Being the Occasional Bad Guy

March 23, 2014 By Tom

I know the last few weeks of the blog have been primarily work focused and occasionally scattered in terms of thought and design; but that kind of sums up the past few weeks of reality–a ton of work and a racing mind going in a million different directions.

I had to send two emails this morning, one politely declining an invitation to a corporate event that didn’t fit our model, and the other making it clear that while I would love to be part of the event there is a fee involved that we wouldn’t be able to waive this year unlike the previous two events.

It’s a bit of a culture shift as an organization and management style.  The transition to go from saying “yes” to everything and giving it away for free like when I launched to shifting into a fee-for-service model and the slow growth that went along with that major operating shift to the success we’ve recently been seeing means we’re a bit more grounded in what we do and the collaborative approaches we bring in.  Saying “no” sucks, I like to make magic happen and make everything work, but it just doesn’t always happen that way and sometimes saying “no” is the best thing I can do to protect myself (and my sanity).  It’s highlighting the growth we have going–but it still leaves me feeling a little bummed and like the bad guy.


“fight like hell, break out the cannons if you must”

I’ve got a friend that opened up to me this past week on the decline of his marriage.  He was convinced that his wife was having an affair, something she swears she wasn’t, but it was clear that the marriage was completely on the rocks.  He’s in a tough industry and works non-stop for little pay and it’s been wearing on his marriage and the dynamics behind the scenes.  Part of the discussion was if he should continue to pursue his passion for his career versus find something that would help stabilize his marriage.  Part of it was the success he thought they were having because of the couples counseling.  I felt like he was looking for advice on what to do, something that I told him without hesitation I was not the best one to be giving advice on this subject (once again, sucks to say “no” or not have the answers).  I told him that I had no idea what was going on in my marriage until it was _way_ late, she was already with the other guy and refused to do any sort of counseling.   But I did tell him that I fought like hell, never regret fighting like hell, and that at the end of the day when you look back no matter what happens, you need to know you’ve fought like hell.

As one of my old cycling coaches used to say, “leave one last cannon ready to fire for the very end, don’t fire it early and don’t think that you gain something from not lighting it at all.”  Word.