August 17, 2015

Rejection, Betrayal & Heartbreak in Business.

Thomas Angermann/Flickr

Ever been dumped, rejected or betrayed by someone?

I am no stranger to the life’s hardship. Everyone experiences these things once or twice or more in relationships.

But in business, too?

I’ve recently been removed from a yoga related Facebook group for sharing my self-published work. Now, just to get the inevitable questions out of the way, there was no negative, devaluing swear words, no nudity, no normal human moral codes were broken. In fact, there was a positive conversation just being stirred up in the group and people were starting to contribute.

Then came the message: “You have been removed for posting self-published work to generate likes. Good-bye!”

I thought about it all day, going through the crazy eight circle of anger to sadness. My first reaction was shock. No one has ever removed me from a group, not even in a playground. I tried my best not to make it a big deal. After all, it’s just something that happened in social media. I’ve never met the guy and I certainly don’t know 50 percent of that group. But I appreciated what the members contributed in that group. I believed my contribution would be appreciated, too.

After dealing with the plethora of emotions I felt over the whole event, I decided to contact the admin person directly. I explained that I’ve received the message and that I would have appreciated a warning before my immediate removal. My message was not defensive, rude or harsh. I just expressed my feelings of sadness and made a suggestion for the next potential member who may be removed for the same mistake I made.

Well, he responded with six paragraphs all expressing the same thing over and over, which was that in past, he tried warnings, then he would receive defensive emails, often with harsh criticism on his whole page. What I noticed were his strong feelings of betrayal, rejection, harsh words from fellow yoga students and teachers. I sensed a feeling of hurt in his words.

Over the years, I worked with many great employers both in the field of yoga and corporate worlds. An admin of a large Facebook page is no different. One common experience they all share is this hardship that comes with owning a business.

It’s not just long hours with minimum returns, but also a variety of humanly obstacles they encountered in the past, often with fellow employees. All business owners start out with good heart, good intentions to serve this world and benefit all sentient beings. I don’t know anyone who started out with the pure and sole intention of making money or generating likes on Facebook pages.

Then things happen within the organizations. People quit, they start working for a competitor, saying bad things about the bosses behind their backs. The employers have no choice but to move on with a slightly harder shell—like no refund policies, immediate removals or iron clad contracts that chain employees for their lifetime. They keep their chins up and return to the usual business because the show must go on. I addition, they endure daily criticism and relentless “advice” from outsiders who pretend to know how to run the business much better than they who founded the business to begin with.

“Hey, you should really change those curtains, then you’d have more customers.”

I believe that owning a business or being a leader of any group is one of the most spiritual practice humans could take up.

Just like any relationship, every employee, every member, every event brings up past suffering and pain, and at the same the hope that this time it will be better. They are the leaders. They all need help from others. but in the end, they are the ones who risk everything—and that can be a lonely work.

It’s easy for members or outsiders to criticize these people and their work because it’s easy to stand back and watch. But in the end, as Roosevelt so accurately put it, the credit belongs to the man in the area.

So anyone who is doing this sort of work, hats off to you.

And next time, I’ll be sure to read the description section of a page.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt 


Author: Tomomi Kojima

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Thomas Angermann/Flickr

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