My job is to make you stupid. Sorry about that.

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Yes, that’s what I do. I make people feel stupid. It’s amazing that I get paid to do this.

And I am really good at it. In fact, I love it.

Why do I do that? Because that is the ONLY way to get a human to learn. I didn’t make the rules on this, but it is the way we learn.

You think you’re afraid of failure? Nope. You’re just like the rest of us, you’re afraid of looking stupid. See, when you fail, you look and feel stupid.

When you slam a hammer down on your thumb rather than the nail, after you stop screaming, you feel stupid. Well, it was a dumb thing to do.

If you trip and fall and the whole world sees you, you feel that horrible redness take over your face. You want to run and hide or wish the earth would open up and swallow you. You want to go back in time – rewind and re-record it before you slipped on the sidewalk. You knew, right before you fell, that you should be paying more attention. You should not have been walking and texting at the same time.

You feel so stupid for having dated/married THAT person. Your friends told you not to do it. Your family begged you to break off the engagement but NO! You went ahead anyway and when it didn’t work out, you felt like an idiot. Well, you probably were one. And I know it took you a long time to let people know it was over.

But, think about it. You know that burner is hot and not because you read about it. There is no owner’s manual for a human. You know it’s hot because you can feel it and probably have burned yourself once or twice on it. See? You know it’s hot but you still burned your hand.

You know that pizza needed to cool off for a few minutes before you dig into it, but you don’t wait and burn the roof of your mouth. How many times have you done that? I do it every single frickin time. No lie.

You knew it was a bad idea to send that money to the poor orphan in Nigeria who was dying of cancer in a jail and who only had you out of 6.5 billion people to help him. You were the only one that could save his life.

No one likes to look or feel stupid, but that’s how we learn. That’s what I do for a living. I teach. I teach business owners how to run things better and in order to do that, they have to see what they’ve been doing wrong. That’s where I come in.

I don’t do it to be mean. I do it to help but unless you’re willing to smack your head against a wall a few times, you will never learn.

I have to get them to see why bribing employees is not such a great idea when they’ve been late, non-productive and a Queen Bitch from Hell and that maybe giving them a raise won’t improve their behavior. It actually makes it worse, just like giving a child candy every time they have a temper tantrum.

I have to go over, in great detail, why the person answering the phone needs to be friendly and not say “WHAT?” when picking up the incoming call, even if she’s his niece and is in desperate need of a job because no one else will hire her.

Then there’s the time I had to make a guy feel really moronic in getting him to stop hugging his employees and having “daily affirmations” as part of a staff meeting and to shut the hell up about his political beliefs. Yes, I had to do that and it took a long time of me pounding this into his pinhead for him to finally say “Well, OK, maybe that’s not such a good way to run a business after all.” Ya think?

Or the time I had to make a client feel bad about being online all day rather than, I don’t know, actually running his business?  Boy, did that guy feel pretty stupid by the time I was done with him. But, he never did it again.

I have my own trail of stupidity, so you aren’t alone.

I was stupid when I thought that an abusive man wouldn’t be that way to me. Wrong.

I was stupid when I thought by ignoring the IRS, they would go away. So very wrong.

I was stupid when I thought I could walk all day in 4″ heels. Wrong and I have the damage to my feet to prove it.

I was stupid when I listened to a bonehead “friend” who said I didn’t have the talent to write. I hope the bitch is reading this right now.

And I was incredibly wrong in thinking that the “check oil” light in the car would magically go away. I ended up with a cracked block on that puppy and an enormous bill from the mechanic to prove how stupid I can be.

But, all of these things, I never did again. I don’t hang out with mean people, I pay my taxes on time, I wear flats when spending the day walking around San Francisco and I run to the mechanic anytime something is wrong with my car.

I still bite into hot pizza though. I actually can’t help it.

We all have these trails and rather than be bothered by them, learn from them. You don’t learn about life from reading books.  We learn about life from falling down and getting up again. We learn when we admit we are wrong and try to find a better way the next time.  We learn from our mistakes. We are the only ones that can teach ourselves. We are the only ones that can change who and what we are.

So go out there and make a fool of yourself. Let your weirdness shine. Smack your head against the wall a few times if you need to. Fall down and scrape your knees and get up and do it again. I always tried to tackle that very long and steep street with my roller blades. I have permanent scars on my knees, but I eventually won. It took a whole summer, but I did it. How I never sustained worse injuries than my knees I will never know.

There’s nothing to be afraid of. So what if you make a fool of yourself? Why should you be different from any of us?

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