Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Business, Miscellaneous, Spiritual Teachings, Thought | Posted on 05-12-2014
Recently, a friend who has a small consulting firm called me for some advice about a business situation. He told me of a client who had signed off on a proposal and was ready to move forward with his services. Wanting to get a good feel for exactly what would be needed to get started, my friend began to review what the company was currently doing. After analyzing their situation, he suggested to the client that rather than trying to fix a certain aspect of their business, it would be best for them to start over from scratch. He let them know that from his analysis, their current model wasn’t working well and was losing them money.
Thoughts Build Up
My friend told me that during his business review he had also noticed some things that didn’t quite jibe with what the client had previously told him. Plus he had previous dealings with this client that had ended up with lots of time spent, but no actual contract signed. So when the client responded to the suggestion of scrapping their current business model by asking him to outline exactly what they were doing wrong, it set off some alarm bells in his head. He became concerned that perhaps the client was just fishing for information and not truly interested in committing to becoming an actual paying client. As a former business consultant, I’ve seen this happen numerous times, so I knew my friend’s thinking was not necessarily unfounded.
Basically, my friend was wondering how he should handle the situation. Should he point out the discrepancies that he found when digging into the client’s business? Should he provide them with a different proposal for writing a report on what they were doing wrong rather than moving full steam ahead with the actual project? Should he tell them that perhaps he wasn’t the best fit for the job? His main concern was spending lots of time with this client only to have them take the advice and disappear.
Thoughts Create Feelings
At this point I stopped him. With my current understanding of how one’s thoughts create their feelings and thus their reality, it was apparent to me that my friend had gotten caught up with his thinking in the situation and had imagined all sorts of possible scenarios that may or may not be true or ever happen. So I asked one simple question: “Have you received your check for the deposit yet?” When he said not yet, then I suggested that the answer was simple and none of the other stuff really mattered. Tell the client that you’d be happy to discuss exactly what’s wrong with their business once their payment has been received. His fears of the client wanting free information, or whether or not they were being honest, didn’t matter (at this point at least). Discussing all his fears with them didn’t make any sense and would possibly serve to alienate them, causing him to lose them as a client completely. Presuming that my friend actually wanted to work with this client, then either the client would send the check and he could begin his work or they wouldn’t.
When I checked back with my friend a few weeks later, he told me that he had taken my suggestion and a check was received a few days later. They’ve been working together nicely ever since!
Moral of the Story
The moral of the story is that getting caught up in your thinking will often confuse most any situation, including business ones. We have no idea what’s really going on with other people’s thoughts because they will always be different than our own. The less caught up we can be with trying to predict what others are thinking and feeling, the easier our lives (both personally and professionally) will become.