An Important Cautionary Tale About Defending Your Boundaries
I’ve decided to share the following exchange with a formerly-satisfied Rainmaking Client of mine. My reasoning for sharing this is twofold:
1st – So you know. I try to keep a policy of complete transparency and don’t hide the bad so that you can rely on all of the good. (Lesson # 1: Anyone who tells you s/he is perfect is LYING to you); and
2nd – Because so many of you have written, called and shared with me in person during coaching & consulting sessions stories about feeling you are being held hostage by a client. Hopefully it never gets as extreme as you will read below. But I wanted to let you know you’re not alone and how important it is to set & defend your boundaries, lest your clients, your staff, your adversaries take your prisoner and walk all over you.
Remember though, always be as nice as you can without going so far as to allow yourself to be abused. Never lose your empathy for others. And don’t ever let the poor behavior of other people become an excuse to act differently towards them than you would hope they could find it in themselves to act towards you because years from now the only feeling you’ll have left is regret for your own conduct. . .
"Earlier in the week we sent you a revised version of the Ten Rainmaking
Mistakes E-book. The revision was the removal of (NAME DELETED)’s
testimonial. (NAME) is becoming aggressive about seeing the change made.
Please escalate this to the top of your list and attend to it as soon as possible. Send me an e-mail to
confirm when the change is made. Also, please do another sweep of the
site to be sure all references to NAME have been removed so that when
someone does a Google search we have done all we can to distance
ourselves from NAME DELETED."
This is the e-mail I sent to my webmaster a few days ago – before
your call to me yesterday. I use an outside service and unfortunately
we don’t always get "instant" attention to all of our requests. More
than a month ago when you first requested it, I asked them to remove
your testimonial from the site, which contrary to your statement below,
you gave me written permission to use (see attached). I am sorry their
first sweep of the site missed the testimonial in the e-book but all
reference to you was removed elsewhere on the site.
I will forward confirmation to you as soon as I get it from the
webmaster service, that the change has finally been made to the
With regard to your not-so-subtle threats to me, I would say that your
disability is not my fault and I would advise you, now that you are in
your self-described "right mind", to take whatever steps you or your
caretakers deem necessary to prevent you from making me
"uncomfortable". Perhaps write a letter to yourself to remind yourself
of the reality of the situation. Perhaps a video message to yourself.
Perhaps have yourself committed for your own safety and security. Do
not delude yourself to believe that you bear no responsibility for the
consequences of your words and actions. If you permit this to escalate
by your failure to take adequate precautions you alone will bear the
responsibility. . . and the consequences.
Please know that I say this with no malice towards you whatsoever. I
have the utmost empathy for you and wish you only the best. However I
also know that people with your condition sometimes tend to try &
shift the burden of their disease to others. I hereby refuse to accept
any such burden as it is entirely not my problem and I have done all
that I can to accommodate you. Unfortunately though, the whole world
does not bend to my will by the press of a button or else I would
relieve you of your suffering too.
With only the best of hopes for your well-being,
On 8/18/07, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:Dear Rjon,
I have emailed you and called you and talked to you on Friday, August 17.
I have wanted you to take my name off of your website, along with any of the language which you are attributing to me.
You have agreed and claimed you have told your webmaser to remove my name.
I do not want any hits to come up for your website if my name, (NAME DELETED), is put into a search engine.
I hope that is clear enough for you. You do not strike me as dumb.
I have told you, I have a mental illness, bipolar mood disorder. I was
on the upswing of a manic phase when I wrote that email to you which
you have, without my consent, turned into a reference. Thoses are the
words of a disabled person and do not reflect how I speak, think, or
talk when I am rational. Within a month of writing those words I was
hospitalized in a psychiatric ward.
Please remove my name and
any language that you attribute to me from your website. As I have told
you, I wish to file a Motion to Seal with the Florida Supreme Court so
it’s action with regard to my bar membership also does not appear as a
hit when my name is put into a search engine.
Then I intend to resign from the Florida Bar.
am not going to go away, and the situation could conceivably get
uncomfortable for you if I have a relapse of my mental illness. I hope
this doesn’t happen, but my illness is serious enough that I am on
disability. People with a diagnosis of Bipolar 1-manic aggressively
bother people who become the focus of their attention, with negative
consequences for the mentally ill person and embarrassment , and
extremem inconvenience for the person they are bothering. You don’t
want this to happen, and certainly I don’t.
Please honor your promise to remove all traces of me from your website.