They say that Like Attracts Like. I hope in my case that isn’t true.
I mean, in many ways, I can see how people that are just like me — with the same goals, habits, values, interests, etc. — are in my life. For those people (and for the Universe that brought them to me), I will forever be grateful. But there are others, far too many others, who have bubbled through the cracks of my existence and wreaked havoc. Their intent seemed to be destructive at every turn. Their gain: only for themselves.
Snake oil handlers, in my opinion.
One person in particular, came about years ago because of my just-released first book. The approach was skillfully delivered with a great deal of time (over several months) invested into making the book into something bigger than what it was. The prospect was tantalizing for a brand new author, still wet under the ears as a brand-spanking newly “published author.”
I was told I was “amazing” and that the book was “truly destined to become something phenomenal” — and I bought into it, hook-line-and snake-oil-sinker.
I spent hours working on the “projects” assigned to me (the ones that would guarantee success if I did them correctly). I made connections with people that I never dreamed would even talk to me (which is the bright star in this dark cloud — I am still friends and close with many of these amazing people). With gusto, I began the business piece that would take the book/project down this golden path. All of this was contingent upon me doing it the “proper way” — the way this person, who had become my designated mentor, instructed.
What I wasn’t told was the flip side, if I didn’t buy into all of it and do everything I had been instructed to do. THAT would mean failure belonged entirely to me — my fault! The mentor would be held blameless and I would be responsible.
(I bought into that as well)
The day came when something this mentor-person said didn’t quite make sense. I questioned the comment and was given a satisfactory answer (here’s the first “stuff”). I assumed this person knew more than my gut-wrenching angst did. So I trusted.
It happened again. This time, the comment sent chills down my spine, accompanying the same gut-angst, and I knew something was wrong. I questioned and got the same push-back: “You really don’t know the business, Marti.” This time, the answer didn’t cut if for me and I called the person out. Truth surfaced and I realized I’d been scammed.
I lost $2500 and a lot of time in that deal. But I learned a great lesson about a new industry — a painful education that I still draw on today (and with very different results).
Needless-to-say, that person has disappeared from my life, but likely not from others. My pride was bruised and my bank account pinched, but my resilience was tempered. I stood back up and moved ahead, in spite of the threats of “certain failure” that followed my departure from this individual. The $2500 and nearly 12-month investment was well-worth the hard-lesson learned.
I’m a better person today because of it. I guess that fall allowed me to stand up again, which is the second bright spot in this experience.
The wolf was exposed and this lamb got away. That’s a good outcome, I’d say!