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Nice guys come last, say the losers

Nice guys come last, say the losers

By Chris Haycock | 03 June 2022

It's a phrase that has meant so much to me since early adulthood. But in business - as in life itself - nice guys can be winners.

When I was 20-year-old sailor in the Royal Navy my supervisor (a "salty" Leading Hand) told me that I wouldn't amount to anything because I was “too nice”. He said that I'd get walked over.

That stinging criticism remained with me for many years, and it really haunted me. For the next two decades I became cynical, untrusting and secretive.

After I incorporated my business way back in 2011, this trait continued. Although I was creating my own little empire, it was strictly behind closed doors in my little office. Everything I did was a closely-guarded secret. And most importantly, I trusted no one, for fear of being manipulated by strong, overpowering personalities who wanted to exploit my ideas for their own gain.

Any successes I had (there were plenty) were mine, and there wasn't a cat in hell's chance I was going to tell anyone how I achieved them. 

In 2013 I launched a venture which​ required me to expand my horizons and go out and talk to people. That's when I first stumbled across FTSE100 mentor Moe Nawaz and Enterprise Nation Champion Fay Easton, both successful entrepreneurs.

It was these two people who changed my whole mindset - for the better. They made me realise that whilst there are many entrepreneurs who have made their fortune treading on people, manipulating them, and generally being rather nasty to others, it doesn't have to be this way to get ahead in business. 

This was an eye-opener, and a revelation. I could finally take off my mask and be the true me. I didn't want to have to be a nasty person to be successful. I wanted to be someone who made it by being myself; by being honest, open, and above all, kind to others.

At first, I worried that my new-found kindness would make me vulnerable to manipulation by others, but this hasn't been the case. I can usually detect the manipulators easily. They're easy to spot. They don't look you in the eyes. They just talk money. They don't listen. They quite literally 'ooze' cunning.


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After all, it takes one to know one. 

Since I changed my mindset things have changed dramatically. I began sharing information that I wouldn't previously have even considered. I approached new collaborations with complete honesty and transparency, and I went out of my way to show kindness - without wanting anything in return (that was my one strict criteria).

I became the person I wanted to be. The old me. I didn't need to be nasty to get ahead.

And in return? I have been showered with potential collaborations, potential partnerships and people wanting to find out more about my business. And as a result my business has prospered. 

What's the take-away here?

Well, I am proof that you don't need to be a hard-nosed, cynical manipulator to get ahead in business.

Kindness, honesty and a willingness to help others are far likely to accelerate your life goals. It also means you don't leave a trail of hatred, bitterness and destruction behind you. Instead, you attract similar-minded people who want to walk beside you. 

Seriously, even though a lot of my time is (still) spent alone tapping away in my lonely office, I'm surrounded by some of the most decent, kind, and honest people that I can turn to for advice and friendship. 

Just because I decided to become kinder to others. 

It's often said that “nice guys come last”.

Absolute bull. 


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