These are among the lessons I learned in 2007:
- Trust my instincts.
- My family is the absolutely most important thing to me in the world: my best and dearest friends, and the people I enjoy spending time with the most.
- In addition to my actual amazing family, my family also includes those to whom I am not related by blood or operation of law, like A, JF, W, E, AB, Q, to whom I know I can always turn and for whom I would do anything. When I tell you that you are part of my family, it’s a deep and meaningful bond, not “people I dread seeing at holidays.”
- I rock. No, seriously, I do.
- No matter who refers the deal or how tight the deadline, absolutely no work until paid upfront in full.
- Especially if the client claims to be a minister or answers the phone “I believe in God” . . . thanks to separate “men of God” who wasted my time and cost me money in 2007.
- Set small tasks for new business prospects to perform within the first few days to test their responsiveness, attitudes, willingness to accept critiques, veracity, etc.
- We’ve been able to quickly dispense with multiple prospects since implementing the new strategy and I am much more willing to speak with a prospect knowing that I will really know within a week if we will move forward or disengage.
- Always keep my own counsel.
- That’s actually a lesson I learned in ’99, but with the break-up, everyone wanted to know “Why????” Well, it’s none of your business. I didn’t speak to you about problems in our relationship when they were happening, why would I start unloading once it’s over? You don’t really want to know, and I don’t want my relationship to become part of your bar patter.
- I know it’s devastating for everyone that “the perfect couple” couldn’t make it, but:
- there are very good reasons we broke up,
- we’re not reconciling (without years of intensive therapy, so don’t hold your breath),
- we still love each other very much, but we’re not good for each other now,
- I know it’s awkward for you that we’re still close, but get over it and stop thinking that means something it doesn’t, and
- we are not together (though, ha ha, I will certainly hand him the phone so you can say hi. jerks.).