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Full measure…

Our favorite, Unknown Sage once said,

Life can be measured by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Based on that metric, I enjoy a very, full-measured life.  Last Saturday was my 43rd wedding anniversary.   The journey has actually been even longer – my future wife and I met in the 7th grade.  She still takes my breath away!

Over the years, I have occasionally rocked the foundation of our comfort zone – failed investments; family feuds; job changes; you know the usual stuff.

My wife is half Irish; and I know I have provided her ample opportunities to invoke that Irish Blessing:

May you never forget what is worth remembering, or remember what is worth forgetting.

So permit me to pause from the daily drum beat of my career coupled recently with her start-up business, and devote a few thoughts toward never forgetting what is worth remembering.

Relationships – husbands and wives; parents and children; brothers and sisters; colleagues; BFF’s; no matter.  Let’s pause for a moment to focus on those special people that have taken our breath away.  It’s time to give them a call (no voicemails please); write them a letter (texts don’t count – give them the ink!); and let’s offer a full measure of thanks to our pride and joy.

Relationships – family, friends, colleagues.  The currency of a fulfilling, meaningful life, don’t you think?  And like any other “bank account”, relationships entail “deposits” and “withdrawals”.  I have benefited often from the deposits the special people surrounding me have made.  And in so doing, each of these special people have enriched my life.

What did we do to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary?  We worked a 16-hour day at the Colorado Springs Horse Expo, of course.  You see, this year we have embarked on a new journey – that of a family owned company.  Stressful.  In January, we worked together for 16 straight days in a “phone booth”:

NWSS_Booth

OK, it was actually an 8’x 10’ vendor booth at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  And to be fair, I wasn’t in her booth morning, noon, and night. During the week, I worked my full time job.  I attended to my second job in the evenings only – and then morning, noon and night on weekends.  8’x 10’; 80 square feet; working elbow to elbow in a family owned business; with differing points of business view:

The opinions expressed by the husband do not reflect the opinions enforced by Management.

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that business success is an important contribution to a healthy relationship.  It can be another source of pride and joy.  It’s just deciding to pursue a new business “adventure” this far into our marriage can be a bit stressful.  No worries though – after enjoying a lifetime together, we are up to it!

So today I’m focused on my wife of 43 years – staying married to me, she has certainly earned it!  I’m thankful for the good fortune to have her in my life.  Along with family, friends, and business colleagues – all have made me a rich man.

And I salute those of you who enjoy long-lasting, loving marriages, too.  Perhaps we would agree in Harold Nicholson’s revelation:

The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.

Now let’s all go out and buy flowers for our wife, or send a handwritten card to those special people that have enriched our life – all deserving a full measure of our appreciation.

GAP

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A peek inside…

So I was writing one of my little ditties recently at our favorite neighborhood coffee shop.  My wife, children and grandchildren were there – one of those precious, informal family gatherings I am so blessed to enjoy.

It was the usual small talk – weekend plans; work; school; the weather; the Broncos…  They don’t mind when I sometimes multi-task during our coffee clutch and type a sentence or two.  But the other day when I softly uttered, “600, all right!” our small talk was interrupted.  “600 what?” they inquired.  And that’s when I revealed a peek inside.

I’m generally a very private man; introverted really.  I’ve created a public-facing façade in order to pursue my professional responsibilities.  I don’t know – maybe I should share with you the same peek?  It’s said in the marketplace today there is value with genuineness.  There’s nothing particularly earth shattering behind the way I write; but my family was quite amused; maybe you will be too.

First, 600 is the number of words that comprise my ditties.  600 – exactly.  Not 599; not 601; each one must be 600 before it’s finished.  Truth be told: I bang out an initial draft in about an hour.  Then I typically spend 6-7 hours editing; re-writing; adjusting; word-smithing; until (A) I like the piece, and (B) it is exactly 600 words.  Yep 600; welcome to my world. (LoL!)

As you already know, I like sharing personal experiences and life’s little observations.  Not for self-promotion purposes (although we all have an ego, yes?); and certainly not for monetary gain (I haven’t figured out how to peddle these pieces yet).  I do wonder sometimes whether I’m being read, and if so why:

People who read me seem to be divided into four groups; Twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; 25 percent like me for the wrong reasons; 25 percent hate me for the right reasons.  It’s the last 25 percent that worries me. 

