Some time ago, I worked a 9-5 for a $2M company where I ended up saving the business around $100,000 in web development costs. In the process, I delivered on incredible turn-around times by working 60-80 hour weeks. In short, there were lots and lots of sleepless nights dedicated to the cause.

After a while, I hit my breaking point. I still had projects to finish, but the business owner and I set a date for me to leave the company. I continued at my insane pace to try and get my substantial project list finished. With the date passed, 98% of the projects complete and feeling I’d done a good job, I asked for a recommendation – and got plenty from the people I’d worked with.

Except one.

The one who ignored my request and subsequent follow-up was the person who’d brought me in to the company, the business owner. Rather than be gracious about the things that I had managed to get accomplished (and all the money I’d saved them), the owner decided to begrudge me the things I hadn’t delivered.

I call this The 2% Grudge and it happens in the business world all the time, particularly with small business owners.

While I think it’s a particularly dickish move, harboring The 2% Grudge is unilaterally and completely justified in the brain of the one holding it by one simple, if misguided, fact: this person, despite delivering 98% of what they promised, failed to meet expectations.

What’s an astonishingly logical business owner left to do but blame themselves for a shitty decision that only delivered 98% of the results they’d expected. Nevermind that the expectations changed mid-game and the achievements soared far beyond the initial expectations – I’ve seen it time and time again in my business-owning friends. The 2% Grudge rears its ugly head and the easiest cog to move is conveniently also the easiest cog to blame.

Ultimately, The 2% Grudge is self-defeating. It creates more enemies than friends and closes doors to previously open possibilities. Make a note that when you see The 2% Grudge emerge, you should kindly ask your fellow business owner to pull their head out of their ass. (Unless you, you know, want them to fail).

(Header photo: 2 Birds by Jeff The Trojan)