Volume 8 Number 9 | September 2018
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I’m writing this from one of our very favorite places in the world, Nantucket. I often call this island “God’s Country,” because of the great natural beauty, yet access to fine stores, wonderful art, and great restaurants.
It was once the base of the New England whaling industry, and many homes still have “widow’s walks” perched high on the roofs. But today, it’s largely a playground for the wealthy. And therein is a certain hypocrisy.
The place is full of multi-million dollar homes with huge yachts clustered like bees in a hive in the marinas (those that can fit, the others, too big to be docked, sit out in the harbor, tended by launches). Yet the preferred mode of living is sort of a underplayed scruffiness. People drive SUVs or battered jeeps. The men dress in horrible pink pants and shorts, often with whales liberally displayed, and too often with a dress shirt over that. The women sport Nantucket Lighthouse bags which are truly peculiar, and would seem to continue to bump you as you tried to maneuver the things.
We rent a gorgeous house on the water and I drive my Bentley over on the ferry from Hyannis (my wife won’t allow me to take the Rolls). But I used to take my Ferraris and Aston before the Bentleys, cobblestone streets notwithstanding. It’s who I am. I don’t pretend to be more or less. I find it as ridiculous to pose as someone merely roughing it as it is to pose as someone with more means than I actually have.
Who Are We, Really?
The long and short of it is that we have to be comfortable in our own skin. We can’t use up our energy trying to please, impress, or fool others. Your best bet in establishing relationships with clients is to do just that. Never “dumb down” your language or attire. But don’t pretend to be something you’re not, either. The response, “I don’t know” has always served me well when, guess what, I really don’t know.
The guy with the jeep with no door, wearing worn-down docksiders, but with a thousand dollar pair of Prada sunglasses isn’t fooling anyone. He’s just trying to conform with some pretense. But I know who he is. And he ought to, as well.
Who are you?
© Alan Weiss 2018
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