One of the best things about being in business for yourself is the ability to choose the people with and for whom you work. You can say, “No, thank you” to the PITAs (Pains In The Ass) of the world. Some people, no matter how much money they flash in your face, are just not worth your time or sanity.
The difficult thing is when you get into a business relationship with someone and you find out later they were putting up a good front just long enough to establish the relationship. Once established, the self-serving PITA comes out to play and then you get to decide whether to put up with their antics or sever the relationship. Of course, they expect you to put up with their antics, and will persist until they get the feeling you’re about to bail, and they straighten up…but not for good, of course…just long enough to convince you they’re not more trouble than the income they represent.
What they don’t know, and for each person the time frame is different, is that you’ll only dance that dance so long before you either elect to find a new dance partner or leave the ballroom altogether.
For some of these people, no amount of direct and candid discussion will ever sink in. They’ll give you lip service, but that’s about it.
But don’t be fooled into thinking these people arrive in your life and/or your business by accident, anymore than the PITAs in your personal life do. It’s not an accident – you attracted them somehow.
The value of the PITAs in your life are the lessons they teach you about yourself. In business, they teach you about yourself as a business person – if you’re willing to be a student. As in the rest of your life, if you elect to ignore the lesson now, you’ll just be provided with another opportunity to learn, and yet another, and yet another – until you “get” it.
Sadly, most of us elect to do just the opposite – focus on the PITA and what all HE/SHE needs to change. We see the PITA as a “problem”, rather than a message and an available lesson. There’s no better way to frustrate the crap out of yourself than to focus your time, attention and energy on “fixing” the problem. Talk about an effort in futility! Yeah – that’s a good plan – try to change something over which you have no control. Your time, attention and energy are much more productively spent looking for what you can change about your business, your perspective, your attitude or your goals, so as to not attract these PITAs anymore. Remember, we get clarity through the contrast these darlings provide…if we’re willing to look.
So, while I have the most major of PITA clients in my business right now, I’m grateful to have learned enough to detach and look for the lessons. I’m getting better because I’m paying attention. My business will benefit, too.
Ironically, the PITA in question is oblivious. It’s actually quite funny, if I step back far enough (and some days “far enough” is at least a mile or two!) Nonetheless, the PITA count in my life overall is smaller than it used to be…and that is, as Martha says, “a good thing.”