There are a lot of “P’s” that help in life, but Pride is NOT one of them. I often extol the virtues of passion, persistence, and pharmaceuticals (just kidding), but pride is one of those things than usually gets in the way of our success.
We went on a family skiing trip recently and on my son’s first run of the season, he fell and broke his arm. Thankfully, it was a clean hairline fracture and he should heal just fine. It may take his ego a bit longer to recover, as he was trying to follow his girlfriend when he fell. He recuperated and relaxed at the condo while the rest of our group continued to ski and enjoy the trip. I resumed my regular skiing antics which include doing tricks that are mostly done by kids half my age or younger but I decided I still like to take risks.
How often have you made a choice, in which you knew that you were right, yet it turned out wrong? If we, as adults and parents, can do this, what can we expect from our children, especially our teens? And therefore we can ask the question: is being right enough?
I still can’t get over the fact that human brains don’t fully develop until their early twenties. I learned this from a lecture by Dr. Bruce Powell, dean of a local private school, and expert on raising teenagers. So, for teens, their judgments, empathy, and other functions, like knowing when to keep their mouths shut, just aren’t present. Yet, we expect them to often behave as if they were fully adult.
A recent e-mail from my oldest friend, a college professor, stimulated me to reflect on how we search and find work, as well as in small business how we promote and sell ourselves. On this subject, I’ve observed my teen son’s failed efforts to find a summer job. And, finally, I’ve thought about my own recent efforts in designing and launching my own website (www.brucesallan.com). For me, throughout my life, there was only one thing that worked and it was persistence. I believe, especially in our present economic times, persistence is the primary thing that works.
My old friend the professor had a whole list of very sharp suggestions on how I could better brand (contemporary slang for identifying yourself or your company, as with Nike’s swoosh) my site, my work, and myself. They ranged from hiring a consultant to doing informational interviewing, as well as developing an “elevator speech” (means exactly what you’d expect—a short enough description of your work that could be told in an elevator ride), and much more. As I read and digested his suggestions, I was struck by the fact that my initial reaction was “this is just too much work” and “I like my style better.”