Dandruff and Decisions (and how they relate)

I remember one summer morning as a tween…I went to the restroom and took a look at my bed headed self.  I was getting ready to go to a movie with some friends – a healthy mix of girls and boys, one of which I fancied and wanted to impress.

Imagine my horror as I brushed my hair and saw it: big white flakes of dandruff.

I was mortified.  “Not today!” I said to myself.  I needed to impress “him” and those white flakes would not help my cause.

So I did what any smart tween would do.  I grabbed my babysitting money, hopped on my ten-speed bike and headed for the nearest grocery store where I poured over dandruff shampoo bottles and read every word, every guarantee.  I was embarrassed, nervous and under the clock so I didn’t have time for questions.  Still I read, compared ounce to cost ratio and tried to decide which bottles looked legit.  I knew this was bigger than Head n Shoulders but I didn’t know how to tell what I was going to get for my hard earned cash.  I think I paid $7.49 + tax (all I remember is that equaled about five or six babysitting hours at about $1.50 an hour – OUCH!).

I peddled home as fast as I could.  Lather, rinse and repeat.  Despite the guarantee on the bottle, it was no match for my flakes.  I tried to pick out as much as I could.  Then I tried to do my hair in a way that would conceal it the most and headed (no pun intended) out for my movie.  Where “confidence and flirtation” might have been my in initial MO for the day, I aborted that mission and went for “blend in and don’t draw attention”.  Winning that boy over would have to wait another day.  Sigh.

That night when my mom returned home from work, I showed her my scalp and told her that dandruff shampoo didn’t work.

She hid a smirk in a way I didn’t understand until I was a mother myself.  Then she calmly said, “Honey, that’s not dandruff, it’s your scalp sunburn peeling.”

A day wasted.  Hard earned money wasted.  Missed opportunity.  Over a misunderstanding and bad data.

I wish I could say I’ve been smarter in my twenty years since.

If I’m being honest, I treat life’s problems with the wrong “solution” on an all too frequent basis.  Sometimes it’s because I have a lack of information and sometimes it’s because I’m not willing to take the time to get the right information.  Most times, I spend way too long “staring at dandruff shampoos” not ever able to pull the trigger.  Which sadly, costs me SO MUCH MORE than $7.49 + tax.

My adult missed opportunities aren’t just losing the chance to flirt with a cute boy.  I’m missing clients, partnerships and so much more.

Can you relate? Have you ever missed an opportunity because you waited too long to make a choice?

Indecision is paralyzing.  The choice between good and bad is easy.  The choice between good and good is what’s hard.

Though I’m still trying to master finding quick and powerful solutions faster there are a few things that help me that I hope help you in some way.

The Classic Pro & Con List – Write down the pros and cons for your decisions.  A new job, a new relationship (or ending a relationship), making a big purchase. etc.  Weigh the goods and bads.  Information is powerful.  Even if you make the choice opposite of that list, at least you will have thought through both sides.

Spend the day as if you had already decided – Stay with me.  When trying to decide on a name for our daughter, we spent one day calling her one name, all day long.  The next day we called her our other choice.  We got to feel both names and how they fit with her.  Try it with your decision.  How does your life change?  Act like it and see if it feels right.

If that doesn’t work, enlist help.  Talk through your decisions with friends and (where appropriate) professionals.  That doesn’t mean that you do what they say, but you take into consideration thoughts and ideas that you may not have thought of.

Just decide already.  Get info.  Ask for advice, but just decide.  Trust yourself.  Your ability to make powerful choices cannot be dependent on what others think of you.

I remember sitting in a conference a few years back when a panelist said, “If every one else supported you, what would YOU choose.” I try to remember those powerful words every time I make a decision.

For some of us, we’ve been making decisions that OTHERS want for us instead of what WE want for us.  It might take some time to trust your intuition and decision making skills for a while.  Take heart and be patient.  But decide.  Do.

Every good dream, every good future, every good life begins with a choice.  Decide, then make it happen.

MARKETING MOMENT
Take a minute and refresh your marketing messages.  Are your headlines stale?  Do you need a refresh? Schedule one hour with yourself (and appropriate team members) to brainstorm new text that can be used in advertising copy, blog posts, social media status updates and more.  Take some time to try out different messages in social media to see what gets the best traction.  The life of social media copy is short so even if you don’t stick with it long-term, you’ll have feedback to tweak the copy for greatest results.  If you could use a tool that would help with this, check out the Marketing Playbook.  It takes you through not just the messages but helps you strategize the right mediums, how to play in social media and more!  This tool offers 10 tabs to walk you through a complete marketing strategy.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll check out my upcoming speaking engagements here.  If you’re close, I’d love to see you in person. I’ll be in Los Angeles this week and Portland next week speaking on the Social Media Blueprint for Small Businesses, and I’ll be speaking on Motherhood in Salt Lake City on April 29th.  If you know of other groups and events that would benefit from one of my keynotes, email me. I still have some openings in my summer and fall calendar.

If your still reading, I have my nose in some books that you might like.  Have you read “How Will You Measure Your Life” by Clayton Christensen?  I’m a personal development junkie, so you know I’m loving this book about priorities and getting back to what matters.  But I do read other books.  I just finished the fiction “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”.  It’s a little weird and off my usual Harlen Coben mystery or Nicholas Sparks brain candy, but sometimes it’s good to break out of our routines.

If you’re still around, I just wanted to say thank you for being loyal listeners of Make It Happen Radio.  Whether you’ve listened to one show or all fifty-two, I honor you for giving me time in your day.  I would love your feedback.  Feel free to reply to this message with specific information, and if you’re willing, I would squeal with joy to get your honest review on iTunes here.  iTunes is driven by activity and reviews and it would help spread the word, if you’d be willing to take 30 seconds and share a couple of thoughts.  I’d be MOST grateful!

Also, if you’ve missed some of our recent shows I want to shout out two of them.  “Lights, Camera, Passion” with Darin Adams was one of my favorites to date.  His passion and energy are contagious, and he also shared a story that made me cry (in a good way).  For you marketing lovers, “Creating Monster Loyalty” with Jackie Huba can’t be missed.  My marketing geek-o-meeter was beeping pretty loud during that show.  She shared insights about customer loyalty and retention that blew me away.  If you want to see the list of all of our shows, go here.

Stay tuned.  More great shows are in store, and we’re adding video in the the coming weeks.  Follow me on Google+ to be up to date on our shooting schedule!

Until next time, wishing you the best as you make decisions, and make it happen!

Michelle

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