Occasionally I make the mistake of thinking about my friends’ needs ahead of my own. Rarely does it work out well. About a month ago, I suggested that my friend launch his own landscaping business after he successfully tamed the small-growth forest in my backyard and replaced it with a a lawn. I provided him with information on an insurance company, wrote a testimonial for his webpage, took photos of my brand new lawn and ensured him that starting a small business would not be difficult.
Then he went ahead and did it, and over the last couple of weeks, his business has taken off.
I was happy for him and thrilled with his success until yesterday, when I needed a golfing partner and he wasn’t available because his day was filled with landscaping work.
He used to always be available to golf. Ready on a moment’s notice. Anxious to meet me at the course. Willing to play nine, eighteen or anything in between. Walking or riding.
A couple weeks ago, while everyone was hunkering indoors, enjoying their air conditioning, we played in 103 degree heat, opting to walk the course rather than take the cart.
Now he’s too busy to hit the links on a regular basis, leaving me struggling to find another person to play with in the middle of the day.
I’m happy that he’s finding success in his business and earning some extra income, but I’d much rather have him poor and available than flush with cash and always busy.
See what I mean? Altruism often benefits others, but is does nothing but create problems for the altruistic.