The human side of all those budget cutting meetings is about to become a reality. Tomorrow I get to stand in front of the 178 people who signed on to be part of the Aquascape team and tell them something they most certainly didn't expect to hear when they came on board: "For some of you, your services are no longer needed."

Of course, this isn't exactly what I had in mind either, but it is the ugly result of failed expectations. When we hired each of the 17 individuals we will soon have to part ways with, we did so in anticipation of what we thought could be. But what could be didn't happen. And now we can either take the ostrich approach or do what we're doing, pain and all.

Here's how I'm looking at the company's failure to deliver on anticipated results. With each good person lost, we are letting a little dream die. Each person was brought in to further a vision that now must be reined in a little. The dream -- or at least one particular aspect of that dream in relation to each person's role and function -- is no longer cost-justifiable. That's the cold reality of the situation, no more no less. But that's hard for me to swallow, especially when I picture a face for each person we have to let go. Sending them away is like closing the book on all the hope and promise that came with them when they signed on to our company's vision. And yet, I know it's the right thing to do. After all, there are 161 remaining reasons, each one with a dream, that flow into a vision, that I'm responsible for going forward.

I'll let you know how it goes.