Monday, June 10, 2013

Reminder: When in Doubt, Don't!

"When in doubt, don't" is a quote that I heard years ago. It became a significant part of the way I try to operate my life. Some people say, "Always go with your first mind." I think the principle is pretty similar. Either way, between the two, you are likely to reduce the number of mistakes you make.

Well, recently, I disregarded both sayings. Why? I did it out of fear. I was afraid on some level (consciously or subconsciously) that if I didn't do this thing, I would miss out on something. That's another lesson in itself - NEVER act out of fear!

My failure to follow my first mind, resulted in a very bad situation that threatened to ruin my reputation. It was a business opportunity that was referred to me and it didn't really fit my ideal client profile, but I thought maybe I could'should be a little flexible on that and if all else fails, the terms of the agreement was just for three weeks.


Everything about the situation was wrong. The client was a micro-manager, a personality style I KNOW I don't work well with. They also had a hard time relinquishing duties to me in order to me to be successful in assisting them. My philosophy is pretty simple - Give me the tools to do my job, then give me the autonomy to do it. For some people, that's hard to grasp, I suppose. It was like pulling teeth to get what I needed from them to do my job and unbeknownst to me, they felt that I was failing them in some way because I wasn't constantly BEGGING them for what I needed. Who has time for that?

The relationship only lasted a week and in the end, this person went back to the referring party and tried to slander me in MANY ways. Thankfully, the person who referred me knew better of me and my work ethic, so they weren't swayed by the negative reports.

I wanted to be mad at this "client." I really did, but in the end, I had to place blame exactly where it belonged - at my doorstep. It was my fault for going into a situation I had doubts about from the beginning. It was my fault for allowing fear to dictate my reaction. It was my fault for buying into the thought that I could handle any situation for a short period of time.

It takes a long time to build a reputation and only one bad act to destroy it all, so the next time you think you may be doing yourself or someone else a favor by going against the voice telling you not to, be very cautious!