Autumn is upon us and now is the time when the school bell rings in a new year. For parents this means dragging kids out of bed, making lunches that fit Martha Stewart’s standards, and homework.
My biggest year in sales was 1989. I was 9 years-old. My most lucrative year in sales didn’t come until 16 years later. I pounded the pavement week after week pedaling my wares, Girl Scout Cookies. Going into that cookie season I wasn’t particularly psyched. It was cold. Even at 9 I didn’t really care about the spiffs offered. What got me motivated? My Dad; he had a plan.
Why is it we assume adults are myopic when approaching self-education? Why is a company’s central information repository, a website, designed without imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight?
My first summer after graduation was a bummer. It was my first reality check. Outside my office window I’d hear kids laughing at a nearby pool. I’d slump under the artificial light of the office. Remember how awesome the last day of school was?
Over coffee with a friend we chatted about life…. actually about the expectations we had of our lives and how they compared to reality. My friend made a comparison to Mother Goose stories. You enter phases of your life with a belief that you’ll follow a nursery rhyme storybook path. Thanks a lot Disney! Those expectations are only exacerbated by the “Facebook Effect” where everyone lives a life of carefully structured posts and perfectly posed photographs demonstrating the perfection of family, friends, and jobs.
As I sipped my coffee and nodded in agreement I thought to myself, are our lives more Mother Goose or Grimm?
As a kid I dreaded math homework. I’d often approach my Dad for help and his response was always “let me take a look at it for a few minutes”. I’d sigh, knowing that this wouldn’t be a short assignment. That’s what happens when your father studied economics in college simply because he thought it was “fun”.
Grenade throwers are those “big picture” people, who lack the glasses necessary to develop true vision. They’ll come into an organization, throw around some big ideas (the grenades), get everyone running, and then leave employees with nothing but shrapnel. The company is deconstructed and left to pick up the pieces.
I remember the first time I fell in love. I was 5-years old, going on 6. I heard this swell of music, the roar of a crowd, and watched as a man dressed in a sequined cape and Speedo sunglasses made his way to the ring. I watched as this man, The “Macho Man” Randy Savage wrestled the Honkytonk Man. He climbed to the top rope, raised both hand into the air, and jumped.
I was in love.
This weekend I introduced my children to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. The original movie with Gene Wilder, quite possibly the funniest man ever. There’s a scene when Willy Wonka first emerges from the factory. I always found this scene to be rather bizarre (much like the entire movie I guess), but as I was reading this weekend I learned something very interesting about this part of the movie.
As I was preparing a turkey sandwich for my son, I found myself receiving the usual instructions. “Cut the crusts off please” he asked. I sighed. Really? 5-years old and we’re still doing this. Instead of arguing with him I find myself engaging in passive aggressive behavior.
It started about 2 years ago. At one time Hubspot hosted their “Live Weekly Marketing Update”. Every Friday at 4:00 three of us would settle into the Knowledge Room (that really was the name of the conference room) with some beer and open minds.
The greatest opportunities in life result from throwing out the instruction manual and harnessing the creative potential that resides in all of us.
I heard a very loud “CRASH” from upstairs. Moments later my Daughter walked down the steps, my teary-eyed Son following slowly behind. “Ummm, something happened” she informed me. It was at that second that my Son broke down into hysterics. He wouldn’t tell me what happened, he kept crying “I’m in big trouble” over and over again
When I was 9 months pregnant I would fantasize about life as a new mom. I would sit in the empty nursery and take it all in. I would rock in the glider, smell the baby lotion, and feel the soft texture of the baby blankets. I’d look at the closet full of baby clothes.
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