"These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls"

The famous quote that headlines this blog from one of our country’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine (with excuses to women everywhere, I would have used “Our Souls”), has perhaps never been more apropos in these times. Most of us, in fact, can’t remember experiencing a period in history where we were all more challenged economically.

These are also times that behoof each of us, as business owners and working professionals, to not overreact or act out of fear. I was recently made aware, by two separate business owners, of run-ins they had with the same individual who they had hired, separately, for project work. When the work product was not up to par, they refused to pay full invoiced fees. Their disbelief and shock at how the vendor they had hired reacted was palpable and one of shock and disbelief. Both were verbally accosted in very public places with profanity laden discourse and threats, the likes of which they had never experienced in their respective 30 years each of professional life. There was no room for compromise or discussion, only anger and pathetic attempts at inappropriate intimidation.

These are times that test one’s mettle; prove one’s character; show what we are really and truly made of. When the chips are down, how we act—and react—demonstrates who we really are. Moving effectively beyond adversity takes setting a tone and a proper example.

There is an old adage that underscores all of this: “Treat someone well and they’ll tell someone else. Treat someone poorly and they’ll tell ten people.” Things will improve. Are you setting yourself and your company up for success in the future with how you are conducting yourself and cultivating relationships and a positive reputation now?