Monday, June 23, 2014

Friend v. Business

This is why you don't go into business with a friend. It's nice if you get along with your co-workers and boss, but to start off with a direct partnership with a friend is not a smart move. 

I've wanted to sever from my friend Jos' "business"/ women's group for the past 2-3 months now. I tried to back away and become more scarce, but kept getting dragged back in. Then 1 month ago I sent an email making it very clear that I couldn't take on any higher roles/greater responsibilities. We talked in person afterwards and she said, that's fine I'll just give a major title, but you'll still be doing the same basic stuff. 

Fast-forward 1 month. I was put in the exact position I told her I couldn't fill.

It's frustrating. I've come to resent the work that I do and the business itself -while simultaneously I support my friend's pursuit of goals and the organization itself. But I finally decided today to send an email letting her know that I needed to step-down as Marketing Director. Initially I was going to send something long and heated because I was so pissed, but decided it would be better to handle firmly, calmly, and rationally. 

I actually tracked down the old email I sent are realized, I have been very clear that my bandwidth was depleting, I wanted to step back, and couldn't take on a leadership position leading a team. 

Instead she gave me more work, gave me a title leadership position, and now I have 2 people on my "team" to lead.

I think it all came to head last week. At work I was trying to work on numerous projects that have recently come up, and the Fed-Ex fiasco, and sending out rewards to those who participated in filling out our customer survey... 

1. And then I get an email on Monday from Jos saying I need to post a flyer on social media for the upcoming mentoring event in July.

2. I am also then supposed to email 40 people by copying their email addresses from an Excel Spreadsheet on Dropbox. "Make sure the text sounds compelling and ensures they'll RSVP to the event on meetup". 

3. Then I was given the task of re-re-re-re-re-designing our Org Chart of Positions, which is on its 12845th iteration since we started making those things. Traditionally as soon as I make on a new position is created that needs to be added. 

4. Then I was given the task of making the calendar of upcoming events "pretty".

5. Then I was told to choose 5 questions we should ask mentees and 5 questions we should ask mentors so we can send out emails to them to gather information we can then use in eNewsletters. 

6. I was then given the task of creating graphics and a template for an eNewsletter. 

Bare in mind -I do all this for free. and have for the past 2 years. All under the premiss that I'm supporting my friend and her goals. That's it. The Number 1 reason I've done any of this is so my friend isn't in this alone trying to make her vision a reality without support. 

But past a certain point it becomes being "taken advantage of'". It's not supporting a friend at this point, it's doing a sh*t load of work that's being delegated to me out of a sense of obligation.

The other thing I've noticed is how my "productivity" has decreased over the past 6 months. I started tracking how often I was accomplishing things each week that were on my to-do list for her group.

-Jan 21-24: Completed 5 tasks
-Jan 27-31: Completed 11 tasks
-Feb 3-7: Completed 5 tasks
-Feb 10-14: Completed 2 tasks
-Feb 18-21: Completed 3 tasks
-Feb 24-28: Completed 5 tasks
-Feb 3-7: Completed 3 tasks
-Feb 10-15: Completed 10 tasks
-Feb 17-21: Completed 11 tasks
-Feb 24-28: Completed 6 tasks
-Feb 31-April 5: Completed 7 tasks
- April 7-12: Completed 4 tasks
-April 15-17: Completed 3 tasks
-April 21-25: Completed 5 tasks
-April 28-May 2: Completed 2 tasks
-May 5-16: Completed 5 tasks
-May 19-23: Completed 1 task
-May 26-30: Completed 0 tasks
-June 2-6: Completed 1 task
-June 9-13: Completed 2 tasks
-June 16-20: Completed 4 tasks
-June 23-27: Completed 1 task

The amount of things I have been completing each week significantly dropped to almost nothing. Some weeks it's because I didn't have the time to complete things and other weeks it's because I didn't have the motivation. I had no drive or desire to work on anything.

At some point I just realized, I'm not living my own dreams. It was never a dream of mine to be somebody's go-to person for busy work. This is detracting from my own happiness and peace. This is costing me. It's costing me time. It's costing me energy and focus. It's costing time with friends I'd rather be hanging out with than going to meeting after meeting. It's costing me happiness.

I had to make the tough call and end things. I was worried it wouldn't be the "right time" and it would be "rude" or "inconsiderate" to do it now. It's 1 day before our Leadership Team Meeting. It's 3 weeks from my friend Jos' birthday. It's not a convenient time. But then again, it never would be. And I'm giving her a month's transition. Not just dropping off the face of the earth or giving 2 week's notice. I've told her which tasks I'm still going to complete and I'm giving her a month to find someone new to replace me.

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