December 17, 2010

When I first started Creative Events, I was fortunate to have a wealth of business-savvy friends as resources for advice on the dos and don’ts of owning a small business.  One such sage counseled that each year I must “fire” a CEK client.  His rationale?  One always has a client that takes up too much time, yields too few results and generally robs one of energy better directed to the pursuit of growth of the company or new approaches that will benefit the remainder of the client base.

As a newbie-business owner struggling to meet expenses, that was hard advice but he continued to nudge me until I did it and YES! It was so liberating.  Not only did it free up time and energy to be put to more productive use, it also gave me a second precious gift.  It reminded me that I am in charge of my own destiny – no one to blame but myself if I am in misery.  

So it’s a rule I try to follow- and most years, I succeed. 2010 was no exception. I quickly identified the culprit on my list, and on November 22, I moved to free myself from the poisonous relationship.  I told the client who the vendors were that I was using; I called the vendors and told them to feel free to go forward connecting directly with the client; and I erased that planned income for time already spent right out of my projections for the year.  Better to not be compensated than continue.  I left for Thanksgiving holiday relieved that all was right in my world.

So wasn’t I surprised, when that same client called me THIS WEEK to tell me they were not going to use me to finish the project!  Yes, they fired me as well. 

Aside from the fact that it signaled I either was not direct enough in November, or the client was not listening, what a good reminder I got!  If one is miserable in a business relationship, the other party most likely is as well. What a great reinforcement of that practice I learned so long ago.  Both parties will go forward applying our energies where there is a good return and less angst!

So I am approaching the end of 2010 pretty content.  Even when the fear of a bad economy continued to swirl around me, I was able to rid myself of the burdens of a disruptive longtime vendor and a disruptive client not well-matched to my strengths.  And I’ve had my best year ever, with 2011 shaping up with promise.

So, if you find yourself with similar angst, go ahead – make it a practice in your business as well..it clears the way for energies to be redirected and  it is so liberating! Here’s to celebrating all the new good relationships you will make room for.

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