Dorothy decided to pay me a visit to continue exposing me to my demons and truths. After all, it’s more fun to taunt me in real life than over the phone. I know she likes to hold up a mirror to me. I wonder if she also knows how destressing I find these experiences. I am particularly peaked that she thinks I should spend my time better. After all there are 24 hours in a day to improve my situation.
“I have no time to dwell on the past.” I tell her coolly. “I went back to work 3 weeks after I gave birth by C-section.”
“So you say. Why repeat the same mistake when you have so many mistakes to choose from?” Dorothy continues to push all my buttons which are now screaming in red alarm bells.
“My baby was 3 weeks when I handed him over to the expensive creche.” My voice is starting to break up. Tears are welling up and I just let it be. “Nobody helped me. And I didn’t complain.”
“Wait I am looking for tissues.” And she scuttles off into the kitchen, to return a few minutes later with a roll of toilet paper.
“Because I had my baby and a roof above our heads.” I continue as tears roll down my cheeks. “Ok tell you what. I’ll just shut up.”
“So tell me what are you doing about it?” Dorothy asks me after a couple of minutes of silence marked by my heavy breathing and snottering.
“I’m trying to find new clients.” I keep repeating that sentence over and over again like a mantra. Where have I heard it so many times before? “I’m trying to lead my own life. Make myself happy. See things positively.”
“New clients for analytics?” Dorothy questions me. Which is stupid because she told me earlier over the phone that analytics is overtraded.
“That’s what I’m doing.” I tell her all teary eyed. “No for Adwords and online marketing. Analytics is hard to sell. Little clients don’t need it. I don’t have enough time between kids and BNP to take on a big client. And wouldn’t know where to find an analytics client.”
“It seems from what I read that these two things are done in-house. Of course I am not in your business so I don’t know if it’s just fake news or not. But it seems everyone is doing this.” Dorothy points out where I might be going wrong in my approach.
“Analytics yes in-house, like me at BNP.” I nod at her tissues in hand. “Adwords is more often outsourced. And SEO and copywriting.”
“Yes SEO and copywriting is a good market.” Dorothy loves business coaching, I know that. “Are you able to do this?”
“Yes but hard to find clients.” I repeat what I’ve been saying over and over the last few weeks. “Yup.”
“Every hotel needs this. Every retailer needs this.” Dorothy coaxes me.
“Mmmm.” I reply as I’m not in the mood to be motivated at all.
“I sent you a database of clients who do 10 million a year or more in turnover. Call them.” Dorothy urges me.
“I can’t cold call.” I tell her and shiver. The thought alone of calling up marketing person after marketing person, and being snapped at. Oh my, no! “I don’t have time for cold calling.”
“Yes you can. Ask for their IT manager.” Dorothy goes on motivating me nonetheless.
“When do you see me doing this?” I ask her bewildered. “And IT managers don’t take care of this.”
“On a Wednesday?” Dorothy offers.
“It’s the marketing manager I would need to speak with.” I correct her. “And I work 5 days a week. For BNP.”
“Ok call the marketing manager then.” Dorothy retorts.
“I don’t have time.” Why do I have to keep repeating that this is not a viable solution for me? “You don’t understand.”
“I see your problem. No time to develop your business.” Dorothy concludes.
“And then what? Set up meetings?” I am getting very stressed out now. Not only do I not have time to cold call prospects. I don’t have time to meet them either. “I am at BNP 5 days a week.”
“The next choice is to cut your cloth according to your budget.” Dorothy goes through all possibilities with me.
“I am doing that.” I tell her feeling very hurt she hasn’t noticed my cost-saving efforts. “But I can’t survive without certain luxuries, like Heleen. Nor the cars.”
“Then you don’t have a problem.” Dorothy snaps back at me.
“No daddies contributing to pay for the upbringing of their kids.” I go on complaining as tears well up again. “I do have a problem. I’m not bringing in enough money to cover the costs. You’re not listening.”