Robert Frost

It’s all good, though.  Writing is my way of “thinking out loud”.  I like to pose situations to my readers so you can:

Read about it briefly (600 words – exactly)

Decide if it relates to you

And if it does, allow you to observe what I did in that situation so you can;

Determine if I am a blithering idiot offering nothing more than a little comic relief in your day (which I suspect some have already concluded)

Make you feel good that if I have been able to make a living being as inept as you believe I am, there is hope for you

Invoke you’re knowledge and experience with the situations I write about resulting in the thought of, “Nice try Gary, that’s not how it works; what you should have done was thus and so…”

And as a result I’m actually providing you the service of reinforcing what not to do in certain circumstances

Which may also be of value

Sometimes, I might even offer sound advice based on good judgment.  You see, I believe I have finally learned where good judgement originates:

Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement. 

Unknown Sage

Of course, I hope my readers don’t take my judgments too seriously:

Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own.  You may both be wrong. 

Dandemis

So there you have it; for better or worse; a 600 word peek inside the process and the paradigm behind these little ditties.  Welcome to my world, indeed. (LoL!)

GAP

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Comfort zone…

One of my colleagues recently left our company to take a role with a start-up.  “Boots”, I said, “you’ll do great – go get ‘em!”  And with that she left the “comfort zone” of her current position for a “new world”, a new role, with a new company, in a new city.

If you try too carefully to plan your life, the danger is that you will succeed – succeed in narrowing your options, closing off avenues of adventure that cannot now be imagined.

Harlan Cleveland

Encouraging my now former colleague made me think, “When was the last time I was in my comfort zone”?  I have been operating outside of my comfort zone for so long I’m trying to remember what is was like.

1975 – 1975 was the last time I can remember being in my comfort zone.  I was graduating from college during a tough job market.  My inclination was to stay at my alma matre Knox College, in Galesburg Illinois, and work in the admissions office.

My wife didn’t want to stay in a small town; my basketball coach and mentor, Harley Knosher, knew taking an admissions job was simply a path of least resistance.  So the two of them teamed up; prodded me out of my comfort zone; “You’ll do great – go get ‘em!” they said.

So I sent out over 200 letters of employment inquiry; was invited for 2 interviews; and received one, count ‘em, one job offer.  “Honey” I said, “We’re headed to Merrillville, Indiana for a career in retail”.   And with a $9,600 annual salary offer in hand, we headed towards a “new world”, a new role, with a new company, in a new city.   And that’s when I left my comfort zone.

How about you?  Are you in your comfort zone?  How adventurous are you?  Does life have you in a position where you must operate outside of your “comfort zone”?  Well, maybe that makes us better?

There can be constructive worry if it is directed towards positive goals. 

Joe Newton

The topic represents quite the contrast for me.  You see, I am a planner by nature; risk adverse; fearful; often shy.  Those who “know” me might be surprised by such a description.  Yet it’s true.  All things considered, I’d just as soon take in an afternoon movie vs. explore the new world.

Oh I’m skilled in my trade; experienced; successful in my field.  Over the years I’ve had to condition myself to operate outside of my comfort zone; take risks; do new things.

I don’t know – maybe life is meant to be lived uncomfortably.  Maybe we’re meant to be constantly striving; constantly seeking; constantly worrying.  Take today’s business models.  The only constant we seem to be dealing with is change!  And how do we face the “new world” of this change?  Who likes facing the new world of new business models; new companies; new markets?

What’s my return on investment in e-commerce?  Are you crazy? This is Columbus in the New World.  What was his ROI?

Andrew Grove

OK – by comparison, we might not be quite as bold as Christopher Columbus.  He faced more than the unknown.  The “experts” of his time were convinced about the world:

People told Columbus the world was flat.  He didn’t insist it was round.  He got in a boat. 

3Com Advertisement

So come on everyone; you’ll do great – go get ‘em!  There’s a “new world” out there waiting for your discovery.  Besides, comfort zones and afternoon movies are over rated.

