Contracts come in different shapes and forms. They go from simple to overly complicated, from oral to written; from loose to legally binding and enforceable agreements.
And then, there’s trust.
It’s the Holy Grail in sports, marriage, love and business. A word that encompasses so much, yet falls short in real life.
We all want to believe that things will last, that we can rely on somebody’s word to be part of the journey until death do us part, but unfortunately that’s not always the case.
Something called change kicks in and sweet words and promises that are the fundamentals of the beautiful palace we built our dreams on, get shattered.
Everything falls apart.
What once was, seems like a little spot in the eternal flame of life.
Then comes the zero point. The awakening. The emptiness. The wake-up call that shakes up your world, hopefully.
If not, you’re doomed to go back to sleep or better yet, jump straight back onto the carousel and repeat everything with no takeaway from the previous lesson.
These are one of the most precious moments in our lives. Experience, mistakes, falling down and getting back up again, this is what life on this planet is all about, isn’t it?
You might remember this time in your life very vividly. Maybe it’s a very painful moment that shaped you as a human being and forced you to change your path, behavior and mindset. And maybe it’s the best thing that ever happened to you because now you know what you don’t want in life.
Trust is beautiful. Trust gives you hope in the human species. Trust is the basis for love and life. All begins with trust and dies with lack thereof.
Contracts are made up. They are spoken or better yet, written words on a sheet of paper.
Unlike trust that tingles that very thing in you that makes you human – intuition, gut feeling, heart math, contracts provide you with a certain level of certainty that if things go array, you still get to keep your house, kids, pets, business, or even health.
AN EXTREME EXAMPLE:
You just had your surgery. The doctors have removed a huge tumor from your intestines. They ensure you that they’ve removed everything but to be certain, they ask you to sign a contract for several chemo sessions.
You don’t sign the paper.
They threaten you that if you leave the hospital without this additional treatment, your life is on you. You sign a new contract that informs you about all the risks and you leave the hospital.
You’re on your own now.
You take 100% responsibility for your life.
You change your diet, get rid of all the negativity in your life, embark a new lifestyle and a few months later you’re labeled cancer-free.
20 years later you’re healthier than in your twenties. Another 20 years later you climb mountains, travel the world and are grateful for everything that surrounds you.
Why do doctors work with contracts and other professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners don’t? Why do they make you sign a contract that basically says your life is your responsibility?
That’s not a new concept. Your life is always your responsibility. And still, you get to sign a written contract for that as well.
This is Why You Should Bother with Written Contracts in Business
Lawsuits are expensive.
They can ruin you financially and destroy the very thing that you value most. Going to court can drain your energy, suck up your time and literally take life away from you.
That’s the last thing you want.
Yet, it happens so often.
Your neighbor lost his house because he didn’t have a solid contract.
Your best friend lost the kids because the marriage wasn’t sealed with a legally binding agreement.
Somebody dear to you lost their business because their partner found a better deal and left the party with all the money.
Trust is a prerequisite for a successful marriage. It’s a must in relationships and business. However, if you want to be on the “safe” side, you better seal that trust with a written contract.
Start using written contracts in your business. Make it a must-have in your company culture. One day, this very sheet of paper might save you from a bigger disaster.
If you care for your employees, ask your customers to sign a written contract.
If you want to be able to plan things ahead such as for e.g. production, shipping or inventory, insist on customers to put their signature on those agreements.
If you want to build a sustainable business that will be around for many years to come, make it a habit to incorporate written contracts into your daily activities.
It’s not false safety.
It’s the real deal.
It’s the way successful and highly profitable big businesses operate and so should you.
What was your biggest loss / win that you attribute directly to not having / having written contracts in place?
Originally published on my blog at StrengthInBusiness.com.