Training Wheels Not Included

5 06 2008

I’m Kristin Patterson (aka SparkyPR) – Vice President in Mullen’s PR group and cycling enthusiast. Lance Armstrong once said, “If you’re worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”
For some of us, that certainly isn’t a problem … I fell off my bike this weekend. It wasn’t just any old fall either – I landed on the left side of my face in gravel. Ouch. That left a mark.

Nursing my wounds over the past week, I started thinking about how we figuratively fall off our bikes in this business all the time. The training wheels come off quickly, if you were lucky enough to get them in the first place. Think about some of the first media calls you made in your career… did the reporter hang up on you? Were you yelled at? Probably, but that didn’t stop you from picking up the phone again and learning from the experience. Likewise, we’ve all had clients who haven’t liked our recommendations or ideas and we’ve had failed new business attempts. Each time we fall, we learn something about our clients, our organizations and ourselves. Those experiences shape who we are and make us better practitioners.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I got right back on my bike, but I won’t take a road bike on a gravel road again.




One response

6 06 2008

Kristin, I know all too well the pain of gravel entering your system through a nasty fall. I used to run in a very old section of Charlotte, which had some of the most uneven, lop-sided sidewalks in the nation!

Regarding “falling off your bike” in the business world, sometimes it can even help. If your clients don’t like/want to pursue some of your recommendations, at least they know you are thinking of a variety of ways in which to get their message to their target audiences, and that’s still important.

Plus, an idea that doesn’t go anywhere could still spark creativity in someone else, which could turn into the next big idea for your client.

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