If You Cannot Make Friends, Make Foes

There are few desires (if any) stronger than the deep wish to be liked. The first time you realized that not everybody liked you, it was a shock. For most of us it was the first lesson we learned at school, and we needed time to accept it. As hard as it was to discover that loving you was not the main purpose of your classmates, you also learnt to live with it. You took care of your friends and, as long as they did not bully you, you were almost deaf and blind to other people.

You are in school no longer. If you twist your speech, your thoughts, your opinions, your beliefs in order to please everyone and their father, who will they like? Not you, you cannot have every possible personality. If you play this game, one day or another, people will be disappointed when they encounter your true yourself; not because this "true yourself" is bad but because they will discover that you have been cheating. Despite what is often said, people seldom condemn cheating for moral reasons (they happen to cheat themselves), but rather because they don't fully appreciate to be mocked at. You will be hated without having being loved since they would have loved a fake yourself. And anyway, are you sure you want to be liked by anybody?

Look at the truth! If you ran a butchery, you would not be as well liked by vegetarians as by meat-eaters. If you invented the ultimate cure for bad sight, opticians might feel resentful, to say the less! In your school days, you contented yourself with keeping peace, and you were right. You are still right if your main goal in life is to remain unnoticed. But if you want to be the most successful butcher or ophtalmologist, you are wrong!

To build your brand, you can walk the easy and nice way: you will gain friendly customers, from time to time, you will hear only praises, but not often. You will be well-known in your street and actually famous in your town, what may be enough for a garagist or a hairdresser... if there are no competitors. Is it enough for you? If you plan to build your business, and your brand, on a larger scale than your neighbourhood, you may prefer to walk through the fields. If you create your path, it will be less crowded than the paved way.

If you are in a hurry to be truly and deeply liked, respected and trusted in your business, make foes. There are some very good reasons to make foes:

  • they speak about you: people are never tired of gossiping;
  • they provoke a sense of curiosity that generates an eagerness to know by oneself;
  • they make you different from your competitors;
  • in short, they take care of your fame.
Rely on your foes: they will never let you down.

Gabrielle Guichard is a French teacher who presents unique French Language Immersion Programs online: http://www.OnlineFrench.ws. She can be listened to on http://www.FrenchPodcasting.com

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