A punchy little message with the subject line “Divorce” grabbed my attention when it landed in my inbox recently. Maybe it’s the time of year — I know a few couples who hit the skids in January, a notorious time for marriage breakdown.
And I see that in a list of the firms that did best on February 14 last year, solicitors came top. The legal services sector saw a 549% increase in trade on Valentine’s Day 2018 compared with the annual average says Paymentsense, which recorded data across 70,000 businesses. So it’s no longer just January, February is boom time for divorce lawyers too.
Depressing. Or is it? I’d actually argue that an event that forces us to stop living unconsciously is a blessing. It’s too easy to ignore the dysfunction and stress in our bad relationships, but the only result is that we feel steadily worse and drift. You can waste your life settling for bad relationships but if things aren’t working for you, and you’re unhappy, it’s never too late to do something.
The “Divorce” email I received was from a business consultant who acts as a sounding board for stakeholders to identify problems and opportunities, and options for addressing them. But sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. That takes strength and conviction. We’ve all known business partners and romantic partners who spent years blocking each other and stewing in resentment, when in reality neither was a bad person, it was just that the relationship had irretrievably broken down and neither person could find a way to break out of it.
When it gets to that stage the best thing you can do is admit that it’s already over. Then you can start to feel excited about what comes next, which is anything you want. If necessary get someone, a third party, a mediator, whoever, to help expedite the break up so you can both move on and stop wasting time. Life’s too short, and it’s too good. Why let negative energy define your life when you have a choice?
Get in touch if you have a relationship that’s poisoning your business. With focus we can probably sort it out quicker than you think, and it doesn’t have to involve lawyers. And if you are single this Valentine’s Day, I salute you.