Do You Know Who Your Best Friends Are in Business?

Do You Know Who Your Best Friends Are in Business?
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Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
Co-Founder of inventRight; Author of One Simple Idea Series
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Some entrepreneurs act as if everyone is out to get them. I strongly oppose that mentality.

It’s wise to assume that everyone you do business with is self-interested, because, well, that’s true of people in general. Instead of living in fear that someone is going to do you wrong, a better strategy is to think about how you can benefit from the relationships you have -- especially the ones that challenge you.

Related: The Greatness Guide to Building Your Brand and Empire

Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person? What can I learn from this experience?” You don’t have any time to waste on hate or anger. So, who are your best friends in business, really? The answers may surprise you.

Your legal team

Everyone loves to hate on attorneys, but when you need them, they quickly become your closest allies. If you have any intention of filing intellectual property, you’ll need to befriend them. Legal advice is expensive, to be sure, but it’s also priceless. Find attorneys whom you respect and want to work with.

Tax accountants

Tax advice is priceless! Hire the best tax accountant you can afford. He or she will help save you money in the long run as well as keep you out of trouble. There’s a reason I live in Nevada.

Successful friends

Surround yourself with them. Try not to be envious. Instead, focus on what they can teach you.

Related: Keep Your Friends While Starting Up With These 4 Tips

Your nemesis

A number-one enemy can keep you on your toes! He or she should encourage you to be more competitive, not upset you. I keep an eye on what my enemies are doing because I want to be better than them. Even if your enemy drives you nuts, don’t let yourself fester about it. You can’t control how other people feel and act.

The news

So many people complain about how the news “gets them down” and is “only negative.” Let me be frank: That perspective is ridiculous and laughable. Perhaps you need to be more selective about the media you consume -- there are a lot of different sources. Staying abreast of what’s going on in the world helps me run my business better every single day. My business doesn’t operate in a vacuum, and neither does yours.

People who disagree with you

They’re annoying, aren’t they? But you need them -- a lot. Having to defend your point of view forces you to clarify it. Are you just being stubborn, or does the person have a point? Having your mind opened to other possibilities is ultimately a good thing. Whether it’s one of your employees, a client, or a vendor: listen up.

Your customers

If you treat your customers well, they will become your army of supporters. They’ll stick by you through thick and thin. When you call on them -- to write a review on Amazon or comment on a blog -- they’ll be ready and willing to offer you their support. That is truly priceless. Ultimately, your customer service will help you keep your competitors at bay.

Time

Each day starts anew! As far as I’m concerned, that’s a blessing. I love Monday mornings for that reason. If you didn’t like how last week went, you have the opportunity to make sure this week is different.

Who are your best friends in business?

Related: Why Trust Is the Most Important Part of 'Know, Like and Trust'

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