March 19, 2011

Upping the Ante

As I reflect upon my new career, and back upon the years that have passed, I let out one resounding sigh of relief:

Thank God I am not the smartest person in the room.

In fact, in my new job, I am far from the smartest person in the room, pretty much all of the time.

And that's how I like it.

I recall adjusting to that at Colgate University, where I met and befriended some of the most brilliant geniuses I have ever met - even to this day. I had to get used to making B's and C's in classes rather than the A's and A+'s to which I'd grown accustomed. I had to work. I had to learn.

That didn't make me any less smart. It just upped the ante.

Working at Media Play - still my favorite job I ever had - I would often volunteer to leave the music department and cover someone's lunch shift in the "Hardlines" department, which sold video games and computer software. One day, our manager Mike said, "You like it don't you? You like it because it's hard."

I said, "Yes, yes I do." I could flip through those music racks in a coma, but I had to concentrate very hard on selling software for devices I didn't even own.

Now, 14 years into my career, I am learning something new every day. I am asking questions. I am inquisitive and inspired.

I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there. I try not to fall into spells of panic, self-doubt, insecurity. I try not to feel stupid when I don't know something, which is all of the time.

Thank God I am surrounded by those with the patience to teach me, to encourage me, to put their faith in me.

I hope I'm able to live up to expectations - not only theirs, but those of myself. Which are the greatest of them all.

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