Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Minding the Business: Follow your own way even if you're a thread killer

Usually, I don't participate in discussion boards.

Why not? you ask.

I'll spend quite a long time crafting a response or starting a thread and post it thinking I was particularly pithy. I've got something to say that resonates with others! I anxiously check back on the thread expecting to see a long list of responses. What do I see?


Or, my pithy, well thought out comment has been completely ignored by the other participants.

That's right, I'm a thread killer.

After a long stint of not posting in any discussion board, I spent some time yesterday morning writing a response that got the typical response of nothing. So, I've decided to revise it a bit and post it here. I think it's good advice and maybe a few of you will too. 

Conventional business advice has never applied to me. I've tried to follow it and do what it suggests but my gut never likes it and I haven't been successful using it. 

Am I a flake? 

Am I a failure?


The business/life advice I follow now is: Be quiet and listen. Listen to myself. Listen to my gut. 

Way back in high school,  I chose a poem to read to my English class for a public speaking unit. I chose it because I thought it described me. Looking back now, I'm surprised at how much I intuitively understood about myself. How did I lose that? What happened? 

I stopped listening to myself. Maybe you've stopped listening to yourself. This poem applies to those of us who aren't cut from the conventional business cloth. Our life paths are wound around others, family and friends. Our work is woven in with others. 

My adult self shares what that high school girl knew in her heart. What you know in your heart. The poem is Scrub Pines by Rod McKuen (excerpted from his book, Celebrations of the Heart and gratefully borrowed with credit from his website):

Scrub Pines

Scrub pines struggle
through the underbrush,
sideways, d
then again.
Never really heading skyward
they seem happy to survive
if not really thrive.

Nature ignores the scrub,
it seems to caution
get there on your own,
wherever there is.
I am not sure
that even that slow growing
stunted, wanna be tree
could tell you
where it is heading
and which branch
leads the way.

Scrub pines finally
find their way.
Proud, predictably
they shoot up through
the under brush and belly
of long grass
in their own good time.

Their lack of beauty is their beauty. - Rod McKuen

Remember this my fellow Scrub Pines - you may be a thread killer but you'll get there in your own good time. Our paths are our own and that, my friends, is success.


allykat said...

Thank you for the poem. It's completely new to me, but makes so much sense. If only I'd known from the start that I was a scrub pine :-). It would have saved me a lot of worrying and wondering what was wrong with me.

allykat said...

Thank you for the poem. It's completely new to me, but makes so much sense. If only I'd known from the start that I was a scrub pine :-). It would have saved me a lot of worrying and wondering what was wrong with me.

hello gorgeous said...

ha! I'm a thread killer too...that makes two of us in this world!

I'm waiting to travel that road...but first I have to deal with life's issues....I do panic sometimes tho' that I may never travel THAT road I crave to go down..that's a bit scary, maybe even scarier than having to deal with life's issues!?! But then i am inspired by people who, later in life, have changed direction and doing just fine....i suppose there is always hope!


hello gorgeous xxx

hello gorgeous said...

...I am sure you MUST be thinking "what the wonder she's a thread killer!" ;o)

hugs {again}

hello gorgeous xxx

Therese's Treasures said...

Cindy, to one scrub pine to another, I too follow the beat of my own drum. I enjoy the rebel in me!

Spirited Earth said...

great poem..
i know the feeling about being thread of the reasons i am a blog lurker..ohoh..did i just admit that

Kim said...

I don't have my own business, but I still think this is an awesome post and what a wonderful poem- for all crafters and artist's alike. How often do all of us feel like we have to jump on the wagon with everyone else and forget our own true path. Maybe you are a thread killer because no one wants to admit to forgetting to listen to their own gut ♥

Trish said...

Wow - your post connected with me instantly!
I have read all the advice - followed some or most at one time or another - but never did it make a difference - and so I rebelled. I deleted all those 'advice' articles etc....and decided to do what you've put into words...listened to myself.

I felt SO good to find that I am not alone in this odd opinion....thanks so much for posting this!

Marianna said...

*raises hand* I'm a thread killer too :( oh well, such is the life hehe but I'm glad I'm not the only one. And as for the rest of your lovely post, you couldn't have been more spot on. I know I definitely do NOT listen to myself. Not nearly half or a quarter as much as I need to and yearn to. I don't like that disconnected, out of sorts feeling I'm left with :( I'm babbling and probably didn't make any sense huh? I think that just might be a big part of my thread killing abilities :D

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hello fellow scrub pines!

Allykat - as the poem says, we have to get there on our own so despite your worrying and wondering, you now know you're a scrub pine! Welcome to the forest!

Gorgeous - Love your musings and I never thought for a moment that you're a thread killer!

Therese - yay for the scrub pines in all of us! :-)

Nan - you needn't lurk - all scrub pines are welcome here! :-)

Kim - thanks for commenting - maybe you're right no one wants to admit they don't listen to themselves. We often do that when our lives are so intertwined with others.

Trish - glad you connected with the post! We're a band of scrub pines making our way so you're not alone - you've found your forest!

Hi Marianna - nope you're not babbling and you've definitely not put a "kill" on this thread of comments! You're a scrub pine - welcome to our forest!

maneki said...

You know, when I first became active on forums, it was on mostly american forums. Due to the time difference, I often felt I was too late to the party as the forum was the most active when I was asleep. It's not the same thing as being a "thread killer", but it can feel the same. Like not being excluded from the "in" crowd in school.

I've been a thread killer too. Lots of people probably have felt that too. But from my experience with forums there are usually one of three reasons why it happens. 1) If a forum isn't very active, it's hard to keep discussions going and get people to check back 2) On some forums things move fast, meaning that commenting on a thread that's a few days old can be like talking to yourself about yesterdays news, peple feel it's already been wrapped up 3) the forum doesn't have that community feeling yet and those who are active either just log on to say what they want with no interest to read what others say after them or they just pop in to ask something (sometimes not even saying thanks when people answer them).

What am I trying to say? Well, probably that no one should feel that it's something about them that kills the thread -- which is easy to believe when in a bad or vulnerable mood -- but rather something that's inert in the structure of the forum. People don't kill threads, forums do. Or something... :p

Michelle Mach said...

I think this post is the opposite of a thread killer!

Different things work for different people, as you certainly know! Thanks for a thoughtful post.

Andrea said...

Cindy, I think many of us who follow our heart are often lonely. Most people find me too blunt and open. But having spent a great deal of my life so far trying to be please others and failing, I am much more comfortable following my own "gut". As long as our instincts don't lead to hurting others, I say "why not?" I am not sure I am a scrub pine, more like an invasive vine. I send out shoots everywhere and attach on to those that seem to improve my own fertility. How do you like that analogy? Best, Andrea

Eileen Bergen said...

Cindy, do you realize you started a thread here? The curse is lifted because your'e talking to people after your own heart.

I craft for profit and am signed up for a gazillion newsletters that are supposed to help me with the business.

Most of what they say doesn't resonate with me and is quickly deleted. I've started unsubscribing.

There's a lot to be said for listening to your gut, especially if you are in a creative business.

substitutionqueen said...

Excellent choice! I have been a Rod McKuen fan for many, many years. He said it just right and you posted it perfectly framed.

Melida said...

I haven't read Rod McKuen since high school....brings back memories. Thanks!

Cathie Carroll said...

At six I understood everything. It's been a process of remembering ever since.

I'm really happy to have found your blog.

Wram regards,

Cathie (another scrub pine) Carroll