Monday, January 5, 2015

Sometimes the obvious is obviously difficult to see.

With a first name of Houston, and thanks to NASA, I have had to endure introducing myself to people and then hearing the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem. Bet you have never heard that before have you?"

I have always tried to reply with a polite and oftentimes witty answer to make light of it, and make them feel at ease. Truth be told, it grew old early on in life. I always related to the actors who had delivered a memorable line, or found themselves trying to avoid being typecast because of a particular role. In interviews, they would often be asked about people approaching them on the street and asking them to say that line. Or, the comedians who would be at a gathering and people always expecting them to be funny. For me, it was similar -- new person, first introduction, okay, here we go again. "Houston huh, I bet you have never heard . . ."

And then, an epiphany of sorts (though after this length of time, not sure it can be called an epiphany) in that I realized that perhaps I was looking at this all wrong. After all, Prince was a great name for a musician, thought he did change his name to a symbol (maybe I should consider that). No, the real answer, the real solution here is to realize the potential of this and even send NASA a thank-you letter.

I have spent my life, in essence, solving problems. I work with companies and schools to solve their customer loyalty problems, and relationship problems. I work with individuals to solve their self-esteem, minimal vision, and internal belief problems. And, I work with organizations to solve their branding, messaging, and communication problems.

In fact, if it weren't for problems, I am not sure what I would be doing each day. It's hard to solve for success, but problems present opportunities.

As Jimmy Fallon would say, "Thank you NASA for placing your space center in Houston, and for having problems."

Let me encourage you to consider what may be right in front of you. Are you overlooking something so obvious that it is difficult to see? Are you avoiding something that when embraced might actually be an asset?

For me, it has taken over 28 years of a professional life to embrace the obvious. When people call me and say, "Houston, we have a problem" it is actually the best call I can receive.

Now, what is the phone number to the Copyright Office?

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