Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/21/2022
When Fred Astaire auditioned at Metro (before it was part of MGM) the casting director was unimpressed and wrote on his audition card, “Can’t act; slightly bald; can dance a little.” This may be apocryphal, but my investigation shows it to be true.
“Can dance a little!”
As a brand new freshman at Rutgers, I tried to get into a basketball game during phys ed (that was required for three years in my liberal arts curriculum, no choice, yet today they’ve fired a professor of organic chemistry at NYU because a few students complained his course was too hard!). There were 11 of us, so one person wouldn’t be selected. I lettered in basketball and track in high school, so I was assured of a spot, I thought.
Well, I wasn’t chosen. I was (and am) 5’10” and (not so much any more) skinny, didn’t know anyone doing the selecting, and I was unceremoniously left standing there, like a hitchhiker on a closed road.
No matter what our talents and/or “credentials,” we need to practice some shameless self-promotion at times. Astaire should have abandoned the routine he was given and danced a more difficult one on that occasion. I should have said, “I played varsity basketball in Hudson County, New Jersey (which everyone knew at the time sent players to college in an HOV lane).
About once a year I run one of my most popular courses, “Shameless Self-Promotion.” I feel I owe it to prospects to apprise them that they have the opportunity to deal with the very best. How would they know that if I don’t tell them? I’m trying to enlighten them.
If you don’t blow your own horn, there is no music.
If you can do it, it ain’t braggin’. —Dizzy Dean
Luck is the residue of design. —Branch Rickey
Confidence is the honest-to-God belief you can help others. Arrogance is the honest-to-God belief you have nothing left to learn yourself. Smugness is arrogance without the talent. —Alan Weiss
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