TODAY OUR DEAR FRIEND MarioMario left the family.  It was a hard decision with us, but his battle with cancer has come to an end.

I took him to the vet and was with him to the end.  It was a rough experience for me personally – something I haven’t had be so up close before.

But good things come to an end.  Relationships change.  People leave.  You lose your job.  Business ventures have to be shut down.

This last one is particularly close for me, because I’ve been involved with shutting down groups and businesses before.  I’ve developed a few principles which help people get through these situations:

  • Nurture what joy you can find.  You started off with great energy and passion.  You met a bunch of great people along the way.  You served some customers and made them happy.
  • Even when things move on, often the relationships can remain.  I created a couple of businesses which ended up employing about 50 people, and I love the fact that they can call upon me as a friend.
  • Admit that it’s painful.  We’re human, and part of that is experiencing hurt.  You’re disappointed, even crushed.  You’re not a robot, and it’s OK to experience grief as you go through this.
  • Focus on what you’ve learned.  Sure, maybe you have a list of 100 things you’ll never do again.  Great!  That will make you a stronger leader in the future.
  • There’s no such thing as being too compassionate, helpful, or supportive.  In times of disappointment and despair, that’s what we all need.  Give as much as you can to your people.  They’ll remember and appreciate it for the rest of their lives.

One more piece of advice:  Enjoy those in your life while they’re with you.  Let them know how much you value their presence.

Mario, August 2002

Mario, August 2002