This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Open Mindedness

circuscircus (Photo credit: fsse8info)

           My dad was always coming up with ideas to try out for the juggling act that my family did as a sideline.  He wasn't afraid to try something different to see if it would work.  Sometimes his ideas did work and sometimes they ended up being something we could tease him about.  A lot of my dad's thinking rubbed off on me.

          When we moved to East Tennessee from the Chicago area in 1966 our show business market became rather spare.  Our Chicago agent didn't have much that we were close enough to take and the agents who booked shows around Tennessee didn't have enough to keep us working regularly.

          Not one to wait idly for something to happen, my dad gathered up some business directories and began contacting every company in a 200 or so mile radius.  He put together a promotional package with a form letter describing our show and sent out hundreds of them.

           After a while we started getting so many replies from companies that were having parties and picnics that we were working with fair regularity.  Not only was our act working, but my dad started up his own theatrical agency and started booking acts from all over the country.

             My dad opened up his mind and started thinking up ideas that seemed workable and then he tried them.  He tapped into a market that no one had previously contacted in this geographical area. He built up a clientele and he made money in his sideline show biz job.

             If nothing is happening for you in what you've been trying to do then you have to take action.  You can't just wait for someone to contact you because you have a good product that you're sure people will want.   Sometimes you just have to take the initiative and do what is necessary to tap into the existing market or create your own.

             The main thing beyond the action of getting something done is having an open mind to allow you to come up with novel approaches to do it.   Don't blow a lot of money that you don't have, but test the waters first.  Bounce your ideas off of friends or family members who have adventurous spirits.  Avoid negativity.  Allowing those with closed minds to influence you will make you afraid and doubtful and then nothing gets done.

            Successes start with dreams.  If you open up your mind to the realms of possibilities, dreams can become realities.

 And now for the letter 'O':

She's from a place exotic to many of us and shares many a dream with her readers.  Most of us know her as Oceangirl  from the blog Live High.    

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  1. Great reading Lee, you make everything seem so interesting.

  2. I'm really liking these posts.

  3. Your family were jugglers? How awesome. In East TN? That part cracks me up - whoohee wonder what the locals thought of you circus folk? LOL.

  4. All things created started with a dream. Great post. And what an inspiring dad.

  5. Exam Cram
    It really nice to be read the story.
    Great written.
    Exam Cram

  6. Your Dad had the right approach - start with what you have and build from there! Sometimes you need to stand back and look at things from a different angle.

    I like the point about avoiding negativity - if you look at all the problems you'll give up before you've even started!

    A very insightful post, as always. Lee!

  7. So that's where you getting your marketing oomph from! I suppose when you're passionate about something you'll try anything to make it work.

  8. I like to think that I have an open mind and that I'll try most things out and either scrap them or tweak them to fit. Especially with blogging - give it a go and see what works :)

    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Doing a monumental blog catch-up
    Mithril Wisdom

  9. Great post (not a surprise coming from you), thanks for sharing!

  10. Our willingness to be open to something beyond the ordinary leads to open doors.

  11. This brought uncontrollable tears Arlee. Thank you.

  12. An open mind belongs to a person willing to grow and succeed in life love this!

  13. that is so wonderful, how your dad started a theatrical company--one of my dreams--i guess i sorta gave up on, was to have my own playhouse theatre--you are always encouraging

  14. This is a great story and great advice!

    Kathy M.

  15. Sound advice! If it's not working, try something new.

  16. Yvonne -- My hope is to make my writing interesting.

    Shelly-- Thanks for reading.

    Jaye -- We managed to fit into the Tennessee scene, but sometimes felt like an anomaly.

    Charmaine -- I've got a few stories in the old memory banks.

    Em -- If we don't dream our imaginations go fallow.

    World Famous-- Is this "Exam Cram" spam?

    Sue H -- Dreams need to be based on reality with the willingness to accept change to make new things happen. Negativity holds us back and stifles our dreams.

    Annalisa -- Being around show people all my life, the spirit of promotion is always on my mind.

    Jamie -- A blog is a great place to test ideas.

    Sheila -- Thanks for stopping by today.

    Wanda-- We can sometimes become prisoners of our own fear.

    Oceangirl -- I hope they were happy tears. You are a constant blog friend.

    Jen -- And even when you don't succeed in achieving your intended goads, you've at least succeeded in trying something.

    Lynn -- It's never too late to keep striving toward some part of your dream, even if it's not quite the same dream you started with.