“When would you have time for payment transfers and invoicing and chasing money?” Dorothy wants to know more annoyed than ever.
“In the evening?” I offer offended that she doesn’t understand this is not a problem. “During the day.”
“I am listening. Cut your cloth according to your budget.” Dorothy repeats again.
“I have time to do business.” I state again.
“When?” Dorothy wants to know.
“There is not much more I can cut.” I complain thinking about my life and all the things I have been scrapping off my list lately. “I can’t get rid of Heleen. I need the cars.”
“Sell your house and buy a smaller one.” Dorothy has told me this before and it’s a suggestion that gets me defensive. For one I love my house and am very proud to live there and raise my kids in it. I know it must evoke quite some jealousies. Besides, my Wim doesn’t want to sell so that kind of settles that score.
“I am paying for 3 kids!” I emphasize. “Wim won’t sell. I like that house. We’ll sell at a loss.”
“Ok then up your game.” Dorothy suggests. It’s the first one of her suggestions that makes me relax.
“Plus we can’t sell the house. We need to keep it at least 5 years.” I say rather annoyed that Dorothy knows nothing about fiscal law. “Going round and round here. I know I need new business and clients. I know that. Just hard to get there.”
“No you want your cake and you want to eat it.” Dorothy scolds me. And what for? Why can’t you want your cake and eat it? Why not?
“It’s not happening.” I wail.
“Nonsense.” Dorothy can be so insensitive at times.
“I just want to continue my life.” I am feeling very hopeless and desperate now. “Oh good, don’t understand then.”
“Analytics is dead. Get over it and move on. You need a new game where you don’t work as an employee. Or find a full time job working for a company like business decision at a fixed salary.” Dorothy thinks she knows it all.
“Yes super.” I tell her as I am closing down to her suggestions.
“Don’t blame me. I didn’t make your decisions.” Dorothy is annoyed with me now for not finding it a huge eye-opener what she just told me.
“I’m not blaming anyone.” I snap back at her. “Just don’t tell me what I already know. It stresses me. If you have a tangible solution then great, I’d love to hear it. Just stop telling me what I know because it doesn’t help.”
“Get serious. Take a hard look in the mirror. Tell yourself the truth and not the I-feel-sorry-for-myself stuff. Stop asking for help with people you can lie too. Spiritual stuff is a hobby not a life path unless you give up material life. Belief in God is good. Prayer is good. Belief in yourself is good. Belief in others is good.” Dorothy starts lecturing me.
I am really hurt and don’t respond. I’m just staring out in front of me. Tears and pain. Nothing more. Dorothy sits quietly with me for a moment.
“Ok I will tell you. Stop looking for lovers in your work environment. Stop talking about yourself and take an interest in others. Stop thinking comments like ‘helping others is to heal yourself‘. Get the information you need to evolve. Let go of relationships that are not complete. Look to nurture others who nurture you. Taking positions on things or subjects causes conflict. Open yourself to new ideas. Stop trying so hard to demonstrate status you can’t sustain. That’s Suzi’s problem by the way. Do your best in service of others. Wealth flows to those who give wealth.” Dorothy is trying to reach me again.
“I’m not looking for lovers.” I finally answer from my depths of despair. “Stop blogging you mean?”
“If I can make money payments work for you I will. You can have it all. Perhaps it will help you evolve into a normal far-seeing and thinking person who works for delayed gratification in preference to instant gratification.” Dorothy throws her hands up in the air. “Blogging is a hobby.”
“It is.” I smile. “It makes me happy.”
“Fine. Continue but it doesn’t make money or evolve you.” Dorothy wants to make sure I understand that part of the deal. She makes it sound as if I’m wasting me time.
“Which relations should I let go then?” I ask her suddenly.
“So it’s a hobby…” Dorothy repeats.
“It is.” I confirm.
“You choose.” Dorothy throws back at me.
“I choose what?” She has lost me for a moment.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.