I Won When I Gave Up (Does Your Business Have an Exit Strategy?)

I’ve been MIA for a while.  Why?  I had another life lesson to learn.  Some of you know, I own a few businesses.  My publishing business has taken off like a rocket and I am so grateful to God for it.  I’ve met some fantastic people, learned things I’d never come across on my own, and made some true friends in the process.  I also learned a tremendous life lesson:

No amount of money is worth my peace.

I mean that.  I had a client who (I’m about to break a business rule-never talk about your clients) signed a contract with us then deviated from it.  They wanted us to perform services through a company we don’t use.  It caused some significant problems.  I ended up using an immeasurable amount of time doing research, negotiating, and stressing over a service I knew I wouldn’t be a part of.  I’m grateful for the info, but in the end, it made me sick.  I was physically drained and it manifested in illness.  Not only physically, but emotionally and mentally.

I’ve been in that place before, so I knew better.  I can’t really “blame” anyone but myself.  But I had to learn something again that I thought I’d already known:  stand up for yourself.  Not just for yourself, but for your business.  Stand up for your personal well being, your business’ well being, your employee’s well being, and your other clients’ well being.  It’s not worth any amount of money or fame to exchange your character and integrity.  I discovered that by standing up for myself I stood up for us all.  It took me looking back at life before this client to see just how good I’d had it before.  I was absolutely in love with what I was doing and it seemed to love me right back.  I’d had a flow and was growing by leaps and bounds.  We actually were conducting interviews!  However, I had to learn something else:  how to get out of a bad situation.  Even when the intentions are good, the situation can get bad.  I had to decide that what I was experiencing was too bad to hold onto.  I had to decide that I’d do whatever it took to be free again.  I had to decide to cut ties and not feel some kind of way about it.  I had to decide to forgive myself for not doing it sooner, not seeing the red flags, and not beat myself up a second longer.  I had to give up so I could win.  I trusted God to get me out of it.  It hurt so bad to live with the unnecessary drama (I was sick for over a week) that I was grateful for the situation to be cut out of my life!

You need to know what your exit strategy is.  We didn’t have one before, but we do now!  And I’m quite proud of it.  So even though it got rough there for a bit, I can’t say I regret WHAT I LEARNED.  Don’t get me wrong, the scenario SUCKED!  But I’m so much better for it now.  I know what to look out for, how to guard my borders, how to approach a bad situation before it even starts.

Have you done that for your business?  Your household?  Yourself?  Invest that time.  It’s worth it.

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