimental about business. This is a hard one to accept because I often treat people close to me with extra care.
I would rather avoid the whole situation of doing business with people close to me, majorly to preserve our relationship because I value that more than money. Most people do not see things this way and it is difficult dealing with such persons.
The other lesson I have learnt doing business with friends is having strict guidelines. It is easy for any party to exploit the relationship for their gain, so it is best to have a strict agreement to guide that business.
However, I understand that people who do business with friends often can be flexible (rules can easily change) based on trust. In retrospect, I probably would not have been lenient with a previous acquaintance (and vice versa) if he was a stranger.
When it comes to money we get to see a side to people (even people we know) that is quite strange to us. This is why it is important to document everything and have a detailed agreement that will guide your engagement.
Well, I am glad have concluded my deal with my previous acquaintance and we both have time our separate ways. I am looking forward to better opportunities. Cheers!