Happy Friday 13th!

Are you the superstitious type? Are you already thinking you should have stayed home in bed rather than go to work this Friday? 

Many people will purposely avoid doing anything significant today (i.e. important meetings, major social events, etc.) due to the belief that the day is cursed and a source of bad luck. Some may not be completely scared of this day, but will just as easily think why don’t we have our event another day?  Better safe than sorry! 

Baseball players are generally known to be amongst the most superstitious types of people.  Prior to last night’s Washington Nationals baseball game, the Nationals center fielder received a new pair of cleats.  Denard Span was enjoying a 22 game hitting streak before the new cleats arrived.  When a fellow player (Stephen Strasburg) noticed the new cleats, he asked Denard  if he really wanted to wear them.  Denard thought better of it, and changed back into his old cleats.  During the game, he got another hit, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. As a Nationals fan, I’m hoping he gets another hit tonight to extend his streak.  You know…on Friday the 13th. 

So what superstitions do you have?  Are you afraid of:

Black cats

Having the # 666 pop up

Opening an umbrella indoors

Walking under a ladder

Broken mirrors

Whatever your superstitions  may be, Happy Friday the 13th!  I hope that you find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

My First Blog – “Outside the Circle”

One of the most often used catch-phrases of the last decade is to think “outside the box”.  I was watching a television show the other night where the lead character exclaimed that thinking outside the box is used so often that it is really should be referred to as thinking inside the box.  I thought that was funny.  I’ve previously joked that I want to think outside the circle, because it seems that almost everybody else wants to think outside the box.

That show got me thinking, what other clichés are past their prime and need to be put to rest?  Being in sales, I am very familiar with a “win-win” situation.  However that phrase has been so overused, that if you mention it now, you will just sound like a loser.   Is your company really “cutting-edge”?  Unless you invented something that never existed before, it’s probably not.  Besides, “cutting-edge” sounds painful. 

Does “value-added” really add value any longer?  It’s time to retire that one too.  Perhaps your firm endorses “best practices”.  Even if it is the best practice ever, it’s still practice, right?  Most athletes would agree that while practice is important, it’s how you play in the game that counts.  After all, you can look great in practice and still lose the game.   “Best performance” must surely be better than best practice, but I’m certainly not advocating for that to become the new catchy catch phrase.

Maybe you feel that you should “close early and often”, or perhaps you know people who are notorious for “picking low-hanging fruit”.  Whether you are working “out-of-pocket” or “up to your eyeballs in alligators”, please remember not to overuse clichés.  In fact, I suggest that you don’t use them at all. 

Please don’t call yourself a “thought-leader” or let people know that you are available 24/7.  Be creative, be original, and don’t be afraid to think outside the circle.