GAP

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Hauntings…

October.  Halloween. Haunted houses.  Jason, chainsaws, and scary costumes.  What a fun time of year!  But not all hauntings are scary.  Google offers this definition:

haunt·ing  ˈhôn(t)iNG/  adjective

Poignant and evocative; difficult to ignore or forget.

synonyms: evocativeemotiveaffectingmovingtouchingstirringpowerful;poignantnostalgicwistfulelegiac;memorableindelibleunforgettable

Hauntings – good and bad – have happened to us all, true?  Although we associate hauntings in October with scary, Halloween things, “difficult to forget” can apply to good memories, too.

When I recently wrote a little ditty about “sacred”, my wife offered this hauntingly good and powerful memory:

The Lady behind my Ladybug

Everyone might have a Guardian Angel, but how many of us have a Guardian Ladybug?  My Mom was, and still is, the guiding light in my life.

Vivienne Emily Rogers passed away September 11th, 2007.  Sadly, I now have my own, personal “9/11”.  However, she still is with us today.  You see, Vivienne continues to appear at happy and sad occasions; she appears near and far; and she even appears to my extended family and friends.  Yes, Vivienne really gets around!

When my Mom passed, I took the lead among our family in cleaning out the remaining possessions and artifacts in my childhood home, before that house became the next childhood home for someone else.  Vivienne’s beloved husband and my Dad Bill had passed away in this very house a few years earlier.

During the Fall of 2007 as we took on the task of a complete house clean-out, an unusual occurrence for that time of year in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst occurred.   While carrying items out of the house to the garage for temporary storage, a ladybug appeared on the inside of the screen door.  Each trip to the garage, I kept flicking the ladybug outside, thinking that is where she wanted to be.  I couldn’t tell if there were more than one ladybug, or if this was somehow the same one.

As I started to tackle the kitchen clean-out:  particularly difficult not because of all the cooking utensils, but an emotional pilgrimage.  You see, my Mom loved to cook.  And I loved to spend time with her in her little kitchen learning to cook the same way she had learned to cook under the loving guidance of her mother.  During my toil to clean everything out, a ladybug kept appearing near the window; circling the ceiling light; strolling along the countertop.  Each time I would gently capture the ladybug, walk her to the back door, and “set her free”.  Only to have ladybug reappear in the kitchen at a later point.

By mid-December, the work was completed and we were making our last drive back to our home in Denver with a small trailer of memories and family heirlooms.  During two of the “bio breaks”, I found a ladybug in the ladies’ restroom.  Seeing ladybugs in Iowa and Nebraska in the month of December is quite unusual (to say the least).  I and finally realized, Mom was coming home with me.

Today, my business Mom’s Ladybug Embroidery Service is named in the honor of my Mom.  And I apply the same loving care I learned in her kitchen to all of my clients’ projects.

So if you see a ladybug when you’re out trick or treating, it might just be my Mother-in-Law enjoying the October fun.  Give her an extra candy bar.

What (or who) haunts you?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Sacred…

While returning to my Alma Mater for homecoming last week, I attended the class: Intro to Religious Studies 101.

It amuses me to no end during my annual return, what a better student I could be now than I was when I was actually a student back then.  Of course my Professors weren’t as amused back then – and I have the grades to prove it!

During this class, Dr. James Thrall reviewed an assignment with about twenty undergraduates; each had written a short paper on a place they had visited that had a spiritual, sacred impact on their life.  Because this was an Intro to Religious Studies class, most of his students reflected on Christian-oriented sites such as cemeteries, church buildings, and religious services.  Others took a more intellectual approach and reported on the majesty of Mother Nature as witnessed from mountain tops, lakes, and forests.

Some of these young men and women related their view points in a recent context; a few added the historical, biblical context of ancient Jerusalem.  I suspect the course was in the “western religion” section of their text book because there were only slight references to non-Christian ceremonies and rituals.  However, occasionally diversity from other circumstances and stimuli as related to things that are “scared” was brought up adding depth to the discussion.

In addition to reviewing textual excerpts from each student’s paper, a few chalk board drawings as well as PowerPoint pictures were leveraged – adding sights to the sounds.  In fact, Professor Thrall reviewed many examples of stimuli human beings of all cultures in all times have used in seeking spiritual experiences including the power of color; sound; music; dance; dogma; and mystery.

As an alumnus and observer, I was in the “easy seat”.  I could simply listen; observe; and speculate without any further responsibility to the Professor or his class (just like attending church).  No one asked me to present my point of view on the places I hold sacred.  In this case, such detachment served me well.

