Love. It can suck the life right out of you. Think of a new relationship: everything sunny, glittering and full of possibility. Your new main squeeze is the one: smart, funny, ahead of the curve, bound for success. Things are going great until they just aren’t anymore.

And when they stop working, everything screeches to a halt leaving you lost, confused and feeling incredibly alone. What was once sunny is now clouded-over, what once glittered has lost its luster, and every possibility seems to come complete with a dead end.

You have a couple of options. You can throw your hands up in defeat, cut, and run. You can say it wasn’t meant to be, or you can invest in love. Invest time in your partner to really communicate your way through the tough stuff, invest money in the right ways to bring a sparkle back, and invest energy to show your partner that you’re worth it.

Running your own business is a lot like being in a relationship with yourself. You begin with a product, an idea, whatever you may be selling. At first, it’s great: nobody else has ever had this idea, you’re going to sell it to the world, make a difference, get a talk show, have a hospital named after you, your greatness cannot be stopped.

Then reality sets in: clients aren’t coming as fast as you’d like, partnerships are falling through, the competition does nothing but beat you at everything, and your idea has apparently been done before and way better. When you get to that cross road, you have the choice: shut the business down and live wondering “what if,”  or you can ask for help.

Talk to your accountant. Ask what’s working, what’s not. Where is the money going right now? Should it still be going there? Does your product need further development? What are you really good at? Do you need a partner to help you out? Don’t be so proud that you cut out analytical development and improvement. That’s what business is all about.

Julio Santos

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After the Spreadsheet is a collaborative project created in part by Descriptor Communications Inc. For more information visit www.descriptor.ca