There is a Buddhist saying:
As in the beginning, so in the middle, so in the end.
…and it’s one of my life compasses. It never fails me and it’s nearly always proven true.
Things often continue how they start. The click, the comfort, the clarity… or the lack thereof, is there at the get-go and whatever the dynamic is, it’ll just keep going to greater or lesser degrees.
IGNORE EARLY SIGNS AT YOUR OWN PERIL
I was looking to hire an important player for one of my businesses and got set up with Start Up Guy. Start Up Guy blew off our first scheduled meeting entirely. He stood me up and didn’t call for two days to reschedule (I’m not sure he even apologized to my assistant.) But he was so seemingly qualified and connected that I chose to ignore the As-In-The-Beginning-Rule, and hired him anyway. Do I need to tell you how that middle and end went? Yep. In one way or another he continued to stand me up, until it all came down.
I met another person who, in our first meeting expressed how nervous she was about our differences and my acumen. I just smiled to be kind. We worked together for quite a while. She kept being nervous. I kept being polite. Until anxiety got the better of her, and my silence brought out the worst in me… and it all came down.
EASY DOES IT, AND DOES IT GOOD
When I’m tempted to take short cuts or ignore early flags, I remind myself that the most fab, wonderful, sustaining experiences and relationships in my life all began incredibly easily. Spark! Yes! And Go!
Each one of my soul sisters was love and bad laughs at first site. My best clients began with amazing conversations in bars and at conferences. My worst clients began with sales pitches and grilling about how to save money. My best writing always begins with the first paragraph pouring out like electricity.
My most fruitful yeses were immediate.
Examine your first encounters and kick-offs. They may be a micro of the macro. You have oodles of critical information in the beginning if you’re paying very close attention.
And if you don’t buy it from Buddha or me, then take it from Maya Angelou who says, “The first time someone shows themselves to you, believe them.”
You know it, babe.