As I watched and listened in a self-reflective way, I was able to identify a common theme running through each individual’s interpretation of the assignment:

Sacred experience is the spiritual process of being stimulated to “move” from my current state of consciousness to an alternative (yet still current state) of another, more meaningful, consciousness.

What is “sacred” to me are those stimuli that enable me to think of me within a greater, more powerful context – albeit time; historical significance (or insignificance); the physical universe; or other dimensions beyond my simple, current state.  Or, as the sign in my neighborhood coffee shop says;

Don’t take life too seriously; nobody gets out alive anyway.

As I sat in Professor Thrall’s class amidst those bright minds, I was spiritually stimulated to remembering my graduation day thirty nine years ago on the lawn outside one wing of the very building I was now sitting in.  I remembered why I hold sacred that day; that lawn; this building.

You see, on that day in 1975 I reached a goal of my Mom – she wanted her son to earn a college degree.  That goal was so important to her that she worked much of her adult life while enduring indescribable sickness to help fund my college education.  Although ultimately losing her battle with cancer nine months before my graduation day – she was there then; at this sacred place; where I returned today.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Ever heard of it?  Me neither.  And I definitely could not spell it.  So if you have it – beware – today may be one of “those days”.  Today, you might need to get a helmet!  According to our indispensable knowledge source, Wikipedia:

The fear of Friday the 13th has been called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named in English and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen)

Are you superstitious?  Will this Friday be unlucky for you?  I’ve never been one to be superstitious; especially if my quota month; quarter; or sales year ended on a Friday the 13th.  I needed all of the days possible to reach my goals.

It’s interesting to observe how our fellow men, women, and children respond to life’s challenges and risks.  Each in our own way have a “Cross to bear”, true?  And when the burden seems too big to bear, how do we respond?  Blame it on bad luck; superstition; Friday the 13th?  Perhaps there are other options that will help get us through.

Superstition; risk; luck – they are all different but perhaps related when dealing with life’s challenges and related business risks.  Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the legendary business executive credited with leading the creation of the once powerhouse automotive entity General Motors, offers us his perspective:

The problem with risk is that it is… risky.  The extent of risk can sometimes be quantified but the fact is that when the calculation is completed, there is an irreducible element of luck involved when a risk is taken.

General Motors has certainly been facing great risk and difficult times in recent years.  From the federal government bailout; the decline of the city of Detroit; to record recalls of defective vehicles, maybe the current CEO of GM, Mary T. Barra, is unlucky.  Was she promoted to the CEO role on a Friday by chance?

But let’s return to the term friggatriskaidekaphobia.  It probably was not a word used in the recent National Spelling Bee.  Do you think those teenage co-champions were lucky to win the contest this year?  Or, do you think they were prepared?  My favorite high school, boys cross country coach thinks this about luck:

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. 

Joe Newton

I’d wager those kids were prepared (vs. just being lucky) for their opportunity and the risk of the stiff competition.  And I’m OK if you insist we allow Alfred P. Sloan Jr. to add that, “when the calculation is completed, there is an irreducible element of luck involved when a risk is taken.”

We all face stiff competition today, don’t we?  Most people I know are working extra hard; pursuing goals; caring for their family; worrying about the risks; fearing the unknowns.  When dealing with life’s challenges, do we resort to counting on luck and superstition to get us through?

Back to the recent spelling bee – did you notice how many of the finalists were repeat finalists?   Several have competed before; came close to winning; and returned to pursue their dream of being the national champion.  James C. Collins might comment:

Luck favors the persistent.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia – I can’t spell it; didn’t even know about it until recently reading Wikipedia; but no worries – I don’t believe in it!  Put me in the prepared and persistent column of facing life’s challenges (and risks).  And yes – in case you are wondering – I drive a Ford.  How about you?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Gary knows…

Somehow some of my clients seem to think I’m some sort of expert or something.  It’s funny how the perception of expertise unfolds in the sales profession.  Take T.S. Eliot; he knows:

The difference between being an elder statesman and posing successfully as an elder statesman is practically negligible.

Nonetheless, when they call me with questions and requests for advice – I do my best to help them.  First and foremost, I try to be responsive.  No one wants to wait for an answer these days, true?  When I don’t know the answer, I offer to help them research.  Research?  Who has time for research?  They usually prefer I guess:

Make three correct guesses consecutively, and you will establish a reputation as an expert.                           

