Don’t end up losing your ass!3 min read

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An old man a little boy and a donkey were going into town to the market. The little boy rode the donkey while the old man walked along beside him. As they walked into town, they passed some men of which one commented: “Take a look at that lazy youngster letting the oldu man walk while he rides.” 

After hearing this, the man ordered his boy to get off and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Can you believe that lazy man to letting that poor little boy walk.” 

The man and the boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they decided to both walk. A countryman soon passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?” 

The man then decided for both himself and the boy to ride the Donkey and they went on their way. 

As they entered the town, some passers-by began to jeer and point at them. One of the women said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours?” 

The man and boy thought they were probably right, so they got off and created a way to actually carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they stumbled and lost their grip on the donkey of which fell into the river and drowned. 

“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “Please all, and you will please none.” 

Another way of saying is “If you try to please everyone, you just might end up losing your ass.” 

I share this story as if you are one who attempts to please everyone in fear of potentially offending them or listening to everyone’s opinion. It’s going to cost you in stress, time, energy and eventually money. 

As business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to be especially clear on our target market, our ideal client, and an ideal team member to fit into our culture. We need to be clear and intentional on who, what and where we invest our time and energy. We need to be clear on who to listen to and take advice from and who not to. 

I was fortunate enough to learn a valuable lesson back in my younger days as a financial advisor. Back in 2000 when the dot.com bubble burst and the market started its slide. I realized that up till that time I had mostly acquired a book of accounts, investors that were actually just chasing returns. When the market crashed those accounts went away, however, my clients stayed. I look at clients as those that join you in your back yard by the pool to drink wine and talk about family, friends, and travel. I think that you will all find that when you invest your time with the right people, it just makes life better in many ways. 

I also learned a critical line years ago while taking a sales course, it’s “You never want to be an unpaid consultant.” That line has really stuck with me. Your time and expertise are valuable. Some people will drain you of your time and knowledge without any intention of ever doing business with you. We need to be very aware of those who don’t have the right intentions. 

When you become more intentional on who, what and where to invest your time. You will have less stress, more time, more money of which are the things I believe most of us want in business and life. However, if you don’t, well, you just might end up losing your ass.