Pitch Fork

by Michael Smith

When I was a teenager my cousin and I were sent to clean up the barn. It was a hot day and the work with the hay was hard. At the end of the day we were cleaning up the last of the loose hay and my cousin was using the pitch fork, then I put my foot behind some hay to hold it in place. Yep you guessed it–I quickly learned tennis shoes are not protection from pitch fork tines. Even though the stab from the pitch fork hurt, having to explain to the mothers and the men in my family how it happened was going to hurt much worse and last longer. I knew there first response would be “You put your foot WHERE?” I quickly learned I could either laugh with them about my foolishness or let it bother me. Always go with the laughter.

What does this have to do with Marketing or growing your career? Learn to have fun at what you do even when bad things happen (and they will). You are going to put out a post with grammar or spelling errors. Get a name or title wrong. Miss an event or a chance to gain a new client. I am not saying that you should not go for perfection, but when you miss don’t let that define you or put you in such a defensive posture that you stop performing or hide away. I don’t believe in making fun of others but make sure you learn to laugh at yourself.

Today with all of the social media and video coverage, it seems all of our mistakes go viral faster than anything else.  Creating content and sharing your thoughts and ideas as part of your job means you have that many more opportunities to put your foot in the path of the pitch fork. I wish I could close by saying that was the only time I put my foot where it should never have gone–but for those of you who know me–you have seen me put it in my mouth on way to many occasions for me to count.

Michael Smith – Entrepreneur, Speaker, Coach
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