Every time I read a tragic story about how someone got screwed in business or at work, it always ends up being a problem because they didn’t respect one of my 5 personal golden rules of business.
I have my own 5 personal golden rules that I apply to my own life. It’s not just in business or in your career that these rules are applicable!
1. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING
Did someone offer you a stellar salary? A corner office? Those spreadsheets you desperately need by Friday?
Get it in writing.
Any decision that is made that is significant and important, should be in writing, be it an email, or on a napkin.
You need proof that they said it and in my experience, unless they are willing to write it down with their name attached to it, you have to assume it’s never going to happen or it was just hot air.
2. TRUST NO ONE
Don’t trust wolves to watch your sheep, so to speak.
If you have a deal that is going down, a contract that is being written that you have to sign, have it verified independently.
Don’t assume that the person or organization writing the deal (be it your job contract, or otherwise), has your best interests at heart — they don’t; they have their best interests at heart.
I’ve seen contracts before that have stipulated I have to give 2 month’s notice before I quit a project but they are allowed to fire me at any time. I never sign those, and frankly I’d rather turn down the contract than work for crooks.
Don’t be naive and don’t assume that people care about you — they may or they may not, but you can’t know that until you establish a relationship with them which does not happen in the first 10 minutes.
3. SPEAK UP
No one is more interested in your money than you rings true here. Speak up when something is wrong and be honest. Otherwise, people will just walk all over you and use you until you have nothing left to give.
I find in particular, women have the biggest problem in this area. They are shy, timid or voiceless in the face of bullies and they shouldn’t be.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
I find that when people are swept up in the glamour of a new job, promotion or deal, they tend to forget to check the details until it is too late.
The devil they say, is in the details. You can get 99% of everything right but if they conveniently forget to leave out the 1% that is THE MOST important thing to you, it was all for naught.
5. HIRE PROFESSIONALS
Don’t hire based on friendship, favours, cost, or any other reason than you think that the person or organization is the right one for the job.
Hire the best, or put in the hours of research and work, and do it yourself.
I do this for the taxes for my corporation — I do all of it by myself and frankly I think I do a better job because it is my company and I care.