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Tactful Truth, You Can Lead a Horse to Water, Can You Make It Drink?

l had this thought driving to a photo shoot listening to the E Myth book, "Car washes are just a surface thing. Most of us are more obsessed with the outside than the inside."

We are obsessed with the way we look, not the way we function. When in fact the function of the body ought really be your number one concern. The body starts with the mind in my opinion. Beyond the pumping heart, the brain and specifically the mind is the second most important system the body has.

Let's translate this to business.

I've been listening to The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and let me tell you, I've never been so hurt, and felt so personally attacked, while being educated at the same time.

Of all the books I've listened to on my Audible account this is one of the most powerful. I remember seeing the original on my dad's bookshelves and never looked it, in fact in the dawning of the internet I thought it was about e-Sales. But when I was younger I didn't care about being in business. I just wanted to collect a paycheck and be on my merry way.

Here's some quick takeaways from the book so far, I'm only halfway through, but already it's eye opening enough, I want to buy the physical copy and make my own notes in it.

"You don't own a company, you own a job!" - but but but...this is not how I felt when I started my journey!

"Trust comes from knowing, not blind faith." - queue the client who contacts you because you're consistent, and the blind faith they put in you once was proven to be the right choice. The proof is in your DONE list, not your DO list.

"Most people who go into business don't have a model of business that works, but of work itself." - oh my...can you relate to this? You're a worker bee who thinks you know what it takes to start a company, a hustle, a job on your own, and then you get into it not realizing just how much more there is. Everyone has been in this phase, admit it. If you can't admit it, you're still in the infancy stage of your business, even if you've been in business for years. This was another revelation, the stages of business, infancy, adolescent and mature.

My favorite so far is this one: "Any plan is better than no plan. Because in the process of defining the future, the plan begins to shape itself to reality." - BAM as Emeril Lagasse would say. You have to be PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE. Otherwise we all know what happens when reactions occur. Just go down your list of people who call themselves failures because they weren't proactive and they didn't listen to others trying to give advice. A stubborn ox will not sow the seeds the try to reap, but they will take a massive crap on the soil as they go along and wonder why there is dead patches.

For the longest time I was that horse, or stubborn ox, who was led to the water and I'd refuse to drink the water. It's not that I thought I knew better, it's that I didn't know what I didn't know. Queue last week's post.

I was given a lot of chances to drink the water until one day, I did. And you know what, I liked it. So much so, this year I decided to make it my drink of choice and now beyond occasional tea and coconut water for electrolytes it's all I drink. It's made a HUGE impact in my life.

It's given me the ability to focus more because I don't have to worry about what I'm going to drink. It frees thinking space, it frees up funds at the grocery store worrying about what juice I want, what Zevia I want, what liquid I want to spend money on.

It's made food tastier. It's made me eat less salt. It's forced me to go out of my way and be uncomfortable because while my brain says "I need sugar" I can effectively say "no you don't." It's made me aware of what my body needs and wants on a visceral level.

It's allowed me to work as hard as I can while also not forgetting to rest with the same intensity. It's an exercise in discipline, honestly and staying truthful to yourself, lest you want to pay the cost of white lies and more, and where do lies start? Usually within the self. We fall off the bandwagon, and come up with excuses why we can't do something. And when someone says something or calls us out, we probably lie and say "I plan on getting back on it next week". If it's easy to lie and give excuses to yourself, it's easy to lie and give excuses to others as if it's money in the bank. After all no person can remember the spider web of lies and excuses they create, they only remember the distrust everyone has in them.

Which leads me to my next point, tactful truth.

My father taught me lessons very early on and throughout my youth into my teens, and of course now into my adulthood.

The best lesson he ever taught me was tactful truth. Basically, how to slap someone upside the head, nicely, in a "read between the lines" kind of way. I can't say if he did this by intent or by necessity or because he was taught like that, but I learned at a young age how to read between lines, and thus how to sell between lines. At the end of the day however, I am a pretty literal person, with a dry sense of humor. When it comes to client work you get what I said/we agreed you're going to get with a small bit of garnish on top if you're deserving of it. Because going the extra mile for the right person never killed anyone.

I go back to my stoic teachings, and reference Marcus Aurelius. He was known to be an honest person, maybe too honest for some. Although what did he have to lose? He was the emperor of Rome, what he said went.

“Speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility.” - Marcus Aurelius

It's not hard to be honest and truthful. However it's quite hard to honest and truthful tactfully with kindness and humility. It's easy to find fault in others and not accept that you yourself may be the one to blame. It's easy to point fingers and forget there are four pointing back at you.

So remember my fellow chickens when you find yourself in a car wash next time, it's not just the outside that matters. It's the inside too.


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