BLOGNAME: LOUDER THAN WORDSAn informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur
|A Craftsman or Craftswoman Has Many Specific Tools|
By Paul Tomori
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 at 11:48:09 (EDT)
This is not an original thought by any means, but it is topical.
For a long time, I never understood why women typically have so many pairs of shoes. I used to have perhaps 2 pairs. Running shoes, which I wore indoor and outdoor... and dress shoes... black of course and not very shiny.
I remember at one point having a pair of Doc Martens double as my dress shoes and they even had a tear in them... and they were pretty scuffed up. We had an important meeting in Toronto back when I first started in business with partners (about 14 years ago). They looked frowningly at my feet, but I had a brilliant idea. I got some black spraypaint from the basement of our office and I painted up my Doc's. Ya, I was REALLY creative back then... a truly "divergent" thinker. I will never forget the car ride as my shoes smelled up the vehicle and stuck to everything. Fortunately, they were dry enough by the time we arrived to not be smelly, though I am share they gave a nice glare.
Over the years, I have ahem, become a bit more refined.
I now have 4 pairs of black shoes and 4 pairs of brown plus indoor AND outdoor running shoes, plus a good pair of workboots... and no more Docs.
I learned that like a craftsman, who has many specific tools all for very specific tasks, as a businessperson and man about town, I needed to have the various accoutrements and dress accessories to outfit myself for different applications. The shoes help. A good collection of ties is necessary too. You need a dark-toned tie for serious matters. You need a bright red or orange "power tie" when you need to kick some gluteus max. You need sunny cheery ties when you want to project an easy-going mood. And you need some funky ties to project creativity and divergent thinking (just don't get so divergent that you reach for a can of aerosol paint!). Then, you need various colour tones to match your similarly numerous dress shirts... I could go on, but you get the drift. This was all very reveletory to me in recent years, so pardon me if you already know this stuff.
Tools of the trade. Tools of the business trade. It's not selling out. It's "buying in".
No matter what your objective, remember to identify the need for more than blunt force tools. Here's a great quote today from Defence Secretary Robert Gates:
"My view is the American toolbox should contain something other than hammers," Gates said to applause in apparent reference to the unilateral policies of the Bush administration. He later qualified his comment, saying: "I'm all for hammers. I just want something other than hammers."
What's in your toolbox?
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