Here’s another one of my ‘this should be obvious, but so many people don’t do it’ posts. I am simply in awe just how many people are unreliable out in that big world, so much so that I wonder if they even care just how many opportunities they are missing out on every day. You’re likely doing this to, and it’s a shame because you’re stunting your ability to achieve.
Let me explain.
Every day I see companies and individuals leaving collaborative opportunities on the table. They are complaining about their budgets being too small to accomplish what they are trying to achieve, while at the same time they are saying no to volunteers, no to collaborative partnerships, and no to advice from well traveled subject experts. But they’re not actually saying “No!” they are simply ignoring the correspondence. Tweets that do not get responded to, emails that go ignored, or simply lacking a phone number that can take a call from an eager partner. How unreliable!
If you are building a mobile application to help save birds but you’re short on the development team and decide to post on Kickstarter to get extra funding to bridge the gap, what do you think is going to happen when you ignore that email from a development veteran who offered to help you? You end up not securing the funding and then try to approach the guy who offered to help you. He will either ignore you, or reply back saying that he changed his mind. Why? Because you were unreliable!
Or what if you’re short on cash and looking to bring in some revenue for the month. You tell your friend that you’re looking for extra work. Later your friend comes back to you and gives you a detailed offer to earn some extra cash that month. For whatever reason, you didn’t write your friend back. Maybe you found other work. Maybe you decided his offer was to low. But you didn’t write him back to let him know. Months later you’re in a hole again, and you decide to write your friend about the opportunity. He doesn’t write you back, he’s angry with you, or perhaps just says that the opportunity isn’t available anymore. Why? Because you were unreliable!
Maybe you’re thinking about starting a business and you’re looking for some guidance and help. You reach out to some friends of yours telling them about your great idea. Some of them like your idea, give you some advice, or offer some connections in their network. Maybe you’re busy, but for some reason you decide not to write your friends back. You’re head is down, you’re focused, you don’t have time to talk to them and hear their crappy advice, after all, you only wrote them because you want likes on Facebook, and you want the business to succeed. A short while later, you notice that your friends aren’t helping you out anymore. They’re not liking your posts, sharing your press releases, or helping you in any way. Why? Because you were unreliable!
I find this to be such a common occurrence that I just had to write about it. If you’re already reliable and you get back to people that are trying to help you, then you’re in a good place. I have a theory that the people who are so unreliable aren’t necessarily just selfish people, but that they are ignorant to being the way they are. They are just not aware that they lack the fundamental communication skills necessary to appear reliable and worthy of collaboration.
I see deals dropped almost everyday, and most of the time it isn’t because they aren’t well qualified from a technical perspective or don’t have the business acumen to pull of their ideas, but because they lack the ability to be reliable. Nobody wants to work with someone like that.