Do You Know Kate?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 21 September 2023 00:00

I want to introduce you to Kate. Kate was just about the sweetest person you could meet. Hard working sales agent, often working long hours and barely making ends meet. 

There were serious reasons for her lack of profitability… 

First there were the personal issues:  Kate was nice, so nice, she let everyone take advantage of her. Her sister-in-law lived in the basement of the home she shared with her husband. He worked, but hours completely opposite of hers. They rarely connected. 

Her small house was also home for her son, his girlfriend, his dog and soon-to-be-born baby. Her son didn’t have a job at the time we worked together, and neither did his girlfriend. They spent their days enjoying video games and watching television while Kate was out making sales. 

Kate often missed dinner due to working long hours. I know this because when we would be in our online session she’d be scraping cold leftovers from the dinner she had made for the family earlier because, as usual, she got home too late to enjoy time relaxing from a full day and enjoying a hot meal. 

I became concerned when she was conducting our zoom sessions in her parked car, even in winter. I asked why and that’s when the flags started shooting up. “I have to be out here because my sister-in-law is on the internet and there is not enough bandwidth for me to handle this call with you.”  Did I mention this family member paid no rent to contribute to the household, and neither did the son, his girlfriend, and their dog? 

I saw a serious problem. 

Kate might as well have had the word “MAT” stamped across her forehead. She just could not stop pleasing everyone else, no matter what the cost to her: her health, cash flow, time, energy, and quality of life.   

Unfortunately, what’s true at home is also true at work. Her staff underperformed but still got paid. She fed leads to others, but never kept track of the status of the leads and their conversions. She had zero operational systems to help track, support, monitor or measure her business. Hundreds of dollars were going out the window for lead generation systems of which she never followed up. She was on full alert for reaction to the latest hiccup with no team or process in place. These “emergencies” took her off dollar productive activities and constantly put her in a high stress, fast reactive mode. 

Her life was a series of putting out fires, grasping for any sales and literally hemorrhaging all the critical resources:  money, time, energy, relationships and joy.  

The clincher was when she told me that her family was planning a short vacation at a beach condominium she owned. Her son and his girlfriend had secretly planned to announce they were getting married, so they took it upon themselves to invite the girlfriend’s parents to join them without asking Kate if that would be okay.  She, of course, had to fund the event, including meals and entertainment, for the entire “vacation.”   

The son’s plan was to announce this upcoming wedding event at this “family reunion,” which would have been a good thing, however,  the couple told her they planned to get married at her house (she would be paying for the wedding, as they had no money, thus why they were living with her).  She soon learned that the fiancé’s parents, the soon to be in-laws, weren’t going to help in any way, but did not hesitate to order lavish catering, flowers and more for the upcoming event. 

Can you spell burnout? 

Burn out was inevitable, both physically and mentally, and clearly financially. 

Now, as a master coach, I know that her mindset was to tough it out, hope it would get better, and hope her family would someday value her love for them, but between you and I, that was never going to happen. 

She had taught them how to treat her. 

She had resigned herself to carrying the entire load herself, bearing the full responsibility for the living of her family, his girlfriend, now a new family- where was this going to end? 

I knew from experience that it would not end well. 

Her pedal to the metal pace was not sustainable long term. At some point she’d either burn out in her business or burn out her body, but either way, burnout was going to happen. 

I also understand her loyalty to her son, but for how long was she going to enable him?

So, help me with this: 

Why is it that women will tough it out and suffer every step of the way instead of taking control of their lives and business? 

• Maybe they avoid confrontation 

• Perhaps they don’t want to release the “disease to please” or risk not being “liked’” 

• They won’t stop long enough to make the changes, fix the issues, create the systems that can correct the course to be in charge instead of out of control. 

Little do they know that the freebie people disappear when the beer is gone. Without loyalty and boundaries and KPI’s, they will stick around ‘til the party's over. 

It’s not about doing for others, it is about building a business to fund your LIFE!

No matter what your business: 

• Systems are the only way to operational excellence 

• Accountability is key to measure and monitor outcomes 

• Strategic plans set the course 

  • Breaking it down to the minutes in a  day can take you to the profit zone. 

Here’s what you can learn from this very true and real situation: 

• You can outwork your tail off and not make the money you want 

• You need systems to keep all the pillars profitable 

• You must hire the right people with the right core values to make the team productive and profitable 

And it all starts with a strategic plan that coordinates with action plans that get plugged into every day, so we are here to share! For your complimentary copy of a Daily Success Plan, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Terri Murphy

Terri Murphy, Communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant, and Master Coach with Workman Success. She is the author of 5 books, TedTalk speaker and co-radio host on Contact: or Email: [email protected]

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