Posted by: Chad | March 14, 2010

Don’t Over/Under Estimate your “Social Friends”

Everyone has many “friends” out there, you have friends on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and many other online social networking sites.  Keep in mind, in most cases, these are “friends”.

You have friends that are neighbors that you “shoot the shit” with Saturday after the lawn is mowed, friends from work who you have lunch with, or a beer after work.  You have friends you play cards with or see every week at your kids after school events.

You have friends you grew up with who you have talked to every day, week or year since you were 6.  You have friends with whom you exchange Christmas cards or email or text messages.

We all have friends we do business with or refer to associates.  Many friends cross many paths…..your neighbor who does your computers at work….who your family hangs out with on weekends and who you golf with.

The bottom line is, you have a lot of “friends” whether you like it or not, don’t underestimate or overestimate them and most importantly, don’t let them overestimate or underestimate you.

If we all understand our level of “friend” we will all be better for it.

Overestimating your “friends”:  You may be connected on Facebook and play cards with her once a week, but that does not mean you should do business with her.  He has been your friend for 20 years, your professional paths have crossed (positively) many times, but, did he really say that on Facebook?  Is that where he stands morally?

Underestimating your “friends”:  He is not on Facebook, does not understand Twitter and lets his business partner mess with their website, so is he the first to call if you need a computer rebuilt? Maybe.  You never know what skill a person might possess until you really get to know them, an online friend may not be enough, but it may be an intro.

Overestimating YOU:  Your friend in a mechanic, he is your neighbor, your kids play together, that doesn’t mean he is going to fix your car for free.  You know him, you can trust him, he wants to do a good job for you, but he still has to earn a living.  In social business, everything these days seems to be free, right?  Not always, don’t expect it.  She may help you understand WordPress, but she is a consultant with a house payment, she can’t market your small business for free.

Underestimating YOU:  If you have something to share, share it.  It does not mean they will listen.  Make your own path without stepping on others along the way.  Do things right, in the end other’s perceptions of you will win out, so give them the right one.  Say “NO” once in a while.  Fight nice.  Be yourself, don’t let others make you into the robot they want you to be.  In business, if you get the project/job, don’t assume you will always have it or get the next one.  Work hard to keep your customers happy.

You can be honest and still be friends……..most of the time.

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