“To put it bluntly, you need to purposefully respond with your emotions to any given situation, rather than simply reacting blindly. If you’re quick to be angry, think of all the collateral damage that results from flying off the handle at an employee, who may or may not have even erred. On the other hand, if you’re a passive person and tend to avoid conflict, who’s actually benefiting from this avoidance? Chances are good that you’re not actually solving anything – and by dodging a situation, you’re hurting everyone.” ~ Josh Linkner
Normally I do not write about personal situations in my business, I often hear people say don’t disclose this or that experience and honestly if one person can learn from my experience of this past week then I know it was worth it. I also know I am taking a risk of being raked over the coals for this brutal content. First disclosure I want to add that I am writing this with zero emotion meaning that this is not a reaction or a passive action but a real look into what I would think has happened to more than just me in business.
This past spring a very special friend (names do not matter) and I had planned for her to come to be mentored in the child genre in which I have created in my business. I contacted my friends and clients to help put together the concept and bring in the brand models that I have in my studio as collaborators for this private mentoring. Plans were made, arrangements were in the works as we banned together to make this happen. I put together a timeline and everything was a go. We were all excited. There were so many areas in my head that I wanted to work on with her.
What’s the issue you ask? Well here is where things get blurred. I made the mistake of treating it like a friendship, things blew up quite quickly because I fucked up! I let emotion in and it reared it’s ugly head. I did not speak up when time frames were broken. All I kept thinking of was don’t make them mad, let it go and I tried to keep everyone’s feelings in consideration as I did not want to hurt anyone. That was the second mistake I did not handle it as a business. If your client shows up 45 minutes late would you have done the session or given options to the client of his/her choices? The answer for me was no I would not have. In stead I internalized it. If it were another professional mentoring or workshop would one expect to show up late and or be on time?
When one goes to workshops or private mentoring does one invite friends to the dinners or get togethers afterwards or do they keep it with the group in which was working on that workshop? It was suppose to be about the mentoring and the lines were blurred again. I removed myself as to not be put in a situation that was hard for me. Why is that a problem you ask? Because I should have spoken up and not let emotions run wild and instead I buried it. My mind should have been on the business portion of it. I should have stuck to the schedule and then at the end of the mentor day I should have just gone my own way without emotion. But because it was her feelings I was considering I did not say anything. I let it build up in me until I could not deal with it and rather than hurting her I left. Not realizing that I had hurt her anyway. But if it were really about mentoring would she have presented the situation that caused the problem? I learned when I was in Chicago that you can not cram everything into one or two days. But this was not my lesson to learn and I made a critical mistake of taking it on.
I was asked to move the workshop time due to possible weather conditions and I did that because we do not want children having heat stroke. However, would one expect that the model kids would be on time. So again I tried to please everyone. Okay so make it work, do what you can to make adjustments because that is what we are suppose to do right. As the morning continued I could see smiles, laughter and watching her work. She was amazing. What is the problem? We were all going to spend the day together and resume the evening portion of the mentoring shoot for littles two hours is a lot to take in. They need breaks and fun. I was then removed from the days plans only to become emotionally hurt and rather than make corrections I just tucked my tail between my legs and cried all the way home because I was emotionally invested. When I did try to resolve it I made it worse by voicing the issue. I made the mistake of putting emotion in business. I cracked and just let it swallow me up and explode in me. I shut down. I refused to continue only to be told that she was doing it all just for me and not for her. That she was helping me. It was another reaction of emotion from late afternoon of suggestions and then it went to how I let her down and everyone else. As if that was not bad enough the countless texting back and forth with blame and no understanding and then to be continually raping myself over my business, after 4 hours of sleep within the 40 hours of no sleep I began to rip myself apart and dismantle my business. It was pure emotion and I have to thank some amazing people for reaching out to me and giving me a tough look at what I was doing to myself.
So here is what I learned first do not blur the lines of friendship with mentoring and workshops. Regardless to whether a friend and peer in the industry says that they are doing it for you and don’t make the mistake of engaging in it. Do not react with emotion because emotions complicate the situation. Then make the schedule for the mentoring or workshop and stick to it. Make the guidelines understood from the beginning and this does not mean that one has to be a bitch to get work done. Regardless no one will take you serious in those guidelines if there is no consistency. I am only responsible for my role in the situation. I apologized countless times and a friendship has been lost because of it. Do I think that I handled things to the best of my ability absolutely not. Do I think that I hold the corner stone in responsibility for my actions and reactions absolutely. I have begun to dust myself off by taking this time to breathe and look at this lesson logically. Will I do this again? Absolutely not. Will I dust myself off and answer the call to mentor? I will but only with the growth I need to do first. I will follow the advice of my mentors and work hard. I still have a lot of growing to do. But to those in the industry and you know who you are, thank you for reaching out to me and allowing me to voice my lessons according to my actions and reactions. The wisest advice I was given today, ” THERE IS NO PLACE FOR EMOTION IN BUSINESS”.
I am sorry this person I love was hurt. I am only responsible for my actions and reactions not anyone else’s and I won’t take that on.
Forever regretting it all,