I did a lot of cooking this weekend. I shouldn’t have, since Thanksgiving is in just a few days… but I suppose I can freeze some. I cook when I need clarity. It calms me… boeuf bourguignon, French onion soup and coq au vin… all from scratch. I love French food. Butter and wine make the world a happy place.
My need for clarity involves business. I have not signed my partnership agreement yet. I’m not going to. We have been through months of negotiating… I have come to realize over the course of working together, we do not have the same ethical and moral business values. I have decided I will wait until the first of the year before I tell him. I need some time to strategize next moves. I will find a way to exit gracefully… with minimal exposure to potential damage. I really thought I could make a mutually beneficial arrangement. I hadn’t realized his propensity to be a shark. Sharks are fine… if you are one… or respect them. I chose long ago to be different… It is not my job to help him be a better human.
I’m thankful I realized it now and not later. I’m better at listening to my gut than I used to be. I’m probably a little more life smart now too, but still not as smart as I should be. Sometimes you can’t really see how a person truly operates until they let their guard down. Luckily, I was smart enough to not give him access to my business contacts yet… although just a few days ago he was pumping me for information… I glossed over it and told him all my institutional clients have different rules and expectations and it’s complex… I confused him with some things he didn’t understand. I knew I was having second thoughts but hadn’t had time to process my thoughts and feelings yet.
I brought someone into my business in 2014 for a few months. I learned from that experience; knowledge is power. She tried to sabotage my relationship with my institutional clients when I let her go and tried to sue me. She wanted a piece of my business. She was not a nice person. She, too, was a shark. Some people think they can have success by taking someone else’s… I believe there is enough business for everyone and if you are willing to work hard – honestly and ethically – you can have it. And I believe you have a responsibility to help others achieve success too, but it doesn’t mean you should be a doormat and let people steal from you… or condone questionable business practices.
A couple weeks ago I was so pissed off I wrote my business partner a letter… 4 pages… I was not going to send it until I calmed down and toned it down to be more professional. Unfortunately, he called me, acting like everything was just fine, and I told him about being so pissed off. I also told him I wrote him a letter and he wanted me to go ahead and send it… so I did. So, he does know everything is not peachy, but he thinks he has smoothed things over to some degree, I think. I’ve come to call it the “Ten things I hate about you” letter. I am not good at pretending. But it’s also given him a heads up and I think he is positioning… which is another reason he was prying into my client relationships the other day. I have to think like a “shark” a little myself to avoid getting bitten… not exactly my forte. I suspect I will be doing a lot of cooking in the next month or so… maybe I will buy some Ziplock containers and deliver some to the homeless people I drive by… wonder if they like French food… maybe my neighbors need some food… my adult children are always happy to receive some…
I’m getting a little tired of rebooting and starting over. In business… in life… what is the Universe trying to tell me?