Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”
“A pessimist, confronted with two bad choices, chooses both.”—Jewish Proverb
“Trouble, my friend, you got trouble. That begins with a ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘P’ and that stands for…prospect,” I thought to myself, paraphrasing the words and music from The Music Man. I watched the prospective client pace in front of me as he ranted and raved about his last bookkeeper. He complained vociferously about what a bad accounting job had been done and told how he had fired the bookkeeper and was looking for a new one. He hoped I would be better.
Alarm bells were clanging in my head. I asked him what exactly had been done that was so terrible? He showed me a check stub in his company checkbook. In the memo portion, the stub said “Insurance.” The prospect angrily told me that the bookkeeper had posted the check to the company insurance account. I was confused. “Well, it says insurance in the memo portion,” I said. “Why would it say that if it wasn’t insurance?” The man then explained that he had written the check to his employee to get cash, and his bookkeeper should have known that that’s what it was. After all, he had already paid his insurance premiums.
Since I didn’t have my degree in mind reading, I knew this client and I weren’t going to get along well. I told him I didn’t think I would be able to do a better job for him than the last bookkeeper did and left.
When I operated from a position of scarcity, I used to work with people like this. I sat with one new client while he showed me all the money he owed to people. He then gave me instructions to pay small amounts to some of them, and for others, he just said, “I’m never going to pay them.” But I actually sat there thinking he was going to pay me for the work I was doing for him. That little life lesson cost me $800. Wish I could say that was the only one, but apparently it was a lesson I had to repeat a few times before I got it.
Sometimes, the ship that comes in is the Black Ship, and the captain has a big “T” for trouble written on his cap, along with the skull and crossbones. You can see it very plainly if you look closely. See the red flag go up, hear the “Do, do, do, do” music from Jaws and get out of the water. Sink those ships in the harbor that have bad clients in it. Otherwise, you’re going to end up a tuna sandwich.
Today’s Affirmation: “All the people I work with are easy-going, honest, and fun!”
Oprah used to say, “When people show you who they are – believe them.”
There’s a wonderful story from an old Ann Landers column that I saved:
A young girl was trudging along a mountain path, trying to reach her grandmother’s house. It was bitter cold, and the wind cut like a knife. When she was within sight of her destination, she heard a rustle at her feet.
Looking down, she saw a snake. Before she could move, the snake spoke to her. He said, “I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains, and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you.”
“No,” replied the girl. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite is poisonous.”
“No, no” said the snake. “If you help me, you will be my best friend. I will treat you differently.”
The little girl sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the beautiful markings on the snake and had to admit that it was the most beautiful snake she had ever seen.
Suddenly, she said, “I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness.
The little girl reached over, put the snake gently under her coat and proceeded toward her grandmother’s house. Within a moment, she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her.
“How could you do this to me?” she cried. “You promised that you would not bite me if I would protect you from the bitter cold.”
The snake hissed, “You knew what I was when you picked me up,” and slithered away.