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These are among the lessons I learned in 2007:

  1. Trust my instincts.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. I rock. No, seriously, I do.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.).