My business is courage, change and creativity.
What I do is encourage people to take positive steps. So it might seem unusual for me to write about why you should not to do something. But here are two situations where you shouldn’t just do it!
1. Do not do something for a hidden motive. An example is meeting people you may not even like because you think they might help you in the future. Do not go somewhere, like a dinner or an event, and try to meet people you don’t know or even like because you think they will be of value to you in the future. I don’t care what people say about the importance of networking.
Go and enjoy yourself.
Go because you like the topic, the food, the wine, the venue. Not because of who you might meet. Spend time with friends and family who are important to you.
I have dinner sometimes with my good friend, C who runs a non profit. We have a good time together, laugh, talk about many topics. He never asks me to donate. Sometimes he even pays for dinner, not because he wants me to donate money, but because we have a good conversation and are friends.
2. Do not do something to compensate for something else.
Here are 2 examples. You may know people like this.
1. People who run to lose the calories they gained by eating chocolate cake the night before. Run because you like it. Enjoy the cake too.
2. Mr A takes a consulting job for one reason: to pay for his daughter’s wedding. He tells everyone that’s why, although I am not sure he tells the client.
If he told me, I’d tell him: do the consulting job because you want to provide value to the client. Do the job because you want to do the job. It might help pay for your daughter’s wedding but there’s no need to promote that.”
How do you think the client will feel when he knows that you took the job only to pay for your daughter’s wedding?” If I were the client, I would wonder how interested you were in the project. A smart client can easily see through a consultant who is not fully committed.
I’m sure there are a lot more situations where you shouldn’t just do it, like some situations that might be life-threatening. But these two are not so obvious, but can be dangerous to your reputation.