Business Booby Traps #5

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Business Booby Traps #5

Encourager-In-Chief: April 15th, 2020

Pass by professional victims.

I remember driving to work one day and coming to the light at the top of the exit ramp. There was an able-bodied man standing a few feet away from me, holding up a sign saying, “Will work for food.” This was during a robust economy. I rolled down the window and gave him my business card. I was working as a staffing recruiter at the time. I told him that my office was just down the road and to come in and I would make sure I got him a job. It felt good to think that I could help somebody who desperately needed help but, to my surprise, he never came in.

It took me a while to realize that some people don’t really want help. They want sympathy or a handout. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that there were people whom I’d helped who I thought were better off. Yet, they didn’t really get any better because as soon as I was not in a position to help them, they reverted back to the same problems they had before we met. It’s like a saying I once heard by Ralph Stayer, “I love the comfort of my chains.”

If you look at the welfare system, you realize there are people who for generations will be dependent on others because it has become an enabling way of life for them. There is great danger in not being able to do things for yourself. You lose your self-confidence, your integrity, and your purpose.

Like most people, I look forward to helping other people and I encourage you to do so too but remember, not everyone you help wants your help. You can’t want something for somebody else more than they want it for themselves. If somebody’s in quicksand and you go to pull them out, one of two things is bound to happen: Either you’ll pull them out or they’ll pull you in. There’s a thin line between being a nice guy or a sucker. Make sure your feet are on solid footing.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime.
- Ancient proverb

This blog is based on information from my seminar and entitled, Winning with Integrity seminar.

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I encourage you to order my Nice Guys Finish 1st book, which covers this topic in much greater detail.

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