I genuinely hate keeping secrets. I am a talkative individual who likes to keep an air of transparency about himself(this is one of the main reasons why I blog so openly)
While I hate to keep secrets, I have realized that they are both necessary and advantageous in everyday life.
Why am I saying this though?
Why would anyone think of even paying attention to this almost nonsensical blog post? Because this information is something that I’ve been keeping a “secret” for years and can definitely help in any venture that you think of partaking in(not just business)
People can’t help but be intrigued by a mysterious individual
I have yet to figure out why this is but, it’s true. They don’t like to know it all, you have to consistently keep them guessing (this isn’t true for all situations but, for most I’ve found that this works like a charm).
Seriously think about it for a second. I want you to relate this to things that happen in your everyday lives,
DO you love it when someone tells you everything that happens in their life? Whether it be your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, whatever do you like when they tell you everything that there is to know about them? I think not. I can almost guarantee that you get bored with them halfway through your interaction.
Here’s another good thing about mystery
When we don’t know EVERYTHING, we tend to allow our imaginations to run wild. We start coming up with the possible reasoning behind why someone is acting a certain way.
What they could possibly be doing. Why they’re doing anything in the first place.
This is just something that our minds do in the background, especially if you’re actually interested in what that person could be doing with their time.
What does that mean for business or money?
In short, not much, usually. People like to know everything that’s going on with their money.
If they’re investing in you, they want to know about every single one of your processes or in other words how you go about making money.
If they’re buying something from you, they want to know exactly what they’ll be getting. People do need to know what’s happening with their money.
Imagination when it comes to money is usually not the best thing in the world.
Here’s the kicker.
Sometimes keeping things to yourself in business does work though (I know, this post is full of kickers).
Here’s an example,
Just a few months ago, I saw the full extent of the imagination when kept from information.
*before I say anything else, I think that it’s pertinent that I mention that I do keep secrets. Lots of them.
Anyways (and this was actually about a year ago), I was working at a beer company. My time at this company was enjoyable to say the most.
I made the money that I needed and learned a few things about the business world. Things were moving along at a steady, relatively slow pace; it was best that I left there.
Near the end of my stay there, I could feel the distance between myself and the company growing. We weren’t communicating at the level that we had been previously.
The employer-employee relationship had all but dissipated. I wasn’t the only one that had noticed it either. When it was time for me to leave (when I actually quit) and I gave them my notice, they couldn’t help but barrage me with questions.
They asked me things like, “Why was I leaving?”, “Was there anything that they could do to convince me to stay?”, and most importantly, “Where was I going?”.
The last question was a bit funny to me because of the fact that I could practically hear the thoughts racing through their minds, wondering if I was going to a competitor or something of that nature.
The way that it was said even signaled to me that they were seriously putting a bit of thought into whether or not I was about to leave the company for another, more advantageous one (who wouldn’t though right?)
Now, I wasn’t at the highest level of the food chain at this company but, this did teach me 2 very important things about business;
They only know what you tell them
- I didn’t answer their question about where I was going; I didn’t see a reason to do so. What you tell them molds their thoughts and behavior towards you. It’s funny.
People hate to feel as if they’re losing
- I mentioned in the above paragraph that I was nowhere near the top of the food chain at this company (literally, I had a full-time semi entry-level position). Yet, they felt the need to get distraught over my having left them. They seriously wondered why I was leaving and where I was going. The thought that I could’ve potentially been going to a competitor pissed them off. Why? Because we are aggressive people in a competitive world. No one (most) likes to lose.
Something should always be kept in the back of the mind is that there are nuances to everything.
While keeping information to yourself works in a lot of situations, there are a few that it just doesn’t work for. Doing work with other people is one of those instances.
(But, that’s for another post)
For now, an air of mystery usually doesn’t hurt. When making proposals or doing business, it varies but this has usually worked for me. People don’t like to know everything and thus, shouldn’t know everything.