My daughter and I went to J. Crew a few weeks back where an old acquaintance recognized me and said hello. I couldn’t identify her at first–that’s how long it’s been–but as soon as she re-introduced herself I had an immediate internal feeling that was a tad queasy. Here comes that trust-your-gut advice again…
She is one of those super-friendly people who shows incredible interest in you and is ultra-gracious. You know the kind. They make you feel like you walk on water and you just want to be around their worshiping words. This woman asked all about what I was doing. When I told her, she was so impressed she immediately offered to have her husband contact me. “You’d be perfect to speak to his university classes. It’s so hard for him to find great women entrepreneurs to talk to his students! And,” she said, “I need a coach and would love to work with you. Do you have a card?”
As my wise and wonderful daughter and I walked back to the parking lot she turned to me and said, “You’ll never hear from her.” Of course, she was right. That was a month ago. The old queasy feeling I had was based on past experience with this same woman. I remembered that a couple of decades ago this ‘friend’ filled my calendar with lunch dates and other tempting plans, then canceled each one as they came up. She taught me to not trust her word.
It’s taken me a long time in business to sort through the false gods promising a quick buck or instant success. In the midst of writing this entry I had an email exchange with a long-time client who has been on hiatus for a few months. Within an hour we worked out how she would move forward in the fall, what dates she wanted and a payment plan. No empty promises or false hopes. I’ll fill my buckets with the less flashy and more dependable sources I’ve been cultivating, not the ones whose words and actions don’t match.