The Question Matters

Between Dreams and Delusions

Posted in Change,Entrepreneurs,People Watching by treyfinley1008 on January 28, 2010

My wife Marla and I are addicts to American Idol.  It’s our guilty pleasure.  (I know, I know.  We don’t get out much.)  There are lots of things we like about the show.  For example, last night we watched as a 28-year-old dock worker at D/FW airport came in and sang his heart out in front of the judges.  They rewarded him with one of their golden tickets to Hollywood.  There was a 20-something with Tourette’s Syndrome.  How does he sing, you ask?  Singing is the one thing in life that keeps his tics away, if only for a few moments.  He wasn’t bad, and he’s going to Hollywood.  He was one of 31 people who got a ticket in Dallas; 22,000 tried out.

We also get a kick out of the train wreck auditions.  It’s our morbid curiosity.  There are many auditions that are truly awful.  Some of these “singers” know it.  They’re just hoping to be wild enough to get their 15 seconds of notoriety.  Sadly, there are many who just don’t realize how untalented they are.  Marla and I found ourselves wondering last night, “How do these people come to the conclusion that they are talented singers?  They have truly deluded themselves.”

Most everyone who walks into the room with the four judges has some level of bravery.  They are willing to put their “talent” on the line and let it be judged.  That’s not to be overlooked.  The tears (or obscene hand gestures) of the rejected make it clear that they believe their courage was unjustly devalued.  There are others, though, who walk away genuinely believing that these four people sitting behind a table do not know talent when they see it.  They have become so convinced of their own talent that they are unable to hear the critiques offered them.

Make no mistake about it: entrepreneurship is a talent audition.  I have walked on to a stage of potential clients, hoping to receive a “yes.”  Just how competent am I?  Maybe I’m good enough, but how good am I really?  Have I practiced my craft enough?  Can I convince others that I’m valuable to them?  This has been unnerving to me.  Growing up, I was never a big fan of tryouts for soccer teams or musicals or theater plays.  I have taken one thing to heart, though, during this season of learning how to build my business:  I must be able to look my “judges” in the eye and convince them with my presence, my posture, and my product that they would be passing up something good if they passed me up. As much as I’m selling my services as a business coach, I’m selling me.

Last night, a 16-year-old girl who had survived leukemia as a preschooler walked into the audition room.  She stood in front of people 30 and 40 years her senior.  These judges know talent, but they also know people.  The 16-year-old wasn’t amazing.  Good, but not amazing.  Yet as she stood there singing, the four judges could not take their eyes off her.  When she concluded her audition, not a one of them mentioned great technique or unforgettable vocals.  Instead, they praised her bravery and her composure for someone so young and relatively inexperienced.  Then they sent her to Hollywood.


3 Responses to 'Between Dreams and Delusions'

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  1. I truly like following your blog as the postings are so easy to interpret and follow. Brilliant. Please keep up the good work. Ciao.

  2. […] PDRTJS_settings_564577_post_391 = { "id" : "564577", "unique_id" : "wp-post-391", "title" : "It%27s+Not+All+Glamour+and+Gold", "item_id" : "_post_391", "permalink" : "" } I’ve written off and on over the last month about my journey into entrepreneurship.  I’ve written about my self-inflicted pressure to “sell.” I’ve written about the security blanket a paycheck provided.  I’ve written about the pressure to perform. […]

  3. Marla Finley said,

    Well said. Off you go to “Hollywood,” Trey!

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