One of my favorite books when I was growing up was Alice in Wonderland. Incredibly rich in imagery and comfortingly thick, it was a book I read over and over again. Alice, The Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Queen of Hearts, were all treasured friends who welcomed me into Wonderland.
I recently came across my very, very worn and dog eared copy of Alice and of course had to stop and look at some of the pages, that for whatever adolescent reasons I had, turned the corner of the page over or marked in some way.
In rereading some of the passages, I was struck by how many life and business lessons were woven so skillfully throughout the book. I could write several posts based on a turn of phrase or quote, but here is one that was particularly powerful to me.
`I quite agree with you,’ said the Duchess; `and the moral of that is–Be what you would seem to be–or if you’d like it put more simply–Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’
`I think I should understand that better,’ Alice said very politely, `if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.’
Right…I’m with you Alice.
But here is my interpretation of what Duchy means by that quote (after I read it about 25 times!)
Be who you are and don’t be something that you’re not.
Don’t think that your business can follow a cookie cutter mold and be successful
Don’t use ‘we’ when you’re a one woman show
Check in with your intuition frequently…and listen to it
Don’t water yourself down to fit someone else expectations
You are the voice behind your business, let it be heard
Question the stories you (or someone else) may be telling yourself about how or what you and your business should be
Become an expert on YOU
What’s your interpretation of the Duchess’ quote?