Thursday, September 30, 2010

On Self-Marketing and Genius

My youngest was writing a song last night for a band with her and two friends. No such band exists yet, but she had the idea for one last night and started writing music. Right now, she's typing up a script for a play that we wants to do with her neighborhood friends. Or maybe it's a movie. Again, nobody else knows the plans she has for them yet, but she's convinced it will be a big hit.

She's a lot like me. She gets all sorts of brilliant ideas. She plans them all out, imagining in her head just how they will all go, who will be involved, etc. Then, she's disappointed -- sometimes inconsolably -- when things don't go according to her vision. Like, our family has something else scheduled for the time she wants to rehearse . . . or we don't have supplies to build the set she was envisioning . . or some friend of hers has another idea of how it should work or isn't interested in participating at all.

As I said, she's a lot like me. I get fabulous ideas for plays . . or for unit lesson plans . . or for birthday parties . . . or whatever. It's taken me many years to get used to the idea that I have to have others on board with my ideas before I begin, rather than to just assume that they'll recognize the brilliance of my plans and gladly jump on the bandwagon with me.

Looking back, I think that was some of the frustration I had with teaching early on. I had great lesson plans. As I was planning, I could just envision how thrilled the students would be, how enthralled with my exciting presentations, how enlightened by the instruction. And then it never seemed to turn out that way. Such a let-down. Makes you want to give up sometimes.

One thing I learned about myself as a Creative Memories consultant is that I hate doing sales. I hate trying to convince someone that they want what I have to offer them, whether it's a photo-safe album, a script for a Christmas program, or a new way to teach grammar. I think that's why I have gravitated to positions where I am not casting a vision myself, but providing the means for another's vision to be accomplished. I need someone to recognize what I can do for them and come to me. Unfortunately, that doesn't often happen. I probably need to get over myself and learn to market.

In the meantime, I want to figure out how to keep nurturing this imagination and enthusiasm in my youngest while helping her learn how to sell an idea and how to accept the realities of life -- that genius such as ours is often unappreciated and unrecognized. And maybe I'll throw in a few lessons in humility while I'm at it. :)

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