Business is Business …. Right ?!
While engaging my clients I’m often asked why I started in the skin trade ?
‘No offence… You just seem soo ……sorry... doesn’t matter’
It’s actually a difficult question for anyone to name a reason. Mainly because give any proper thought longer than mere minutes, and you’ll start to see the many, many twists and turns in your life that bring you to the now.
So... I’m not a good enough writer nor even prepared to type out an epic autobiographical tome about my life, so I’ll name the moment that was the catalyst.
a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
"chlorine acts as a catalyst promoting the breakdown of ozone"
a person or thing that precipitates an event.
"the prime minister's speech acted as a catalyst for debate"
Jill* was what I’d call a rough woman, a self made woman, a strong independent woman. She seemed head strong and determined to go with what’s what.
I’m employed to engage her and help her business thrive. She’s been in the industry for years, so she tells me, and yet I can see some bad choices have been made- given my current understanding of the environment I find her in.
She’s moved shop yet hasn’t told anyone ? Why ?
Still, I’m here to help her, and help her I will. Or so I thought. Aghhh Jill. That woman had balls of steel, and to get even a sniff of difference from her seemed a wasted effort.
Her business was in the dying stages. Having entered the last quarter, I predict she’ll close within 6 months. I was wrong. When construction happened in the local area, she lost one and half months of passing trade. Yet she was still standing. The choices she was making seemed to be directly detrimental to her business. The bigger giants of businesses had moved to a newer model of operation, followed not so long after by the independents, yet it seemed that Jill knew better. She had a wealth of knowledge, yet she didn’t seem to be able to convert this into any cash flow whatsoever.
So this brought us closer to her departure as she persisted in her own methods and understandings to the detriment of her business. Her income. Until now.. Somewhat her life.
And yet it didn’t seem to faze her. She held a quiet confidence in her standing of the very ground she walked on. I had statements, budgets, spreadsheets and real life scenarios, and yet Jill was still happy to wind up the business. 27 years in the biz. Gone. She didn’t care what others thought, needed or wanted. Including me.
She had made the decision to turn face and start a new path. I knew the proposal to her business would of been a shock, it would have been successful, yet it just wasn't Jill ...really. It wasn’t.
I happened to be in town the last day of her trading and took an 8 minute detour to pop in and say goodbye. I stood by as she packed the last into boxes. The interior a starkness of not much left.
My eyes absorb the surroundings as a message of failure reaches my heart.
I lean in the give Jill one last hug. I whisper “… sorry ” into her ear.
She pulls back from me with a puzzled look on her face “ Why ?“
I motion to the environment. She fires back a smirk almost immediately then her lips part “… Don’t..”.
As my corporate training taught me. Learn from your mistakes. You’ve failed. You’ve failed to help the client. You’ve failed to secure a contract. Scarlett. You’ve failed.
As I drive away, on my way to my next port of call, I have a good 25 minutes to ponder my thoughts. Okay.. I’ve failed. I failed.
I failed.. I failed to see what Jill had. Contentment. Now in no way am I saying that Jill was unaware of some of the turmoil she faced in life, yet she was happy. Truly she was.
Where was that in my budgets ? My spreadsheets ? My incredibly sales pitchy antidotes designed to bring clients round ?
How do I measure that ? What formula can I use to bring the analytics I needed to report on ? Where…..
Am I content ?
Am I Content ?
Am I …. ?
4 years later - I’m in full time employment as an ASP. Adult Service Provider.
* Names have been changed to protect identities on living persons.