Posted by: drewdice | May 4, 2010

The Break-Up

We’ve all had people in our lives who have gotten into ill-advised relationships or stayed in the wrong relationships too long. From the outside looking in, doesn’t it seem so clear?? I mean, we can spot it from a mile away, right? Even more, if/when the relationship does end, there are plenty of people around to say things like: “I knew it wasn’t going to work”, “You both didn’t share the same goals”, or “I could tell you just weren’t yourself in that relationship”.

My slant in this post is not to bash the “I told you so” people in our lives. Rather, it is to ponder what it is that people miss when entering relationships that we “miss” the obvious (and hey, I’m not preaching here. I’ve been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it. I had a MAJOR misfire in my relationship life, and when I look back, I still wonder who I was, what I was thinking and how I missed the billboards in front of my face as I chose my path). As you might also guess, there is a direct parallel to sales here, and extracting the concepts and applying them to your business (and personal) life could yield you powerful results.

So, here are a few of my favorite fundamentals when choosing what relationships to enter:

Do you share the same values? If you say yes, how do you know this to be true?
Do you have common goals? If yes or no, can you (and will you) support each other in the pursuit of the separate and common goals?
Have you examined the “past” of the other person/party? (What I mean here is: do you understand the upbringing-personal and/or business-so you know more about how the person thinks and acts, in good times and while under extreme duress? Do you understand the role models and mentors to whom this person has been exposed, and the impact these influences have had on how the person makes decisions, looks at life, deals with conflict)
Have you gained commitment (and made commitment) to move forward (in whatever ways “moving forward” means)?
Do you understand the other influences and factors in this person’s life that have an impact on how he/she/the business thinks, acts, makes decisions?

In personal relationships and in business, too often we act without making sure that our actions are aligned with who we are and what we value. Further, I’ve seen even more often that once time and effort (and money) have been invested, people are very reluctant to course correct, even when they know in their heart that they are in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.

In sales, this results in lost time, energy, money, resources, and mindset. You’ve seen it: a sales person who has great potential, but questions her ability to be successful because she isn’t converting prospects into new deals. The shame of it lies in the reality that the sales professional could live into that potential, but is just spending time in the wrong business relationships, and equating that to a lack of ability. What a sad story!

In personal relationships, people invest much of the same, and wind up questioning self-worth, and making a determination that wherever they are is the “best they will get”, or, “better than being alone”, and I couldn’t agree less.

Life is certainly about what you give. However, we must always be looking at the people with whom we surround ourselves to make sure we make the right choices about to whom and what we are giving.

Sometimes, in business and our personal lives, we also need to know when to just break-up.

(This is a simple, but complex issue, I realize. Please weigh in with your thoughts and experiences)





  1. Good post and couldn’t agree more. Life is too short to accept things we can change for fear of what others may thing. If you don’t take care of yourself, learn and understand who you are, you will never be able to commit to a person, a position or be able to give without regret. Keep it up brotha!

  2. I bought Sirius Satellite stock when it was at $7 per share and held on to it all the way down to penny stock land. Now it’s above a dollar and I am convinced that it will again be the rock star it was when Howard Stern signed in 2005. I use this example because I think it explains why our egos won’t let us “break up” – we have invested too much. If we just stick it out another quarter things will improve – maybe if I dollar average and buy in at all the stops along the way it will eventually pay off?

    Now the smart money would have put a stop loss order in at $6. I wish I had!

    • Kate,

      I love your analogy; knowing when to put in the “stop order” is a tough thing, but oh so key in maximizing profits and returns on investment, regardless of whether that investment is time, money, energy, heart, soul or something else.

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