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Eric Brown

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Eric Brown - The Second Act Entrepreneur
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10/24/21 BlogPost

Transition affects us all in different ways, but there is no denying that those of us that identify ourselves by the brands we built, or our business, or our work, take a hard fall when things wind down. Sometimes we may not be aware we are experiencing a series of transitions simultaneously. Change happens, it is one of life’s inevitable occurrences, how we react makes all the difference. Not all roads lead to Rome. With that, I saw a LinkedIn Post from a friend from my early social media days, Amber Naslund that if followed, creates proper delineation between who we are and our business work life. Read her post below,…………..

Amber Naslund; Principal Content Consultant @ LinkedIn. 20+ year marketer. Writer. Author & Speaker.

I love the people I work with. But we are not a family. Work is work. Business is business. And it’s to your advantage to not mistake those things. (And it always cracks me up that we talk about “family” as the ideal as if many people’s families aren’t broken, dysfunctional, deeply flawed things to begin with…but I digress).

I’ve been through a couple of layoffs and when I owned my own firm, had many clients end their projects. The reality is that people can like you. A lot. And when the viability of a business model is in jeopardy, within that context, they’ll make the choices that serve the business. Your employment or your clients are transactional things. You are exchanging time, knowledge, or skill (or some combination of those things) for compensation. When that transaction no longer makes mathematical sense for a business’ bottom line or its ultimate survival, business leaders make choices. Sometimes those choices supersede the personal relationships people have.

I had a team eliminated years ago even with a boss (and heck a company) that really liked me and valued the work I did. We’re still friends. He still thinks I’m great. We parted amicably and tried to make the transition easier on everyone.  It didn’t change the outcome.

And while business is absolutely personal—those choices, relationships, and decisions affect real people at a very personal level and humanity is an essential element in business—this is also why it’s really critical for us to stay frosty about the pursuit of our own goals, boundaries and choices when it comes to work.

Take your PTO. Go for that promotion or a new job altogether if that suits your goals. Say no to the thing that puts you over capacity. Prioritize ruthlessly. Close the laptop at the end of the work day and turn notifications off on weekends. Set boundaries and actively decouple who you are as person from what you do for a living. 

I can still love what I do, be passionate about my work, and have amazing relationships with the people I work with. Those things have made my profession something I enjoy and that inspires me rather than just an obligation for survival.

But protecting your mental health, your sense of self-worth, and your broader purpose in the world means keeping work in its own context. Setting it down when you need to. 

And realizing that the only person who is ultimately in the driver’s seat for shaping the long and winding path of your career—and life—is you.

Eric is an Entrepreneur, Writer/Published Author, Real Estate Developer and an Apartment Operator.