The Client Letter
June 7, 2012
Sunny 61 degrees
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I spend a lot of time around kids.
I have six of my own. Couple that with play dates, parties, sleepovers and days at the park and...
It's pretty much all kids, all the time around here.
There's something interesting about young kids.
To them, the idea of sharing isn't natural.
If a child's sitting in a sandbox playing with a shovel, he has no interest in sharing that shovel with anyone that comes along.
To the child, there's no good reason he should share his things with anyone.
But then the parent steps in...
No parent wants their kid to be a "jerk." And so when Johnny's playing with a ball and Susie comes along and takes the ball (and Johnny freaks out)... the next thing you hear from Johnny's parents is, "It's OK Johnny, it's OK to share your ball. Share your ball Johnny."
And this is where the problems begin.
The kids have it right. They're acting from a clear understanding of who they are.
The parents are the brainwashed and conditioned ones that have no idea who they really are.
They're just acting out the program, exactly as they were taught.
Whether or not you share isn't the point here.
The point is that we're trained to betray our own way of being in the world.
We have been trained to act based on rules and mores we did not make up.
We have all been, in effect, brainwashed to act as we are trained rather than to act as we really are.
It started early and it hasn't stopped.
So where has all of this "training" gotten us?
Well, when I look out at the world, it's pretty clear that all this "training" is screwing everything up.
As an independent professional, this training can wreak havoc with your life.
It's this training that makes you feel "bad" for annoying your client about the payment (your money) that's 3 weeks overdue.
It's this training that makes you say "yes" to the "can you have it done tomorrow" question even though it's going to take years off your life to meet that deadline.
It's this training that makes you wait around for a client that's 60 minutes late for a phone call... because you don't want to piss him off.
The training leads us into lives of quiet desperation. The training leads to a world full of unhappy people who have no idea who they really are.
The "training" leads to people who are scared to ask for fees that truly reflect their value.
I'm choosing to say screw the "training." And I'm going to do everything in my power not to pass it on to my kids.
I'm not going to "teach" them to share. I'm going to let them make their own choices. Call me crazy, but I'm going to work hard to show them more respect than I show for my "training."
They deserve better.
You deserve better.