(even if you don’t speak to anyone in your family)
If you’ve got business relationships – with clients, team members, joint-venture partners, or vendors – that drain you, upset you, anger you or make you feel bad, chances are those relationships are holding you back from growth in one way or another.
And, the quickest way to bring business relationships into "right relationship" is to understand your own family dynamics.
The best example I can give you is from my own business:
A few years ago, right when I was about to cross the 6-figure mark in my business, I was feeling incredibly drained.
Even though I loved my clients and loved the work I was doing with them, I was working way too many hours than was good for my health, and I was stressed out all the time.
Even when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work.
And about my clients.
And whether my clients were doing well or not.
And that would lead me to email them to check in to see how they were doing.
And then to email them again if I didn’t hear back.
And then to make up a story about my worth if they weren’t doing well or I didn’t hear back from them.
My anxiety level was through the roof.
Even though my business was earning more money and serving more clients than it ever had before, I couldn’t have been more miserable.
That’s because I was taking over-responsibility for my clients, big time.
What I thankfully came to realize after a few months of "over-responsibility hell" is that I was living out the dynamics of my family of origin through my relationships with my clients.
See, in my family of origin, I was always the one whom everyone relied on. My mom was very sick, and that put a lot of pressure on everyone. I was always there for each of my family members, and I was expected to go above and beyond when it came to taking care of them and making sure they were ok. Even as a little girl of 8 or 9 years old, I was taking way too much responsibility for my mom and sister.
And that just became the primary way I operated in lots of my relationships as I became an adult. It came so naturally to me, I didn’t even notice it.
It wasn’t until I was so stressed out by my business that I could see I was simply repeating that pattern of over-responsibility with my clients.
And once I became aware of that, I could then see so clearly how it wasn’t just my clients. I was also supporting my team more than my team was supporting me, and giving more to joint venture partners than I was receiving.
What a light bulb moment!
Once I became aware of the dynamic, I was able to change it. That’s because I could see what I was doing – it wasn’t in my blind spot anymore.
I’ve observed family-of-origin dynamics making their way into pretty much every business that I have supported over the years:
–If you played the role of caretaker in your family of origin, you’re playing that somewhere in your business
–If you played the role of holding other people’s anger in your family, it’s showing up somewhere in your business relationships
–If you played the role of peacekeeper, it’s showing up somewhere in your business
–If you always hid yourself because of family jealousy, it’s showing up somewhere in your business
For those of us that are coaches, teachers, mentors, and in any business that is service oriented…we are RELATIONSHIP people. Our relationships with our clients first and foremost, and then our business relationships, are super important to us and to the health and growth of our business.
But when your business relationships aren’t totally aligned or in "right relationship", that’s when lots of heartache, overwork and anxiety can happen.
I take my clients through a deep and transformative process to truly uncover and then heal your business relationships, and I’d love to share some of the first steps with you here today:
- Which of your business relationships are causing you stress, anxiety, or time/energy drain? (Think about each of your clients, team members, partnerships, vendors, etc.)
- What is it about the relationship that is causing the stress? What is the role that you’re playing? What is the role that the other person is playing?
- Which one of your family relationships does this remind you of?
I recommend taking some time to journal on these important questions, and would love to hear what they reveal to you!