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Confessions of a Naive Sceptic...

Debtors & Creditors, Alternative Therapies and Doctors. What have all these got in common? Just one thing: if this plague of a sickness has produced anything of a positive nature, it's that I have changed my viewpoint on all of them as a result of learning some harsh lessons since Christmas, when this all began. I will now view all of them with a clearer, more open mind. What you are about to read is the confession of a reformed naive sceptic....

2011 was a long, somewhat tough year for me. I started my own business, got an investor, succeeded to back out of that investment, secured another investor, started trading in September and got sick in December. It was a long year, a year in which I expelled a huge amount of energy, without gaining much financial reward. 2012 was to be the year my business would start generating cash on top of incomes. It's mid March and I haven't even made it to the office yet this year. So where does this leave me? It leaves me resigning to the fact that 2012 may not be as big a year as I hoped, but to be honest I don't mind, well not as much as I thought I would. Why you ask? Because I have gained something alot more valuable than money in the past three months. I have gained an invaluable lesson in life ... Yes I may have an impatient debtor or two, an anxious banker that wishes to speak with me, a tough task on my hands when I get back to fitness and a medical bill that makes me wish I hadn't packed in my insurance just last October, but I mean it when I say I don't care...

Since I set up my first small business in 2010, I always treated clients and contacts as friends. I expected that I could ask for a bit of breathing space with a cheque, knowing that if and often when the roles were reversed all they had to do was ask. I was always perplexed to hear of people not paying bills outright, and, on the flip side equally perplexed when people were chasing full invoices before work had been done. I felt that the business relationship had to be solid, once it was, payment and invoices would take care of themselves. Not so it seems. I have been extremely ill since Christmas, have been to hospital twice, a clinic up the country once, attended four different gp's on numerous occasions, gone to a herbalist and attended an acupuncturist three times at this stage. I have, no doubt, incurred massive expense while investigating this illness, an illness that has prevented me from doing alot of accounting work with debtors and creditors, and merely left me with a pain in the backside both metaphorically and from not being physically able to get off it. I am a honest person, who, to people that know me, would never steer someone wrong, or con anybody. I pay my bills, no matter how hard a situation I'm in. But my outlook is changing. Since Christmas, with the exception of perhaps one or two contacts I have been treated to a barrage of interrogative emails and phone calls every single week about payments, some of these calls were even taken when I was in hospital. It just annoys me to think, how understanding I would be of someones situation should the roles be reversed. It appalls me, the lack of understanding and genuine compassion some people can afford someone whom they know is having a hard time, someone they know, will address the issue at hand, once recovered. Nevertheless they don't and from now on, I will be taking the new, tougher, no nonsense approach. I have made a crazy amount of mistakes since starting my first business just over two years ago, but today I write this, after gaining one of the most invaluable lessons yet. It costs nothing to be nice, which is why I try so hard to be understanding and patient in my business dealings, clearly others aren't the same way inclined. However, I won't be changing my ways because of the shortsightedness of others, I am now merely more aware of the false persona of many executives in my field. Maybe it was naive of me to think people were being honest in their friendly approach. 

I am an extremely sceptical person, not in a negative way, it just takes alot to sell me an idea or an ideology. In saying that, I can be extremely open minded when it comes to social issues and other important issues. So with this in mind, since Christmas, I have spent vast amount of money on conventional tests, tablets and doctors. What else is one supposed to do? It was only when these avenues were proving unfruitful that I was persuaded to try some more alternative methods. You can imagine my reaction, when someone suggested that sticking a pin in my stomach, or, massaging a particular part on the sole of my foot, or, ingesting some herbs off the side of a mountain in China was going to produce better results than those by being prescribed some official medicine specifically tailored to my needs. This medicine was even going to be given to me by someone with a stethoscope around their neck, and not, by someone with dreamcatchers where the eye test letters should be and tarot cards placed where the doctors prescription pad would be. I think you see where I am going. Well I have just shared my second lesson in as many months with you. The quack medicine has worked. I am by no means even near better, but the combination of acupuncture, reflexology and herbs has done more for my symptoms than any combination of doctors could. And I don't say that lightly. I'm sure some sceptical people will read this and think what I have thought for years. All I can say is, never before has my mind been more open to alternative therapies, and that's quite something considering it's me thinking that. 

This is a somewhat sporadic disjointed blog post, however, it is the most important one I have written to date. I genuinely feel I have learnt two important lessons that will stand to me in the future. For those two lessons, I thank my illness.

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