It isn’t uncommon for me to be leery of people and their intentions. I wish my innocence was still so prevalent that I defaulted to seeing the good but the truth is that I am not that person at this stage in my life. Recently, I was approached by a larger competitor who was interested in buying my company and me coming to work for them.
The name of the gentleman who approached me was familiar to me, as I had previously collaborated with someone who was not fond of him. When we learned he was our competition on the project, this person didn’t hesitate to share her dislike of him with reasons (rumors) she felt substantiated her position. When he approached me I immediately remembered the circumstances she had shared with me.
I could have immediately been negative about the situation and told the gentleman to kick rocks in an unpleasant manner (not unlike me when I sense danger). Instead, my maturation set in and I appropriately considered that the person who spoke unpleasantly about this gentleman often had negative sentiments regarding most people she spoke of. I decided to hear him out.
For a quick second I considered entertaining the idea of selling. I’ve always read that no good business plan is without an exit strategy. While selling is my ideal exit strategy, there is no chance of me selling any time soon.
By being mature enough to not allow a pessimistic gossiper to influence my sentiments about a stranger, I had meaningful conversation that resulted in me contemplating my professional life.
WHAT A BLESSING to realize how grateful I am for my life as a whole (personally and professionally) that I wouldn’t have realized if I would have shunned him based on someone else’s opinion of him. I could have cheated myself the blessing of gratitude and missed the opportunity of a new acquaintance.
In the end, he honored my decision and my “certainty of purpose and self” and that was another blessing. Maybe there is a future opportunity for us to collaborate but, if nothing else, I have a new acquaintance and business connection. Life remains good and we both walk away feeling good about ourselves and one another.
The lesson… Treat others how you would want to be treated – with an open heart!