You Are Fired

Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

One of the best things you can do for certain types of businesses is to fire bad customers who won’t allow you to earn a profit.  You cannot chase sales simply for the illusion of rising revenue.  What matters is how much excess cash your business generates at the end of the year that can then be spent on improving your standard of living, giving to charity, or reinvested in other opportunities.

[mainbodyad]I have never knowingly or willingly accepted a transaction that resulted in me losing money in the long-run.  Additionally, you often find that the biggest problem customers represent a disproportionate headache to the total revenue and profit pie.

One word of caution, though: Be tactful.  Things do matter.  People don’t remember if you are right or wrong, they remember how you make them feel.  Years ago, when I was still involved in the business, I told a woman she was so stupid she didn’t deserve to order from us.  And I meant it (really, she was a complete and total moron – I didn’t want her money).  But that was unnecessary.  I shouldn’t have said it to her.  I could have simply apologized and informed her we weren’t her solution but that we wished her the best of luck.

You Are Fired

Sometimes, you need to fire your customers or even friends and family.

The same goes for toxic relationships.  If you have friends who sabotage your work and constantly put you down, fire them.  If you have family that tell you you’ll never amount to anything, fire them.  Fire them all and surround yourself with people that you want to be like.  (I’ve only had to do this a few times in my life because I am extraordinarily selective about the people I let into my inner circle.  That minimized the potential for do-overs later.)

Look around you right now.  You will eventually become like the people with whom you surround yourself.  You are looking at your destiny.

A final warning, though – on the personal front, firing your friends and family does not mean only hanging around with people who agree with you politically, religiously, or culturally.  Putting yourself in a self-imposed echo chamber is a sign of a weak mind.  That is just as dangerous.