Never Trust People Who Are Late

A few years ago an attorney called me and requested a meeting to discuss his law firm. He was having trouble getting a handle on his growing practice and he was not happy with the fees he was receiving from his clients.

A good client referred him to me, so I agreed to a free telephone consultation with him. He was 20 minutes late for this consultation.

He asked if we could meet in person (with a promise of retaining me to help him with his issues). I agreed to that meeting at a restaurant in Miami.

I arrived at the restaurant about fifteen minutes early. I got a table, was seated, and perused the menu.

Thirty minutes passed and my lunch date was 15 minutes late. I glanced at my watch, ordered an ice tea, and began reading the newspaper.

At the half-hour mark (remember I had been sitting there for fifteen minutes prior, so I was waiting 45 minutes) I called the gentleman with whom I had the appointment. He answered the phone and said he forgot all about it but he could be there in 20 minutes.

I declined, left the restaurant, and went about my day.

I did not receive an apology. There was no offer to compensate me for my time. In fact, he acted like somehow, it was my fault.

Nine months later this same lawyer reached out to me, again seeking assistance. I politely told him I didn’t think we were a good fit.

That was three years ago.

Life moved on and I completely forgot about this entire situation.

I ran into this gentleman last week. We were both attending a meeting in Miami.

When we were introduced, he said we had met before.

When I enquired as to where and when he said:

“We had a calendar mix-up and I was 20 minutes late for a meeting. You told me you would not do business with me. You were a real jerk.”

It is interesting how people revise history in their minds.

I’m glad I didn’t do business with this gentleman.


Three reasons:

–He didn’t respect me enough to be on time for either of our meetings

–He didn’t respect himself enough to be on time for either of our meetings

–He didn’t respect the work we would do together enough to be on time for either of our meetings

Does this seem a little harsh?

It’s not.

It is a good habit for business and for life.

There are plenty of great clients out there. There are plenty of great people with whom you can partner. There are plenty of great people who you can befriend.

You do not need to compromise your personal integrity or subordinate your self-confidence and put up with an irresponsible individual.

Never trust people who are late. Place your trust with those who deserve it.

Here is the transcript for this Four Minute Fixation episode:

Never Trust People Who Are Late

Never, ever, trust someone who’s chronically late. Want to find out why?

Come with me.

Join us now.

Welcome back to Four Minute Fixation.

Today we’re fixated on people who are chronically late, and why you should never ever do business with them. There are three primary reasons why you should never do business with someone who is chronically late.

Number one, they don’t respect you. They didn’t leave their last meeting, or leave their home, or leave their office early enough to get to where you are for your meeting on time. They don’t respect you. They had something else they were doing that they allowed to run long, that they thought was more important, and they didn’t choose you over the thing they were doing. Now if it happens once, it may be an accident. If it happens twice, it may be coincidence. If it happens more than that, this person has a problem with respecting others, and that person should not ever be someone you should trust with your time, with your money, or with your clients.

Reason number two you should never do business with someone who’s chronically late is that they don’t respect themselves. They don’t respect themselves. They know their tardiness is a poor representation of them. Let’s face it, the time that they were late with you, that wasn’t the first time they were ever late in their lives. They’ve been late other times. People will have conversations with them and they will not pay attention. They don’t respect themselves enough to maintain their own reputation because they’re continuously late. They don’t respect you, they don’t respect themselves.

If you need more than that, here’s the third reason why you should never ever do business with people who are chronically late. They don’t respect the reason why you’re getting together. They don’t respect the reason why you’re getting together. I will tell you very matter-of-factly that these reasons are make or break issues for me in doing business with people. They’re make or break reasons for doing business with clients. They’re make or break reasons for entering into partnerships. They’re make or break reasons for social relationships.

I will not do business with or interact with people who are late. If you are someone who’s been told by others that your tardiness is a problem, or if you’re sensing that your tardiness is a problem, this is your wake up call. This is your opportunity. This is your time to get it fixed.

Never do business with someone who’s late. If you’re a person who’s late, take this opportunity and fix it now. I’m Dave Lorenzo and you can find me here every single day for Four Minute Fixation, where we focus on helping you make a great living and live a great life.

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