Hope and Expectations

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You can count sheep, but


don’t count your chickens.



“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched!” my mother always warned me. As usual, she was right. God rest her soul. Were she still here, she would have been marching around the White House with “SAVE SMALL BUSINESS” placards, and made herself a thorn in the side of the sooo-unbusinesslike Obama Administration.

Mom would have waved her finger at Mr. Obama, and lectured him on the need for the nation to rely on small businesses to reverse our ever-deepening economic quagmire. She would have looked him in the eye and might have said something like:

“Son, you need to know that hope and 

 expectations breed disappointment.

And you just better get on with it!”


Mom knew what the White House fails to know, and that professional practice and small business owners and managers –and, yes, all professional salespeople everywhere know in their heart of hearts (but often forget):

Only by taking steps to get things

done, do things actually get done!


No, she wasn’t a polisci major. Mom quit high school at age 16, when both her parents died, to become mother and father and housekeeper to her three younger sisters and two “good-for-nothin'” lazy older brothers (who grew up to be lazy “good-for-nothin'”‘ uncles). She supported her “sibling family” working at a telephone switchboard.

After marrying my mailman father, she became a full-time homemaker (in the days they were called housewives). Mom knew hard work and tough economic times, but worked through it all with smiles and prayers. Her bottom line advice would be:

“Y’know, the more we sit around and plan and analyze and hope and expect, the less that happens. Because,” she would thump on her kitchen table, mocking my father’s pretend toughness, and say things that you could interpret to mean: “Because the game delays that result from energy expended could instead have been devoted and directed toward stepping up to the plate and swinging the bat.”     

(Mom was a big baseball fan.) 


Regardless of whether you are a photographer, accountant, publisher, undertaker, precision parts manufacturer, pizza parlor franchisee, shoe salesman, crime scene cleaner, mattress retailer, or social media marketing mogul, you can be sure that absolutely nothing works for your business if you don’t make it work. 

So get off your butt, get you glove and get in the game. If you prefer to be hoping and expecting, send in an application to become a monk, or join the White House staff. If you seek results and growth, listen to my mother who would tug your sleeve and tell you “Action speaks louder than hope.”

She would have concluded by saying something like:

“If there’s anything to count after you’re done with sheep and chickens, count your blessings, count your lucky stars, and count ON yourself. You and they (your blessings and stars) are all here and now . . . real. You and they are what you have. Make the most of you and them. And visit again soon.”


Thanks, Mom.

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2 comments so far

2 Comments to “Hope and Expectations”

  1. Sue Lopezon 11 May 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I wish your mom had a blog! Thanks so much for sharing. I feel like I knew her. Gotta run now and get my bat…

  2. Hal Alpiaron 11 May 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Hey Sue – She would have loved your take on this. I do. Thanks so much for coming back, and for stepping up to the plate. Wait for your pitch. Swing level. Run hard. Have a great rest of the week! Best wishes – Hal

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