Two quick stories.
Last week, a friend of mine was about to take the leap. She had a consulting concept in mind and had a client ready. Being someone with integrity, she decided to ask her boss if there was anything at all that would be construed as unethical if she put up the practice she had in mind. She didn’t think it was going to be a problem, but she just wanted to be sure. She also trusted her boss and valued his opinion.
The boss shot the idea down. It WAS unethical, he said.
Tell me, is there something unethical when a marketing manager from an FMCG firm wishes to put up a consulting firm whose first potential client was a small firm engaged in construction?
I know a handful of FMCG marketing people who have put up their own consulting firms. None were sued. In fact, almost all these new firms were contracted by the very firms their founders resigned from.
So what gives ?!
Perhaps the boss thought:
“Uh-oh. If she leaves, I’m going to have to do more work, I’ve got to find a replacement, and it also hurts my reputation. Easy call here.”
Another friend, this time from a large IT firm, had been in his firm for good number of years already. One very common occurrence was having lunch out with a set of friends in the office. He admitted that they would always have a good time – mostly bashing his current employers and trying to out-do one another with boss horror stories.
During one lunch session, he told his friends about a recent decision he’d made: he was going to take a pay cut to join a startup.
To my friend’s utter surprise, there wasn’t universal support!
“Of course, mostly everyone congratulated me at first, but you can see from their expressions and body language that some thought differently. Then later it came out:”
Iiwan mo na kami dito!” (So, now you are leaving us behind)
My friend was puzzled because he thought he’d get all-out support, after all, they were his friends.
Perhaps not. Perhaps the basis of their friendship had been the bonds they formed hating on their current jobs, so once that was gone…
Or perhaps it’s simply people being crabs.
I guess that’s one more advantage of doing bold leaps – you get to see who your real friends are. Real friends believe in you, and WILL support any endeavor of yours that involves pursuing your heart’s desires.
Find them and distance yourself from the selfish soul-suckers above.