Compromise or With Promise, Which Way Do You Want to Live?
December 13, 2018
The English language is so complicated and confusing. And I am not talking about homophones, homonyms and homographs. The word compromise, according to my dear friend Merriam-Webster, means the following: a settlement of differences, blending of qualities of two different things, a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial; to come to an agreement by mutual concession; to reveal or expose to an unauthorized person, especially the enemy. This certainly packs a punch if you are trying to do business, have clear communication, or simply have honest relationships. Something has to be given up… each party is supposed to make mutual concessions. Compromise always leaves lacking and a feeling of loss or losing.
Back to our lovely and straight forward (NOT!) English language. The prefix, “Com” means with, together or jointly. The word promise is a declaration that a person will do something or refrain from doing. Promise is a reason to expect something. That expectation is usually something positive like success, improvement or excellence. So how is it that when we compromise, we are losing? What about “with promise” is missing in our communicating?
The rabbit hole, I am about to jump into, can be applied to any part of your life. I am going to bring light to operating in business and being an entrepreneur. For me, as a giver, networking is a drudgery. It is the hope of getting business and promoting myself with people who will refer to me and vice versa. Usually, there is some kind of understanding and sacrifice or even compromise that shows up in the conversation. There is this illusion that in a networking group, if I refer to Mary and Mary refers to Bob, Bob refers to Jenny and then Jenny’s friend will refer to me. We all win, right? Uh…not so much. This model compromises my principles! Why? Because not everyone who is in this scenario is here with the same promise! The promise to give referrals. Most are here to GET referrals. So, is that so wrong? Yes! Why is it wrong, you ask? It is wrong, because concessions are never equal. When you compromise, whether it is in principle or giving product or giving service, you decide the value of what you can afford to give up and the other person does the same. The defining factors are subjective and usually, there is one person who sacrifices more with the hope (promise) of a pay off of success, excellence, or improvement. It seems that there is always a giver in the arrangement of compromise.
Here is another scenario in this rabbit hole of compromise. Many entrepreneurs make compromises while establishing their business venture, idea or dream. They may take on a J-O-B at a lower pay rate, part-time or full-time, they may work three jobs to finance the dream business. At some point the concession will create resentment. The requirements of the J-O-B take time that the entrepreneur “promised” to the dream. The J-O-B pays the bills, the dream doesn’t…at least not yet! The entrepreneur may end up lowering his/her productivity at the J-O-B, which breaks or lessens his agreement. Feeling defeated, what does the entrepreneur have left to put into the dream? Not much!
Even in the bartering scenario of “same services/value” resentments can arise. It may be seemingly the same service or dollar value, but technique, commitment to the agreement, years of experience all can tip the scales. As a massage therapist, over the years I have bartered for massage, plumbing repairs, landscaping, hair cuts and at some point, the bartering ends because the value to one of the parties is compromised. They don’t see the same value as before.
So, what’s a girl (person) to do, if they want to grow business through networking, being an entrepreneur, working a J-O-B or employing a bartering arrangement? The answer comes back to “with promise.” There is a saying, “You get by giving!” Well, givers do give, and it may not seem like they receive as much as they give. It used to be that “your word was your bond.” So, what if, you give your word to yourself first? “To thine own self be true,” “put your oxygen mask on first, before helping another.” Get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, schedule time for yourself, for your dream BEFORE you help, trade, refer to someone else. This is not a selfish act! Can you feel the empowerment you can create by this simple practice? What are the commitments you made “with promise” to yourself? What is it in your vision statement of your business that holds the dream? How do you bring this promise forward when meeting in a networking setting? Working that part-time job? Bartering for services? Holding your promise to yourself first, brings power, commitment and it challenges the other to step up! There is an energetic principle that like attracts like. If I give my word to myself first, live with promise, not comprise and then offer from this place; there will be a promise of change, success, improvement or excellence. Which do you choose, a life of compromise or a life with promise?
Beth has a practical business sense with an economic background. She has worked in a variety of professional settings, before owning and operating her own business for more than 10 years. Contact Beth for business mentoring and coaching, speaking events and team building strategies.