Great Ideas for your Small Business: Never Work with Anyone Who Gives You a Headache or a Stomachache
If i had a motto, this would be it.
Life is too short to work with people who make you miserable. This isn’t emotional hogwash. You can’t do your best work when you hate the person managing you or the project.
I know. I’ve tried. Without naming names, I’ll share a quick story. A very big company interested in selling its services to entrepreneurs asked me to come up with some good ideas to get them started.
I came up with a concept the company believed was a winner. My former partner and I wrote a formal proposal for funding. After months of “yes, it’s happening,” then, “no, it isn’t,” we were awarded a six-figure contract.
But it wasn’t time for champagne. During the rocky negotiations, I realized that while my idea was embraced by the top brass, his second in command hated it. Why? Because it was “not invented here” (see Great Idea 1). The guy felt obligated to manage my project because his boss told him to, but he hated it from day one and began to sabotage it. He hired another consultant to manage my consulting contract. He added layers of bureaucracy, second- and third- guessing everything we did. In short, he made it nearly impossible for us to function. I had a headache and a stomachache every day for nearly two years!
Despite all the roadblocks, we pulled it together and were ready to launch the new service. But then the marketing campaign went south. They wrote a few lines about it in a company newsletter and dropped the ball there. Instead of printing up a full-color brochure as promised, they told me to create something on my PC and “take it to Kinko’s.” This was a company with a $200 million advertising budget!
That’s when I pulled the plug.
When it was finally over, I felt as if I had been run over by a truck. Not only was I losing my mind, but I had lost thousands of dollars of my own money providing products and services to my ungrateful client.
I swore I would never work with people like that again, and I haven’t. I admit, I’ve had some unpleasant encounters with clients since then, but I always move quickly to resolve the difficulties and clear the air.
No amount of money is worth the pain. Success will evade you if you are working in a poisoned atmosphere. So think about the people you are dealing with today, this month, and this week. Do they make you ill? If they do, fire them. Or quit.
Do it. You’ll be glad you did!