19 February 2020
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Sliding doors and business breaks

Not only was the eminent Alexander Graham Bell credited with inventing the first practical telephone, the following quote is also attributed to this man of science:

“When one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

How true this is in business. We so often preoccupy ourselves with contracts or clients lost that we fail to see another and even better opportunity staring us in the face. And we waste valuable time and energy on grieving or moaning what’s gone, rather than being recharged by the prospect of a new arrival. The more experience I get in business – and along with that comes more knockbacks – the more I put into practice the words of Andrea Bocelli, “Time to say goodbye”.

Life continually shows me that no sooner have you said goodbye to the client, friend or family member who simply does not value you, they are replaced by someone who can’t believe their luck in finding you! So many people waste their time and therefore their life on futile relationships that cause nothing but stress and anxiety. Even if the dollars are there, do you really want to spend your days in a situation that makes you little more than a harbinger of someone else’s problems?

Here are some tips if you ever have to decide to do a Fleetwood Mac and “break the chain”:

  1. Take a look at the troublesome relationship. Write down what you value about the relationship.
  2. In another column, list the ‘baggage’ that comes with it. What don’t you like about this twisted mess you’re in?
  3. Take a look at what you’ve written down. Is the negative side outweighing the positive? Some people have ingrained patterns of behaviour just like a man who hits a woman — they are simply not going to change.
  4. Work out the dollar value of the business – what are you actually receiving from this client? Is that money really worth the stress and resultant anxiety that you’re going through?
  5. Think of what the stress is doing to you, your business and to those who care for you.
  6. Take yourself out of the situation. Have the courage to walk away. There are so many relationships where people are trapped in a revolving door. Break the cycle and get out.
  7. Stop thinking, talking, dissecting, evaluating, mourning and torturing yourself about the loss. It’s over. Move on. Comfort yourself with the knowledge and inner belief that you have given your very best and you have been undervalued and not appreciated. Perhaps when you’re long gone, the one with the problem might realise what they’ve lost. Too late. Don’t let them back!

I know this sounds analytical but I remember what Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, said when he was explaining why he sacked 10 per cent of his staff every year. He said he did this because he wanted the best people in his organisation. He added that he often received thanks from those he let go when they found another job where they were happy and more productive. If you’re unhappy, you don’t get the best out of yourself, your career or your business.

Now pick up the telephone (courtesy of Mr Bell). Make calls and connect with people who will fill the void on your profit and loss statement. Set yourself up for future success. You do need to be proactive and get yourself out in the world. In our business we knock on doors to find new contracts but I am always amazed the way doors magically seem to quietly slide open not too long after we’ve closed one that needed to be shut.

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.


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