We lost a client recently.
I first became suspicious when she, a long time fan and frequent commenter of this blog (can you blame her!?!), came up on my weekly list of unsubscribers.
Not five minutes later I received a screenshot of a text she sent to a fellow member of the gym making accusations which were not true and stating that she wouldn’t be returning.
Anyone who runs a business for long enough will tell you that, in very particular circumstances, losing a client can actually be beneficial. Particularly if they aren’t good for the culture, aren’t willing to follow the systems and processes that have been put in place or take up an inordinate amount of time and energy.
In this case, I would say this specific member clicked off all these boxes.
In our particular business I would add one more red flag. Given that the experience of training with us is such a communal activity, if someone is merely unhappy training down here, they aren’t going to be a good fit. We’re trying to make this the best hour of the day for three hundred plus people and having even a few grumpy Gus’s in the mix can be deeply detrimental to the vibe.
With all that said you might think that I’d be accepting or relieved or even mildly happy about this loss. But I am not.
Behind the stoic facade and communication style that is unwaveringly sugar-coat free, I am a remarkably emotional person who is very wrapped up in the success of this community and its members. I’ve been warned that this can be a personality flaw (getting too emotionally invested can lead to burn out and unclear thinking). But, as I’ve said before, my personal mission is to help people believe in themselves more than they would otherwise. I personally don’t really mind if people don’t like me, but it is very hard to succeed in my mission if I no longer have an effect on them.
On the flip side, I am reminded of the words of my absolute favorite motivational speaker, Les Brown when he shouts:
“Not everyone will see it. Not everyone will join you. Not everyone will have the vision. You will face a lot of disappointment. A lot of failure. People who say they will show up for the meeting and they don’t come through.”
Sounds pretty bleak. However Mr. Brown sums it up with this:
“But through all this, you will find greatness within you. You will find that you are capable of more than you even knew possible.”
Now, maybe you think this is just rah-rah bullshit. I understand. But I already warned you that I’m emotional by nature and I fall for this type of thing hook, line and sinker.
I share this with you not to gain your sympathies or to win a non-existent argument with the nameless client who was unwilling to confront me with her issues. I share this with you because, again, my personal mission is to help you believe in yourself more than you ever could on your own.
So please know that if you are the leader or a community or the owner or a business or simply trying to get in shape, you might face disappointment and setbacks and heartbreak. But please keep going. Keep pushing forward. Keep making it happen.
Since you are part of my community, either in person or over email, when you do you, you help me do me.
To quote the late, great George Michael, “it’s the one good thing that I’ve got.”