Building Trust in a Land of Mosquitoes

I love the outdoors! From long walks along Tampa’s Riverwalk, gazing at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, attending a jazz concert in the park, to fishing with family at the creek, you will find me the most happiest outside

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And since I must exercise, I prefer to burn fat outside as well. Fresh air mixed with beautiful scenery (the wonders of God and the AEC industry) makes the “pain of gains” somewhat enjoyable. And then it happens. Midway through my second set of lunges, I am met with a stinging sensation, followed by another, and then another one. MOSQUITOES! Those pesky blood-suckers have crashed my fitness party, uninvited, leaving me with the task of relieving the itchiness through scratching. A rigorous scratching that leads to swelling and open sores, whose scars last what seems to be a lifetime! It’s quite the dilemma, but the solution is clear……….stay inside and watch Netflix!


I know. It’s a great sorry excuse to stop exercising and there are certainly more logical solutions to maintaining the benefits of fitness training outside. Still, abiding indoors appears to be the safest hedge against the attacks of these intrusive predators.


Sadly, entrepreneurs are faced with this same dilemma in the battle to build trusting relationships in a land filled with impostors, scammers, liars, cheaters, and the like. These “human mosquitoes” only look to benefit themselves. They may be partners, clients, consultants or even employees. They deceive many with empty promises, wounding their prey, and leaving firms with the burden of mending those damages. Human mosquitoes can literally suck the life out of a firm! And if the entrepreneur isn’t careful; fear, cynicism, worry, and stress will be their closest companions. Possibly the makings of yet another human mosquito! (Gasp! The plot thickens!)


There’s no secret trusting relationships merit great rewards such as assurance, proficiency, productivity, and even profitability. However, one detrimental bite from a human mosquito is enough to turn an entrepreneur into an entrepreneurial recluse. “I’ll figure it out and do it myself!” becomes the underlying motto that engulfs the entrepreneur with abundant labor, triggering costs that far outweigh returns (and not just revenue).


So what can we do to protect ourselves and our firms from these destructive individuals? How do we begin building trusting relationships when the scars from the last blow haven’t quite healed?


It’s simple and tough. Have faith and choose to trust again.


As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
— Proverbs 27:17


We need each other to thrive, to help each other fulfill those goals that were set at the beginning of our journeys. We were never intended to do life or business alone, therefore becoming an entrepreneurial hermit is not a viable option.


And when you have the courage to trust again, exercise due diligence. Unfortunately, human mosquitoes will remain until the end of time. We must use wisdom to discern the fraudulent from the gems. Ask plenty of questions, conduct thorough research, unearth the suitor’s intentions and processes, and examine the potential benefits both parties may receive through the relationship.


If it’s a match, AWESOME! Be sure to cultivate that union. Be intentional concerning the growth of your counterpart as they are intentional with helping you grow!  You can't help but reap a plentiful harvest far beyond monetary value with this mindset. And if you find there is no match, quickly and politely bid them adieu. No sense in wasting any more time.


As an added layer of security, I’d recommend trusting God. He’s Almighty, All-Powerful, All Knowing and Supremely intentional about refining His people for our good and His glory! In a cold and dark world, it's best to stick with Him. And in cases where I lack discernment and get stung, He’s able to mend those damages, strengthening me along the way. It’s "Hakuna Matata" at it’s ultimate finest!


Have you ever been bitten? Please share your experiences! What motivated you to step out of your self-made prison to experience the freedom and joys of healthy relationships again?


Let’s get to building peeps! :-)