Too old or too young?
The next day, I made a beeline to Target to pick-up another decade’s worth of bell-bottomed jeans (hey – it’s been like since 2006 since the high waited flare was on the racks!).
Like a true retro fashionista, I selected a few hippie-inspired tops – complete with feathers, peace symbols, and badass beadery – to accompany the new jeans.
Stepping out of the dressing room in my free love outfit, a quite critical preteen waiting in line for the dressing room interrupted my fashion high by stating, “You don’t look young enough to wear those clothes.”
Not old enough.
Not young enough.
What the hell?
Living Life as a Reality TV Show
As I reflected over the events of the past two days, I felt as though I was living an episode of America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Project Runway, or any of the other panel judged reality TV shows that claim space on our media channels. A trailblazing original debuts their not-so-ordinary life, only to have the (seeming) future of their career hinging on the biased opinions of three not-always-super-qualified judges. Sometimes the judging panel’s feedback is good, other times it’s just plain hateful.
I’m a huge Shark Tank fan – I love learning about new start-ups and getting to know more about the passionate entrepreneurs that run them. But one of my favorite aspects of the Tank, is the new spinoff series Beyond the Tank, where entrepreneurs that previously appeared on the Shark Tank receive a follow-up spotlight on where they are today. Some of the entrepreneurs the Sharks backed have “tanked” (no pun intended), while others the Sharks ripped to shreds and sent packing with no backing are making millions. Stories of entrepreneurs the “experts” condemned to failure succeeding make one wonder, “How much do these ‘experts’ really know about what creates success?”
What about the “experts” in your life, constantly weighing in on whether or not you’re on the right career track or going to be successful?
So they really know what they are even talking about or do they – like many of the reality TV show judges – simply run their biased mouths in a manner that does not have your best interest at heart?
Who's YOUR Judge?
I recently adopted a new policy for filtering out the feedback – both positive and negative – that I receive about myself, my career, and my business:
Only accept advice from someone that you’d want to trade places with.
Everyone weighing in on your life – be it my never-gone-to college hair stylist or the irritated preteen in the dressing room line – may not be the valued resource of criticism they believe themselves to be.
Maybe they are offering you what they believe to be honest feedback, but it’s flooded with bias.
Maybe they are simply pissed off about something and you’re the original creature standing in front of them making them feel even crappier about their own pursuits.
Maybe they are just plain mean.
The next time someone decides to weigh in on your life, ask yourself, “Are they a qualified judge?”
When going about my work, and hear things like the following:
I’m screening the source – are they a “qualified” judge – aka: Is there life and career so freakin’ awesome that I would be okay trading places with them?
Or are they riding a cultural high off America’s Got Talent, living out their fantasy of being the next Howie Mandel?
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About Hannah Becker
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