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Broken Trust

Some of the hardest lessons I have learned in my life is realizing too late you’ve trusted the wrong person. Very few things I’ve learned are as painful and devastating as when someone betrays your confidence, takes advantage of you or outright lies or steals. When this has happened to me I really have a hard time coming back from it and finding ways to move forward. Not only because I’ve lost faith in others but I’m now doubting myself on top of it.

About this time last year I reached out to someone I thought could help me with an idea I had in my business. I knew they shared an interest and together I thought we could figure out how to do it. I had already done a great deal of work with several pieces of it and had a general idea of what it could look like but just knew with this other person’s experience we could create something truly awesome. For months we poured over this information together, talking every day, several times a day. Then one day this person brought in another friend who also shared an interest in it as a trusted confident. It was presented to me after she’d talked to this other person and telling her all about what we were working on. I let that go because the work we were doing was truly good. It looked like we may truly pull this off and have something for our businesses that gave us an edge. I was looking forward to having something to offer for sale that would also help others just like me. My excitement for this idea and project overshadowed what I should have saw coming.

Along the way in this creative process I started being excluded from the conversations. I started being asked less and less for my input and then finally I was told they would do a little bit of it and get back to me. Several months later one of them left me a message saying they would show me what they had come up with after the holidays and then nothing more came of it. One day on social media I saw a post that said they were rolling out a new thing together. The same thing I had reached out originally to ask for their help on. No mention of me was made in the post and no outreach to me was done about it prior to this post. I had never seen the final product. They were also planning to sell it to others, again a key element to the original idea I reached on.

As you can imagine not only was my heart busted in a million pieces over realizing I had laid trust where I shouldn’t have but I also may have hurt my very small, struggling business as a result. This was the opportunity I saw that would help me grow and make it easier to balance working full time with getting my business off the ground. This would have put me on the map potentially with something unique and innovative. When I showed the post to my husband he asked if I could prove any of it? All I had was pieces of paper of this idea and some preliminary tools I had started creating and shared with them as we worked through the foundation of this idea. Nothing I thought I could claim as property. Emotionally I was very hurt and upset because I thought I was working with friends on a common goal that would benefit us all. I never dreamed something like this would have happened with them. I did one of the most basic and stupidest things you can do in business and I knew it… too late.

It has taken me a long time to think about this situation and go through the emotions of anger and wanting to call them up and tell them off. I have refrained from it but I’ve also kept a healthy distance since. I’ve cried over it and spent a couple nights not sleeping over it. I’ve continued to work on my business and try not to let the thought of this idea come into my thoughts. When sales are flat or I have a hard month I try not to think about it because it only makes me angry again. I’ve gone into my corporate job on the hard days trying not to see this experience as a cheated chance that would have gotten me full time in my business sooner. I’ve tried and I’ve failed many times at brushing myself off over it. Not only did I lose who I thought were friends but I put myself at a disadvantage on top of it.