Lawrence Peter

Accuracy vs. educated guesses – practically negligible from my clients’ perspective, I guess!  So if they guess, “Gary knows”; who am I to tell them about T.S. Eliot?

Truth be told, I’m as clueless as the next guy.  I’ve always been comfortable with being clueless, even around smart people.   Maybe the difference between comfortable and confident is practically negligible, too?

Take the office building I work out of.  We are completely surrounded by experts.  On the one side is IKEA.  Have you seen this cartoon circling around the Internet?  ‘nough said!

IKEA_interview

The rest of our office building is bordered by engineers and scientists from United Launch Alliance.  ULA is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing; they design, manufacture, test, and launch our spaceships.  Experts!  Even so, I remained perfectly comfortable (and confident) mingling with them during a recent, joint office building picnic.  I particularly enjoyed reading their company T-shirts:

United Launch Alliance 

     Actually… it is rocket science!

No wonder IKEA chose to open their store nearby.

Of course, we must be careful with using that term, “expert”.  In my line of work, gaining a reputation of being an expert could simply come from guessing right.  In rocket science, we all hope the difference of their source of expertise is not practically negligible, don’t we?

And who do the experts call, when they need advice or an answer?  Our Unknown Sage offers this example from back in the day:

Charles Steinmetz (1865-1923) was a pioneering genius in harvesting electricity.  After he retired, Steinmetz’s former employers at General Electric occasionally relied on his brilliance. 

Such was the case when an intricate set of machines broke down.  In-house experts could not find the cause of this malfunction so GE leaders called Steinmetz. 

After testing various parts, Steinmetz finally pinpointed the problem and marked the defective part with a piece of chalk.  Steinmetz then submitted a bill for $10,000. 

Surprised at this unexpected high price, GE honchos asked Steinmetz to resubmit an itemized statement.  He complied with a new invoice that listed only two items: 

                        Invoice 

Making one chalk mark:       $      1.00

Knowing where to place it:    $ 9,999.00

Steinmetz would have made a great sales professional, wouldn’t he?  He might not have liked the path sales professionals take to become known as “experts” though:

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.                               

Niels Bohn

So feel free to call me for expert advice.  I’ll offer you my best guess, based on all of the mistakes I have made in my very narrow field – and my answer might just be right.  After all, sales is not rocket science!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

I apologize…

Recently, I wrote a little ditty titled, “You’re Fired” (http://thequoteguys.com/2014/02/youre-fired/ ).  That headline seemed to inadvertently impact several of my readers.  Were you wondering if I was referring you?

I like titling my weekly pieces of peace with a headline that is both a sound bite as well as a summary of the main point.  No easy task for me – if you look up the word verbose, you’ll likely see my picture!

We live today in a sound bite world.  Our audience constantly has us on the clock, don’t they?  (OK, OK – keep reading, please.)  “What’s the point?” they ask.  And a preference for a 144 character tweet is their hoped-for response.

“I don’t have time to talk to you Gary; text me – I’m in the middle.”  And that was from my wife!  It’s no wonder our business relationships are challenging to communicate with.  In a sales situation where we’re trying to gain access to a prospect, the setting is even more intense.

Is my style of writing these short essays (aka “little ditties”) doomed in our technocratic era?

I just finished reading Idea Guy©, Paul Allen’s autobiography; a fascinating, behind the scenes view of Microsoft’s co-founder.  The sound bite, “idea guy”, merely scratches the surface of Paul’s magnificent accomplishments.  And his magnificent accomplishments, merely scratch the surface of his amazing ability to wonder.

However, even Paul wonders about wondering:

The Complexity Brake 

Faster, “smarter” computers and the accretion of more data don’t automatically spark fireworks of breakthroughs… A good analogy… can be found in cosmology… With more data and better tools, the universe keeps getting bigger than we thought it was.  Our rate of breakthroughs gets “braked” by our growing knowledge.

It’s our wonder I suppose, that ultimately pushes us past these periodic complexity brakes.  Wondering is powerful; fun too – here are a few examples from our favorite, Unknown Sage:

EVER WONDER…

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don’t you ever see the headline, “Psychic Wins Lottery”?

