Being irritated. The big benefit.

Is anything irritating you right now? Maybe that’s a blessing….just the grit you need to create a new pearl or two in your life.

Here’s what I mean.

A client came to be me, absolutely twitching with anger. It isn’t the first time she had been more than irritated with a key employee. Some days were worse than others but every day she was irritated by his attitude. Her clients had no idea about the friction between them but it was always bubbling just under the lid of her very successful bespoke fashion business.

She had spent more than 30 years developing an international clientele. When she hired Owen, he came with the highest recommendation for his pattern making skills and for his ability to fit and flatter even the most challenging body types. She felt lucky to have his talent to enhance her business, he had a wonderful rapport with clients and he was wiling to pull “all nighters” if the deadlines and changes, at the last minute, were required to bring things to completion. So, she valued him in many ways.

But, here’s the but. Hardly a week went by that he was not asking for a raise, for more benefits, for more stature in the business. He reminded her, with regularity, how valuable he was to her business and how she would be devastated if he were to leave. The undercurrent of those personal threats were making her sick…headaches, and knots in the stomach had become the way of the workday. Over the 4 years he had been with her, she had succumbed to numerous raises and praises of him, to boost his desire for more importance. No matter what she did, he would complain that it was never enough.

In some ways, she was feeling held hostage to his manipulative behavior and entitled attitude. Yes, he was talented but she had taken him under her already very successful wing and shared everything she had learned about all aspects of her business…design tricks, about fabrics and sewing techniques, about dealing with all types of client personalities….something he seemed to forget. He also forgot that she was still paying the rest of the employees, keeping up with overhead and marketing and taxes and all the other things an entrepreneur does to keep a business afloat.

So here’s the benefit of that kind of ongoing irritation.

Enough already.

That’s it.

One day, it just becomes….Enough already.

When you get to that point….when someone pushes you and pushes you..or ignores you and ignores you….when you have had enough of their behavior or attitude or lack of consideration, that “full up” feeling will finally force you to take action. Hopefully, the action will be strategic and ultimately beneficial.

When we can’t stand it anymore, it’s amazing how resourceful we can become. There’s something about human nature that few people find ways to create a rocket into new vistas when we are sailing along, singing a song. Irritants and irritating people most often are the kick in the pants we need to take stock and take action.

When I suggested to my client that this “whipper-snapper” might be doing her a favor, she looked at me like I had lost my mind. But as we began to discuss a “bigger picture” plan for her life and her business….one that would allow her to envision a way to expand her brand, to attract investors, to create some new avenues that would give her a new forum to work from….she realized she would have never come to see me in the first place if Owen had not driven her nuts for the past year.

Figuring out a way to deal with Owen, was the easy part. There would be other people with his talents who would appreciate the opportunity to work in such an amazing business with someone so highly respected.

Owen, actually had served his ultimate purpose. He got her off “square one” to move her into what had been her deeper dreams… it turns out….dreams she had been sitting on most of her career. Owen had pushed out on the ledge of her life. Her “enough already” had finally focused her on what she really, really, wanted.

If there’s a situation where you are telling yourself, “life is too short”. You are exactly right.

Leave a Reply