Why You Should Not Be Friends With Your Taxidermist

Animal Artistry

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A professional relationship and a friendship are two separate matters, and when you cross that line, both are jeopardized. I hear constantly from people who are extremely disappointed in their taxidermist, but then they say, “But he’s a friend, and he’s a good guy.”

What Does This Mean?

It means you no longer have a professional relationship with your taxidermist, and you cannot demand what you should demand in a professional relationship because of friendship. The truth is friendship is diametrically opposed to business. It is true in business you can be kind and supportive of each other, but there still is a fundamental business practice that presides over everything.

The Friendship Factor

Once friendship enters business, there are excuses, escape clauses, and all kinds of other issues that allow the business relationship to disappear. I do not know many people who are friends with their mechanic, gardener, doctor, or accountant. In each case, most people I know have a professional relationship in which services are rendered and payment is given. If services are inadequate, payment is withheld, or they move on to someone else.

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The Business Solution

This is exactly what hunters should do regarding his or her taxidermist. I, as an owner of a taxidermy business for over 40 years, have resisted the temptation to go hunting or fishing with clients, accept gifts from them, or even to go out to dinner. I find all those things compromise the business relationship, and at the end of the day, everyone expects something from a friendship.

Pure Friendship

If people want to be your friend, it is because they have an unspoken expectation of receiving something in return, and in a pure friendship, that exchange is healthy and mutual. However, when friendship becomes part of business, it all falls apart. You cannot demand what you need or paid for and you cannot criticize the quality of work — you just go along.

Keep it simple, keep it separate.
 

35bore

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Never quite looked at it like that. The concrete work I do for friends and family is to the same standards I do for "paying " customers. I get what you are saying completely, but for me personally, I haven't had any issues as far as comprising friendships. My payoffs are the fishing trips or hunting rights for a free ish patio. It sucks I guess for you because of the time involved in your line of work. In mine, it has benefitted me 10 fold.
 

PARA45

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I believe it's hard to be friends with your mechanic, garner, etc, because you probably do not have anything in common. With the taxidermist, who usually are hunters too, there is this bond, that probably most people see, and want to be friends without thinking of the what ifs. That is like being friends with your outfitter. I do not see a problem. Business is business and friendship is friendship.

I worked for my parents in a Freight Forwarding company. The moment I walked through the door of the business, my parents were no longer my parents and they were my bosses. I gave the respect they deserved as my bosses. :) As long as you can differentiate both, I don't see a problem. My 2 cents. :)
 

BSO Dave

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If people want to be your friend, it is because they have an unspoken expectation of receiving something in return, and in a pure friendship, that exchange is healthy and mutual. However, when friendship becomes part of business, it all falls apart. You cannot demand what you need or paid for and you cannot criticize the quality of work — you just go along.

I disagree. I see no reason why you cannot have a real friendship with someone who you also do business with. I have several personal friendships which include my family doctor, personal attorney, financial advisor, my taxidermist (as a matter of fact) and others... As @PARA45 said, friendship is friendship and business is business. If either party cannot understand and respect the boundaries, then you were probably not really "friends" in the first place.
 

Randy F

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If it’s a true friendship then both should know where the line is in my book.
As a client, there should be absolutely no expectations of “a deal”.
As any business professional, a taxidermist should perform at the very best of of his or her ability and stand by it as with any other customer.
If those things are abided by there should never be an issue. If they’re not then it wasn’t a real friendship in the first place.
I hate to see people miss out on great opportunities and great people in the name of business and for fear of an awkward situation.
I have had several taxidermists in the different states in which I’ve lived. I am still very good friends with all of them. There have been a couple of instances where we didn’t completely agree but we figured it out because we were friends.
My 2 cents.
 

CBH Australia

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Mmm, I can see it could go either way. I can see what @35bore is saying. Concreting can transform an area very quickly and it’s an art form in itself. But if you go to pour a slab you still commit the day to do wha they must be done and be there at the right time to get the right finish. But you just saved your friend a heap of cash.
I meddle with various building and renovation works and sometimes for friends, Generally because I can and they cannot afford a tradesman, my circle of friends are not wealthy but working to improve our position. I have even dabbled I’m pouring concrete with some success but I am critical of my own work always looking to get it perfect if I could.
I envision what I want and set high standards for myself and don’t meet my own expectation but if a friend is in the trades you expect them to be a master of the trade and deliver great result. A professional like a Dr or Lawyer, well we expect they know what they are doing and we might not well know if they could have done better.
If a friend is producing something we can see and assess we might have had a different expectation in our mind.
I don’t be have taxidermy but if I had an expectation an animal would look like “x” and it’s not quite the pose, or the look, I’m gonna be disappointed as it is set in place, just like the concrete and for better or worse is hard to change. Both might have been a considerable cost to get there either a 20k Hunt and 1 k taxidermy or 2-3k concrete job under a expensive patio area, your gonna have to live with it. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin a friendship but I feel you are disappointed you might always be disappointed.
 

Randy F

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Mmm, I can see it could go either way. I can see what @35bore is saying. Concreting can transform an area very quickly and it’s an art form in itself. But if you go to pour a slab you still commit the day to do wha they must be done and be there at the right time to get the right finish. But you just saved your friend a heap of cash.
I meddle with various building and renovation works and sometimes for friends, Generally because I can and they cannot afford a tradesman, my circle of friends are not wealthy but working to improve our position. I have even dabbled I’m pouring concrete with some success but I am critical of my own work always looking to get it perfect if I could.
I envision what I want and set high standards for myself and don’t meet my own expectation but if a friend is in the trades you expect them to be a master of the trade and deliver great result. A professional like a Dr or Lawyer, well we expect they know what they are doing and we might not well know if they could have done better.
If a friend is producing something we can see and assess we might have had a different expectation in our mind.
I don’t be have taxidermy but if I had an expectation an animal would look like “x” and it’s not quite the pose, or the look, I’m gonna be disappointed as it is set in place, just like the concrete and for better or worse is hard to change. Both might have been a considerable cost to get there either a 20k Hunt and 1 k taxidermy or 2-3k concrete job under a expensive patio area, your gonna have to live with it. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin a friendship but I feel you are disappointed you might always be disappointed.
Communication
 

Newboomer

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You can do business with friends just like anyone else. You just have to separate the two: business on a contract basis with details spelled out as if you were dealing with anyone else. That way each side knows what to expect and the job is not marred by personal feelings. After the day's work is done and you are off the clock you can socialize and be friends. Keep the two separate and it will work fine. I was a General Contractor for nearly 40 years and that is how I ran my business and it worked.
 
 

 

 

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