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do practice?

Why is it that to stop Windows, you click on Start?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Headlines and sound bites might make us wonder these days; even if they’re from the “Department of Unintended Consequences”, like my recent “You’re Fired” headline.

But the power of wonder continues to drive people like Paul Allen; who continue to drive the advancement of our way of life.  I wonder how I could say that in a two word sound bite?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

 

 

 

Christ’s birthday…

Merry Christmas!  I trust you will enjoy a day of peace, hope and celebration with family and friends this Wednesday.  Whatever our spiritual beliefs, may each of us find meaning to our life during this time in a way that lasts throughout the entire year.

May we be of good cheer, too…

A little boy received a new drum for Christmas.  Shortly thereafter, his father came home from work and the mother told him, “I don’t think the man upstairs likes to hear Georgie play his new drum, but he’s certainly subtle about it.  “How do you know”? asked the father.  “Well, this afternoon he gave Georgie a knife and asked him if he knew what was inside the drum.”

Herbert Prochnow

May we not lose sight of our common sense:

On most brands of Christmas lights:

“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

(As opposed to…what?)

Unknown Sage

May we be satisfied with who we are not just what we bought…

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

Matthew 5: Verse 4

May we remember those less fortunate than us…

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

Charles Dickens

May we remember why this is a holiday to begin with…

How many observe Christ’s birthday; how few His precepts.  O ‘tis easier to keep a Holiday, than Commandments.           

Benjamin Franklin

And may God bless you and yours.

GAP

“Me” is actually “me’s”

How many people are you today?  No – I don’t mean in a multiple-personality, schizophrenia weird kind of way; nor in an online, avatar, Farmville kind of way.  I simply mean there are probably more of “us” than just “us”.

A sales rep from Insidesales.com recently called me.  I’ve attended several Insidesales.com webinars and enjoyed Ken Krogue’s coaching – check ‘em out: www.insidesales.com .

Anyway, the rep began his conversation with the assumption (and erroneous statement) that I was no longer employed by the company whose phone I had just answered his call from.  I immediately corrected him stating that I was still so employed.  In fact, I told him I am at the same company phone number and use the same company email I used to register for all of the Insidesales.com events – that’s how he got my name and number for today’s call in the first place.

Naturally, his presumption stimulated my curiosity, so I asked how he came to such a conclusion.  In his defense he offered my LinkedIn profile as Exhibit A – there my persona shows I am an author at Penny or a Pound Publishing – which, of course, one of me is.  But not all of “me’s”.

Today “me” is actually “me’s” and I believe “you – singular” are actually “you – plural”.  I offered this point of view to my young, caller; suggesting he avoid presumptions in the future and simply seek to verify the facts (a critical skill in his profession).  He accepted this coaching from the “old guy” persona.

After the call I reflected on the phenomena of being presumed under one persona vs. another – both personas being the “real me’s”.  The first time I can remember this occurring was my freshman year at college.  The Athletic Director had diligently and competitively recruited me for several months and when I committed he triumphantly informed his assistance basketball coach of his accomplishment.

His assistant varsity coach, Bill Foss, was also the head basketball coach of the freshman team as well as an assistant coach of the varsity football team (it was a small school; and a long time ago).

On the first day of practice I was warming up under the watchful eye of Coach Foss.  It was then that he noticed I had a small, jingle-bell attached to my shoelace.  I thought this was a good idea back in high school as a way to break the concentration of my opponents – but this was now college ball.

Suffice it to say Coach Foss presumed I had a certain persona – let’s call me a “finesse player”.  Anyway, he pulled out a linebacker, blocking pad from his football gear and told us to line up for a rebounding drill.  I’m sure he was thinking he would now show “me” his game wasn’t a finesse game.

To Coach Foss’ surprise, I reached down into my sock and pulled out a mouthpiece to protect my teeth.  Oh, he was quite familiar with mouthpieces on the football field; he wasn’t as accustomed to anyone using one on his basketball teams.  We proceeded to complete his rebounding drill and I proceeded to demonstrate “me” was a “power player persona” too.  Yes, “me” was actually “me’s”.

I bet your “you” is plural too as we live in a society today that supports our endeavors of interest even when it means we portray multiple personas – including Facebook, LinkedIn, and yes, even Farmville.

GAP

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