MaaMaw's Morsels

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Complain, Complain, Complain

Funny I should stumble on an article called Escape the Culture of Complaint this morning..

I'm going through a messy situation in my own life -- one which has yanked the mortgage and insurance money right out from under me -- and it stems, I believe, from The Culture of Complaint, The Culture of Me, and The Culture of Life Ain't Fair.

For 23 years I ran a reasonably successful medical transcription service.  There were lots of ups and downs, and many times I had to solicit new business (which I absolutely hated, but by God I did it because I wasn't going to let my business go down the toilet).  I sold the business (on a four-year installment plan) to a lady who had worked for me for almost the entire time (and who also happened to be my best friend). 

I should have known better, because her favorite line is, "That's not fair."

She lost an account that I happened to work on, so I lost 3/4 of my income right there.  It wasn't her fault (or mine); she was undercut, plain and simple. 

I like to look for the silver lining, so I saw it as an opportunity to do what I had lusted after for seven years -- work on the internet full time.  I haven't seen the money yet, but I'm having great fun and I'm very optimistic.

Okay so far.

Unfortunately, the $500 monthly payment on the business stopped too -- with no warning or direct confrontation.  I finally dragged it out of her.  It seems she has decided (surprise!) "it isn't fair" that she has to pay the same amount for the business because she lost this client a year and a half after taking over!!  She wants me to compensate her to the tune of a $5,000 reduction in price.

Could she build the business back up and then some?  Of course she could! 

Instead, she chooses to focus on what she lost, on the fact that she hates soliciting (join the club!), on the fact that lots of doctors are looking at voice recognition (which will blow traditional medical transcription out of the water eventually, except those who are smart enough to find their new role in the field), on the fact that "it wasn't her fault" (she's decided it was mine), and on the fact that "it isn't fair."

This puts us both in the crapper.

I should have known better.

The kind of moan-and-groan attitude my former best friend is famous for just doesn't cut it when you're in business for yourself.  There are going to be good times and bad times, and if you don't have what it takes to survive the bad times, you're better off with 9-to-5 JOB where there's someone to direct you and force you to keep going or get canned.

IMHO, if you're a card-carrying member of the Culture of Complaint, you aren't entrepreneur material.



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