    Kathy M -- Thanks for leaving the comment.


  17. What an interesting life you had with your father!

  18. How did you know exactly what I needed to read today? I am serious - it is like you knew where my mind was going and huddled with me before you started to write.

    I am completely loving this challenge this year... thank you SO MUCH for all you do!!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    Fellow A to Z Challenge Writer
    twitter: @juliejordanscot
    O is for Octavia
    On a Mission to Spread Word-Love Throughout the World

  19. I think that if you're going to be successful in life in today's modern society open mindedness really is the only way to go, great post Lee and so true as well.

  20. Love the way you just keep tossing it out there, Arlee Bird!

    Cheers to your dad! and you!!

    It really pays off to have an open mind!

  21. Great post! A fun story I enjoyed reading with a sprinkle of inspiration. My wheels are turning now with open-minded possiblilities. Thanks for the post!

  22. Great post.

    I agree about the importance of being open minded and considering many possiblities in the pursuit of our dreams.

    I'm pursuing a writing dream at the moment and this has reminded me to keep my mind more open in future :)

  23. C.Lee -- My parents gave me a lot of fun opportunities in my life.

    Julie -- That's encouraging to hear. Keep that energy going.

    Yeamie -- So true. Change keeps happening so quickly that anyone who doesn't keep up will start getting left behind.

    Betty -- "Tossing It Out" is what I do. Just so someone is there to catch it and toss it back.

    Trisha -- I intended some fun in this and I glad you caught it.

    becca -- I have the best readers!

    David -- A closed mind becomes eventually obsolete.


  24. Nice story, nice reminder, nice kick in the behind for those of us "waiting" to just do it. Great point on staying away those with closed minds too. You're totally right about them making you afraid and doubtful, making progress come to a halt. Thanks for the story.

  25. This was truly inspiring. Sometimes I think we've lost the ability to dream and think big.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration you've given me today!


  26. I am so glad I stopped by...I needed to read this today. So inspiring. I feel like this with my business, that I am on the edge of something but need to push through. Need to think like your Dad. :-) Thanks, Lee!

  27. I try to be open-minded about everything. I do pretty good except when it comes to politics.

  28. Your father is a good example and your message an important one. With so many of us writing, for example, it would be easy to say we can't get anywhere. It's that open-mindedness that keep us looking for opportunities to market our writing. Gonna check out your featured blogger.

  29. Smart man, your dad!

    One of the posters in my class says, "Your mind is like a parachute - it works best when it's open." Your dad's mind was open!

  30. Good inspirational post, Lee! Being open-minded and a bit flexible helps you navigate through adversity.


  31. A new an vey interesting blogger ivecfound just at random.clikecyourcO and my J was for juggling.

  32. I love what your dad did. He made things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Lots of people are waiting for their ship to come in, me, I'm swimming out to mine.

  33. Great advice. I can't whine about my writing if haven't worked extra hard on it (well I shouldn't whine anyway). Thanks for the reminder to go out and reach for my goals.

  34. Thanks Lee, that has provided a much needed spur for me today!

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  35. Walnuts -- Negativity weighs you down so you can't fly.

    Kathy -- It especially can get discouraging when you have a few setbacks. Keep a positive mindset.

    Tracy Jo -- doing something different can break the monotony if nothing else.

    Susan -- There are certain things I'm pretty set on, but I'm usually able to listen.

    JL -- We can do as much as our minds will allow.

    Jemi -- His mind wasn't open about a lot of things. He and I used to disagree big time although we got closer to the same wavelength as we both got older.

    Ana -- When things are tough sometimes is best to consider all options.

    Sandra -- Glad you found me.

    Debra -- Things didn't always happen like he hoped they would, but at least he tried no matter how much the rest of the family poked fun or stomped our feet.

    Jessica -- You can drink wine, but don't whine.

    Duncan -- Glad I could spur you forward.


  36. I really enjoy reading stories about your childhood! Watching your dad follow his dreams helped you become the successful man you are today. The best part is that you're encouraging us to take chances at any stage in our lives. I'm off to Live High! Julie

  37. Hi Arlee. What a great story about your dad. I think that is so cool that he started his own theatrical agency.

    I really like this: "Successes start with dreams. If you open up your mind to the realms of possibilities, dreams can become realities."


  38. Excellent advice again Lee - right on the money! Sounds like the entrepreneurial spirit runs in your family - nice story about your father.

  39. I think it's best to get input from people you may not know very well. friends and family often lie. They mean well, but they lie.


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