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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Living my own metaphors.

Last Monday, I had a very nice date with a very nice boy. He lives near Charlotte, and as there's much more to do there, I drove down to meet him. Everything was fine until I tried to go home. That's when my personal life gave me a perfect metaphor for my business life.

As I pulled away from the movie theater, going back the way I came, I was certain that I knew how to get home. After all, I've been to that area many times, and I'm pretty good with direction. So, you can imagine my surprise when I somehow found myself going in the direction I came from. How? I have no idea. Somewhere along the way, I'd made a turn that put me back on the road to the theater. The business metaphor that this mirrors? Sometimes you think you're going in the right direction, only to end up where you started.

Luckily, I knew that the interstate was nearby. Driving on I-85 isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it was a safe bet to get back home. I spent about 10 minutes on the road before being overtaken by 10 big tractor-trailers. I probably haven't mentioned it before, but I drive a MINI. Normally the big trucks don't intimidate me too much, but when they're swarming your car, going about 80, they get scary. I thought I'd found my exit, so I got off the road quickly. Metaphor? If you feel like you're in over your head, try to find an alternate solution.

Not so luckily, I wasn't on the road I thought. Instead, I ended up driving through the business district of several small towns before finally (finally!) getting back on the road that would lead me home. There were a few moments when I thought I should turn around, and a few when I just wanted to give up (and do what? sleep in the car?), but I kept driving, and eventually found my highway. Of course, I did have the advantage of knowing where I was going, however vaguely. But the living metaphor for me was: Believe that you know where you're going. It may take longer than you think, but don't give up when you know you're right.

It was all a little hokey, and I apologize for getting all inspirational greeting card on y'all, but it was a message that rang true for me. This business is all a big adventure for me, and I'm sure if any of you are starting businesses of your own, you'll know that sometimes you just need a little reassurance.

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