Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Needs Out of Business Partnership

DEAR HARRIETTE: At the last minute, I agreed to have an acquaintance help out on a project I was working on because it sounded like she might be able to bring in some much-needed funding. It turns out that her participation was shocking. She was loud and obnoxious the whole time. She did not bring in one dollar. She did turn me on to a couple of good resources for the project, but honestly, it wasn’t worth it.

I feel like her involvement sullied my brand. She and I have completely different personalities, and she is not professional in her behavior. How can I sever ties with her? She has been pressuring me to host another public project that she could partner on with me. After how poorly this recent fiasco ended, I don’t want to have any more to do with her. How do I walk away from her without suffering the negative consequences of her bad-mouthing me for doing so? -- Awkward, Atlanta

DEAR AWKWARD: Be careful. Think long and hard about a strategy to acknowledge this person’s efforts, even if they didn’t pan out. Thank her for her hard work. Let her know that you appreciate her interest in helping you with this project. Tell her that you will not be pursuing the other project that she recommended. Suggest that she look for another partner for future projects.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Recently, I have been feeling kind of run down. I think in part it’s because I’ve been worrying about money and how to make ends meet. But I know I have gained weight and not paid such great attention to my body as I’ve been trying to hustle to pay my bills. I feel like I need to rest, but I don’t know when I can do it. I also need to get a physical, but I’m afraid of what the doctor is going to say. I feel stuck, and that only makes me want to take a nap. How can I do something positive for myself when I’m feeling so blue? -- Frozen, Philadelphia

DEAR FROZEN: The good news is that you understand how you feel and what you are facing. Now you need to take action. Why not address each concern independently? Start by scheduling a physical examination. As scary as this may be, it will give you a gauge on what you need to do for your life in order to become stronger. One friend of mine felt like she was dragging for months. She learned that her vitamin D was so low that it was likely the culprit. Now she takes prescription-strength vitamin D supplements and feels better. Who knows what you will learn about yourself, but it’s worth finding out.

Next, consider what you are good at doing that people pay for. It may be time to change your job or add something to your work schedule. The best way to determine what that is will be to evaluate your skills.

Finally, it’s OK to nap. Some people nap daily for a few minutes to get a little boost in the day. You can, too. Just don’t stay in bed too long!

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)