It may come as a surprise, but I generally do not like writing articles like these. Most of them come from unpleasant dealings within our business and personal lives. However, it would be all for naught if we couldn’t share our experiences and at least attempt to help you through some of your small business struggles.
I don’t want to come off as complaining, but, sometimes, it feels like, out of every 10 clients, 1 of them is really great to work with and the other 9 give us more lessons in how we don’t want to operate.
I credit this with video production being so undervalued. I can’t speak to all markets, but the barrier to entry has dropped drastically in the last 20 years and all you need is a phone to make a video. It’s opened the gates to those who create great content and those who don’t, and those who don’t tend to ruin it for everyone. I’m sure this is fairly universal (otherwise car salesmen wouldn’t get such a bad wrap for all being sleazy).
Dealing with people isn’t easy. Some people are built for it, and others do it because they have to. I find myself landing somewhere in the middle. I love helping people that want the help, but I get drained quickly when the relationship is out of balance.
As a business owner, it’s extremely important that you (I) find clients that fit within our values, beliefs, and operations. At the end of the day, you need to feel good about what you do because, if you don’t, you will burn out and you can end up hating something that fed your needs well.
The tough thing is that everyone is unique and it’s a difficult prospect to vet everyone who comes through the door looking to hire you.
How do we avoid these situations? That’s an excellent question and I am way under-qualified to answer it (hence why I’m writing this blog).
The only advice that I can offer (and this is mostly because I need it) is to trust your gut when it comes to feeling like there are red flags.
If you feel red flags coming on, either get out or proceed with caution.
As I sit on the other side of yet another disappointing prospect, the content of this blog begins writing itself.
What do you do when you’ve been through the fire already and you need to start healing from it?
First thing I would recommend is viewing this process as detoxing and as a grieving process.
Absolutely. By this point, you’ve probably invested time, money, and resources into a sinking ship. No matter how big or how small, you have to work your way through it, if you want to survive.
How do you begin that process?
I’m glad you asked. I’m currently reading (actually listening to) a book called Own Your Past, Change Your Future and the author, Dr. John Deloney, brought up something that I have been doing for years and has been a part of my process, but I never really thought about it. WRITE IT DOWN.
Get it out of your head.
If you’re not familiar with the show Scrubs, the main actors started a podcast a couple years ago where they go through and discuss the show episode by episode. They will also have guests on the show. One episode, in particular, had John C McGinley (AKA Dr. Cox) as the featured guest.
He spoke about an issue on set where people were bringing their dogs and it was becoming a problem for some of the cast and crew.
He recounted the experience and discussed how something his father or grandfather taught him on how to deal with situations like that.
The short version, write it in a letter. No holds barred, just do it. And DON’T SEND IT. Sleep on it for at least a night.
This process has some remarkable qualities. When we get our thoughts out of our head and write them down, we can start to see things more clearly. It’s almost as if the fog of the problem dissipates and we can see the problem for what it really is.
This also gives you time to process and figure out how to deal with the problem in the best way.
Lastly, you will feel better. It won’t be all at once, but you will begin to get over that interaction and move on.
The best part is that the exercise is about as harmless as can be.
When the time comes, either send the letter or don’t. If you decide to send it, it’s probably not the worst idea to rewrite it and run it past someone you trust to give you real feedback on how it translates and can be interpreted to make sure you aren’t going to make things worse.
In the end, it’s almost like a free therapy (although, it’s not a substitute for real therapy or counseling if you need it).