1/23/13

The Funeral . . .

There are certain moments in life that we get "up" for. We put in a substantially different amount of time and energy in to what is otherwise a benign activity. I'd argue getting dressed before prom, or a wedding (the picture at the right is a family (mother centered) waiting for a Greek bride to appear, for the first time, in her gown and descend the stairs). We also do it for first dates, meetings with our probation officers, important holidays (we cook for six or seven HOURS for an average eating/meal time of 35 minutes on Thanksgiving, for instance).

It is a curious human trait. We like to get dressed up. We like to present ourselves. We like to be seen and to have an audience. Depending on your profession, you may find yourself presenting on a regular (if not nearly constant) basis. Models must look "just so" at all times. Bartenders and wait staff typically have to look clean and well kempt. Then you have communicators like me - sales people, marketers, advertisers, public relations folks, etc. We are, for better or for worse, an extension of ourselves, our businesses, our clients, our brands, etc.

I would be a liar if I pretended that I preen over my hair, skin, clothing, and physical self every single day because of what I do for a living but I'd also be a liar if I didn't admit that a) I do put some time and a wee pride in to it and b) I am very, very intent and focused on my words, thoughts, actions, and general interactions be "just right" at all times. After all, NO industry was impacted more by the economic downturn and slow recovery of the last six years than mine and no other craft has a shorter lifespan for professionals that don't constantly evolve, focus, develop, and bring "it" every day. There is no malpractice insurance for us, folks.

So how do I handle this? How do I prep for my professional interactions where I'm truly selling myself and/or something bigger at every meeting and conversation? I remember (and listen to - frequently on repeat) the words and music of the great Band of Horses . . . "At every occasion, I'll be ready for the funeral."

Morbid? Yep. The rest of the lyrics in the song The Funeral (below) are even more morbid but there is a simple truth in the song that gets me fired up, focused, and ready for interviews, sales pitches, meetings with investors, etc. and I rely, heavily, on the song the way a bride does her Matron of Hour and "Bride"-on-the-ass bedazzled velour pants on her wedding day.

You see to be "ready" for the funeral implies that you have no regrets. You have no hesitations. You have nothing left to give or to have or to wish more time for. You're doing "it" to the best of your ability at all times and the only left if to realize you did NOT need to be ready for the funeral - not this time, at least.

Nope. You'll (99.999% of the time) live another day. Have another conversation. Get another chance. And be BETTER and MORE READY for the next day, the next opportunity the next . . . funeral.