Client SelectionWho you work with in a business relationship – whether as a client, a collaborator, an employee or in some other capacity – can often make or break your business success.  However, we often ignore the people and focus more on the business and the operational aspects. This can be a big mistake that wastes your time, money and effort and can be an impediment to taking your business to the next level.

To that end, here are four universal truths that can help guide you through working with the right people in business, instead of partnering with the wrong people.

Universal Truth #1: You Cannot Rationalize Crazy

Crazy is crazy, which means that you cannot rationalize, explain or deal with someone who has one or more screws loose.  No matter how much money is involved, if you see a red flag – or a neon sign – get out of that client relationship as soon as possible.  It will not be worth the time, effort and opportunity costs that you will have to incur.  Remember, there is no ROI on crazy.

Universal Truth #2: Nobody Ever Thinks That They are Overvalued

Nobody ever thinks that they are overvalued…EVER.  Did I mention ever?  The ultimate business unicorn is someone who thinks that they were paid far too much for their services.  It just doesn’t happen.  They may think that they are well compensated or fairly compensated, but nobody ever thinks that they were paid far in excess of what they were worth.  People always have unrealistic expectations about value.

This has a flipside as well.  While nobody thinks that their product, service, business or work is overvalued, there’s a really good chance that that they think yours is.  That’s just part of perspective.

Universal Truth #3: Greed is Good… in Moderation

Gordon Gekko famously said that greed is good.  But pigs get fat while hogs get slaughtered.  People who are too focused on every dollar often miss other important factors like value, business terms, time and opportunity costs, which all relate to success.

Also, watch out for those greedy individuals that are so combative that they are more focused on winning every battle than winning the war.  If their greed clouds their judgment about the big picture, cut bait or find a way to protect yourself, as that is a recipe for an unsuccessful ending.

Universal Truth #4: Credibility Creates Value

If someone doesn’t believe in what they are doing, it will show in the quality of their work.  The same goes for understanding. If someone doesn’t understand what their value is, what their business offers or how they are differentiated from the competition, it’s a pretty safe bet that nobody else will either.

Working with good, solid, people with credibility in their character is a sure-fire way to increase the odds of success.  It’s often overlooked, but good people are the enablers of great success.