Even if you want to pretend that you can compartmentalize them.
I never had personal problems that impacted my business life.
Until I did.
I was going through a divorce with a two-year old and a five-year old. My then husband and I worked together. I sold my half of the company to him for peanuts so he would let me move out of state with our children. This needed to be arranged because I hated where we lived and what I was doing and I was so miserable that I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I was afraid that I might die. And there was more.
I had to arrange for half of our belongings to be moved across the country.
I had to find a new house to rent. I had to get a new job so I could afford said house. I had to enroll my daughter in day care and my son in kindergarten and find after-school care, because my new job didn’t end at noon.
I had to find a lawyer to help me with my custody case. And I had to lease a new car, because mine kept inconveniently breaking down.
New friends were in order. And not easy to find.
There was the need for a new pediatrician. A new doctor for me, too.
Believe it or not, there were more gory problems and wretched details. I won’t bore you with them here because they are too damn depressing. It made me cry just writing about this; I cried for my 31-year old self.
Everyday I showed up at my new job in a near catatonic state. In the space of less than a year, I had completely blown up my life all the while thinking I would be okay and that I could manage it all. I wasn’t and I couldn’t. At least not then.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
If you are going through an existential crisis or a profound life/health/financial challenge or even just a rough patch in your personal life, you owe it to yourself and your company to prepare for it and address it. Because shoving it to the back burner and trying to compartmentalize it probably won’t work.
While I’d never recommend bringing your problems to work everyday in all their messy existence, there are many personal problems that can bring you to…