The BIG Problem with Trust

Trust is like hoping a storm never strikes.
It’s the childish idea that the world is always on your side.
A contract is the elite rescue team that swoops down in a chopper–
And gets you out no matter how bad things are.

We trust easily as humans. It can be something due to our culture(I don’t hold this position – naivety is more to blame).

This ‘trust’ has been the genesis of many countless sad business/money stories we hear all too often. The sad stories as they go can be avoided when we put a literary “RING” to it – draw up a contract or an agreement; create a document that binds your engagement, and in the case of scammers – something to use as a proof of your position/story and of course to nail them to the wall with.



Here is a story of a popular public speaker – name withheld to protect his identity –

The president of a multi-billion dollar manufacturing firm threatened to sue me.
Because I asked him to reimburse me after cancelling a speaking engagement.

“Jason,” he called me one day. “Come talk to us about economy, manufacturing, and commodities.”
We fixed a date and I booked my flight and hotel.

A few weeks later, I got an email from him. “Let’s find a different time.”

“Sure,” I replied. “Could you please pay for changing my flight and hotel?”

“Never mind,” he wrote back. “We’re not interested.”



The terms were in writing, but we hadn’t signed anything.
This was someone I knew for years and trusted.

I was shocked.

I’d turned down two talks worth $20K+ to make it happen.

“Tell them you’ll write to Dun & Bradstreet’s Credit Reporter,” a tough negotiator friend said.

I followed his advice and sent out an email.
Two days later, FedEx delivered a letter.

The firm was threatening to sue me.

The irony?

They paid their lawyers more than it would have cost to reimburse me.
And they weren’t climbing down that tree.

I learned my lesson that day.



He learnt his lessons, and moved on –

Takeaways –

For things that involve money or business – your shield like a soldier on a battlefield will be your contract/agreement – signed and sealed safely!

The benefits are numerous but I will give you three –

1. It can help force seriousness into unserious clients – preventing waste of time and energy on everyone’s part.
2. It protects you in the event of being double-crossed! And believe me, there are so many double-crossers out there.
3. It is an insurance to ensure you get your reward for the effort put in – if it is written, it is proof! And will hold water even if the case is taken to heaven.

Trust is like hoping a storm never strikes.
It’s the childish idea that the world is always on your side.
A contract is the elite rescue team that swoops down in a chopper–
And gets you out no matter how bad things are.

Although there is something called “gentlemen agreement”, a case where a man’s words is his bond – however, my friends those gentlemen can be impossible to come by when money is on the table.

A contract might even help you turn some difficult people into gentlemen – and we all love staking our resources with gentle folks.

Next time you are going into an engagement with anyone, rather than first being over excited about the prospects ahead – first and foremost, draw up your contract/agreement, then you are free to think wide!

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