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Scratching my head at year-end

Here’s a puzzler for you.

For five years I’ve thanked my clients with year-end gifts custom-made by a small local firm. My clients LOVE the gifts, and over time I became chummy with the CEO.

This past summer I introduced her to my daughter. The CEO, short on staff, hired my daughter as an extra hand. And things worked well for a short time.

However, both being strong women, they eventually bumped heads and parted ways.

Oddly, the CEO ghosted me after they stopped working together. Rather than talking with me about how this shouldn’t impact OUR business dealings, she merely walked away.

This puzzled me, given that I’d had nothing to do with their relationship. The silence also reinforced in my mind my daughter’s perspective that the CEO was difficult to work with.

In my world, you try to grow your business and don’t walk away from clients unless YOUR affiliation with them is troubled.

Yet six months later I’ve heard nothing and was forced to make alternate arrangements for the holidays. And I find myself wondering why a CEO would willingly walk away from a long-term business association that generated both revenue and significant referrals … without even trying to bridge the gap.

Admittedly, hiring someone’s relative is potentially fraught with risk. Not all introductions will work out well, and there’s always a possibility that this type of situation can happen to anyone.

But not even trying to salvage the business connection?

Today I’ve lost interest in working with this company. My regular referrals have stopped, and you’ll no longer see recommendations for the company in this column. I expect it’ll make a dent in its bottom line.

And my daughter’s moved on, focusing on her operatic career and her new side hustle baking fancy cakes.

The labor market has also eased somewhat, making it more conducive for employers to be choosier about new hires.

Yet operating from the premise that it’s not what you know, but who you know, it seems safe to conclude that opportunities will always arise to hire the child of a friend or client.

And given this experience, whether you’re referring, hiring or job-hunting, be advised that there are potentially long-term results out there that you weren’t necessarily counting on at the outset.

With that said, I wish you a year of profitable marketing.

Happy New Year from everyone at

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