“We need to talk.”
Let’s be honest. We’ve all broken up with someone - Friends. Clients. Significant Others. Peers. Mentors. Vendors. Suppliers. Service Providers. Partners. Employees.
OR we’ve all broken up with something – PC’s. Banks. Office Space. Software. Happy Hour. Coffee.
No easy conversation ever started with, “We need to talk”. However, we’ve all heard it or said it at one time or another in our lives. And the truth is, breaking up is hard to do. It inspires weakness, vulnerability and procrastination in all of us.
Even if you’ve done your due diligence prior to a breakup in terms of talking to mentors, weighing the pros and cons, crying to your friends, or facing the cold hard truth, the exit strategy out of any relationship can be brutal. Even without contracts and money at stake.
There are times when it may be blindingly obvious to everyone around you that it’s time to walk away from a relationship or partnership, yet in true entrepreneur fashion, you are still so stubborn that you need to come to the conclusion on your own terms.
So how do you know? First, simply ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have you lost respect for this partner?
2. Are your needs not being met in this relationship?
3. Are you only staying in this relationship because of a contract?
4. Is this relationship causing difficulty or danger to your brand or business?
5. Do you dread meetings with this partner?
6. Are you constantly keeping score in this partnership? Are you less forgiving if this partner doesn’t hold up to their end of the agreement?
7. Has this partnership stopped being fun & collaborative?
8. Is this partnership bringing out the worst in me?
9. Do your long term goals or business plans no longer match up?
If you’ve answered yes to ANY of these questions, it may be time to call it quits.
Just do it. Stop procrastinating. Stop having self- doubt. Stop second-guessing your gut.
Loyalty, cooperation, and commitment to work through difficult times are all admirable qualities in any entrepreneur but it’s important to be cognizant that these traits can also work against us to prolong the right decision and hinder growth in our business.
So just do it, put your big girl panties on and remember the following tips for breaking up.
1. Keep Calm and Never Attack the other person’s character. You are making this choice so there is no reason to be hostile or angry. It’s also important to remember that the other person may react with hostility and anger so it’s important to never attack them with your reasons as to why you are ending the relationship.
2. You are breaking up for YOU and what’s best for YOU – not the other person. Yes, it may hurt to see someone confused or upset, but that’s life.
3. KISS. (Keep It Short & Simple) No one needs a long drawn out goodbye. Simply state your reasons, avoid vague comments, don’t finger point, be polite, and move on. After all, haven’t you spent enough time investing in a relationship that isn’t helping you achieve your goals?
4. Time Does Not Heal. Growth Heals. – If nothing else, remember this. There are times when we have doubts about our decision to end a relationship and think of turning back. People often say time heals, but it doesn’t. It’s the growth that happens after a significant turning point in our lives that heals us. Trust me, I’ve seen it first hand in life, love and business.
Reflection & Action
In everything we do an entrepreneurs, it’s important to reflect on our decisions and the impact they had on our business. If you have recently gone through a breakup, in any capacity, I challenge you to this simple exercise.
Answer this question, type it out, and save as a draft.
“If I could get an email from myself 10 years from now, what advice might it have?”
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