I admit it. I've made some
mistakes. Oh, sure, I talk about all of the things that went right
and that I did pretty well with my home-based business, and that's
true. But I would be doing both of us a disservice if I were to
leave you with the impression that all is well in "Home-based
Business Land", that I live in a carefree fairytale world of wealth
and consumption, and that my bills are all paid and will continue to
be. No, it's not like that at all. And it's only just recently
that I identified the problem. It can be summed-up in a
single word: denial.
My business is centered around software that
is dependent on a technology that is slowly going away. I had a nice
income stream (customers pay an annual fee), but as my customers drifted
to new technologies my base of income eroded. I could see it
happening. For years I said "This gravy train isn't going to
last forever!" I chose to ignore it. Why?
Denial. Although I wasn't consciously aware of it, I took the
attitude, "I'll worry about it when it happens." Suddenly
the revenue is alarmingly low, and now I have to deal with it.
Had I dealt with it sooner, it would have
been much easier to fix. A friend of mine recently went to New
Zealand on a speaking tour. She agreed to pay her own airfare and
the organizer ('Peter') would pay for hotels and for her speaking
appearances, plus she would be able to sell her books and tapes at the
seminars. It was not until after she arrived that Peter informed her
that most of the seminars had been cancelled. After she
arrived! He knew that participation was going to be low. He
knew that they might have to cancel.
He didn't tell her, though, because he was
in complete denial. Denial is what we do when we just can't face the
truth. It is very real, but it does nothing to fix the
problem. Did Peter's denial of the failure of his seminars change
anything? Did my denial of eroding revenue change anything?
YES! In both cases it made a bad situation worse.
Two things happen when you are in
denial. First, you have more anxiety because you haven't examined
the situation enough to know how bad it really is. No matter how bad
it is, it's easier to deal with if you know where you stand. Second,
there's a pretty good chance that delaying the solution will make the
problem worse, maybe even completely unsolvable. By denying the
problem, you may be passing up a golden opportunity to fix it.
Do you have a situation that is too scary to
deal with? Deal with it anyway. Do you have a situation that
is too embarrassing to face? Face it anyway. Deal with
it. Face it. Get it over with. You can't make it worse;
you'll only make it better. You'll feel better too.
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