Letting People Down

I’m letting people down on a team

Do you ever feel you’re letting people down? I do. It sucks. It stresses me out. I want everyone to like me and think I’m superman all the time.

I have one project right now where I know the team wants more of my time. It’s tough for all parties. I know what I’m working on isn’t in my wheelhouse, but there is no one else. It’s detailed financial analysis. I’m OK at it, but not amazing.

When I’m letting people down, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. That doesn’t help anything except maybe I’ll develop some complex strategy in my mind to make it all better. Craziness.

So what do I do when I wake up in the middle of the night like this? I try to sleep. That doesn’t work. Then I try to meditate while in bed. I’m too lazy and tired to sit up. Meditating helps. Just watching my crazy brain. It puts things in perspective. I try to enjoy my crazy mind.

But it really doesn’t help me fall back asleep. I’ve learned that I have to wait out that negative adrenaline rush. It usually takes about an hour. Then I’m back to sleep until one of my kids wakes me up.

So how can I make this better?

Set expectations with the team. Here’s an example: I’ll connect with these potential clients (compensation could be based on sales closed). My software team will build the logo and website. And I’ll help create the pitch deck.

This is what I’ll do. This is the timeline. For this contribution, this will be our compensation (equity, cash).

Put it in writing. And keep repeating this throughout the project. People forget. I do too.

Setting expectations to me feels awkward. Everyone wants more of you. So you will disappoint the team upfront. But like meditation and facing your fears, a little pain upfront greatly reduces pain in the future. Just rip off that band aid.

With expectations set, and assuming you try your best to fufill those expectations, we can all sleep a little better.

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