The challenge of success

“Hi there,” I am jumping with excitement as the Mentalist answers my call that afternoon. “Almost falling off my chair here. BNP wants me to work for them. Like internally. Like the whole Google conversation over again.”

“Ooh how come?” the Mentalist wants to know, a little too nonchalantly.

“I don’t know,” I admit. “I think my new Big Boss doesn’t want me to leave.”

“Did they mention benefits?” the Mentalist immediately cuts to the chase.

“Nothing concrete yet,” I am annoyed to answer, feeling my excitement drop with the minute. “Just the question if I would be interested.”

“Oh well ask them what they have in mind,” the Mentalist encourages me.

“Yes,” I agree. “But money wise… I know from the conversation with Google.”

“Is it enough to make you consider it?” the Mentalist repeats his question with different wording.

“I told you there is nothing concrete,” I am more annoyed with myself for not asking for these details.

“I know,” the Mentalist reassures me.

“Just Big Boss who seems to seriously like my work,” I state proudly. “But yes, I do like the idea somehow. Still secretly hoping Heleen will resign but I doubt it.”

“Push for some more info,” the Mentalist always knows, of course. “Ask her to resign.”

“Yes I will,” I agree with the first but disagree with the last. “She never will. And I can’t do that.”

“Why not?” the Mentalist wants to hear me say the real reasons.

“She has just had a baby,” I blurt out my first set of justifications. “She is protected.”

“Are you still paying her?” the Mentalist enquires.

“No, haven’t paid her all year,” I tell him what he already knows really, as he is the one who helped me find this temporary solution. “Except holiday pay. And her 13th month end this year.”

“Tell her you have to cut back and offer her a very part time function,” the Mentalist is so good at looking for solutions instead of staring at the problem.

“She already works part time,” I despair and decide to change the subject quickly. “Anyway. So losing weight is bringing me job offers.”

“Overload her then and shout at her a lot,” the Mentalist teases me.

“No all this extra studying is bringing me offers,” I decide that I want my capacities to bring me success, not my good looks. “I will not shout at Heleen.”

“Why not?” the Mentalist pushes me further as he knows I am not saying what I am truly feeling. “You want her to resign. Studying and getting up early will do that for you.”

Choosing an employee and working with them as a partner is one of the most consequential and tricky decisions to make as an entrepreneur, and the cost of repeated failure is immense.

Sure, I have failed with previous hires, like the whole Naomi story, or the catastrophe with my cousin Simon, or even regretfully Rebecca. Heleen has been my star employee for years now. Not only is she very talented, I also have grown to like her very much. In fact, I don’t want to let her go. I want her to stay working with me and build up my company to be a success.

Contrarily, I was hoping that by the time Heleen returned to work after having her beautiful baby, my business would be booming again. The devilish truth is that business has and is still improving, but at a very slow rate. And now I am also liable for a second property to pay for on top of the huge house with a swimming pool which is still not sold. In some fascinating way or another, I guess I am a very wrong employer on certain aspects, because this is simply what all humans happen to be – including, sadly, myself.

My raw discussions with the Mentalist are designed to help me escape my frustrations, learn to communicate properly and put me on the path to thriving success. Our discussions have a way of sharpening my sense of what I should be looking for and take me around the key issues, from arguments to forgiveness to communication, making sure that success need never again be just a matter of luck.




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