It’s April Fool’s Day. I have written a few blogs on April Fool’s Day and here is my in the context of #FocusFriday.
There are plenty of quotes about being a fool or looking foolish. Here are a few of my favorites:
- “A fool and his money are soon parted.” – Thomas Tusser an English poet and famer
- “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” – Chinese Proverb
- “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln
In a day and era when personal branding and personal marketing have become so important can we afford to look foolish? Will looking foolish hurt your brand or is being foolish sometimes worth the risk?
Nobody wants to look like a fool. If you do, people laugh, they call you out and they certainly remember it. A reputation as a fool is something that no one wants or strives for. However, to truly succeed we need to try, fail and learn. Sometimes you may look or sound foolish. Can you recover? In my view if the effort was well intended and if you had a goal in mind the answer is yes. Why can’t you recover? Trying and failing is essential; the recovery process may be long and it may come with pain and remorse. There is a road to redemption if the effort was well intended to begin with.
Here is what some great business leaders of past and present have said about looking like a fool or being foolish:
- “Too many men are afraid of being fools.” – Henry Ford
- “Who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?” – Alec Guiness (as Obi Wan Kenobi)
- “Dare to wear the foolish clown face.” – Frank Sinatra
- “I learned pretty soon that it was essential to fail and be foolish.” – Daniel Day-Lewis, only three-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor
- “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs
To achieve significant success and to stand out there is a possibility or likelihood of looking foolish. However, without risk there may be no reward. If you believe in what you are doing and are willing to take the risk of looking foolish, you may be rewarded opportunity and success. For many the experience alone is worth the journey.
Today there is a greater risk if your endeavors become a fool’s errand. Videos and all sorts of images when posted are seen by people all over the world. If you post something foolish, remember it will remain online for years, reverberating and potentially damaging your personal brand or career indefinitely.
- “A fool is the one who fails to think about the ramifications of their actions and how they will reverberate and echo throughout his or her career.” – Bill Corbett, Jr.
The intent of my #FocusFriday blogs is to have people thinking about their actions. It is important to plan and act deliberately. Focus on what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Take the time to focus on what actions you will take and how this will impact our success and your career. Consider how each deliberate act will impact our plan and how you approach goals. Will this action impact your brand or your reputation?
Certainly plans and action can go awry and be misinterpreted. This is to be expected, the likelihood of them happening will be reduced by taking a slower and thoughtful approach before the action is taken.
Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
- Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” – “I believe that those who don’t think, practice and plan run the highest risk of looking foolish in the worst way possible. Those who think, plan and execute, may fail or miss the mark, however they will not look like the fool or be the fool. They will learn, grow and advance. The fool is the one who does not learn from these lesson or mistakes. His is destiny for fail and continue to look foolish.”
For more quotes on foolishness check out this story in Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy.
Focus Friday is all about being more effective and successful in business and life activities. Focusing will allow you to save time and achieve goals in both your personal and in your professional life.
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By Bill Corbett
Corbett Public Relations Long Island and the World
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