Keeping Up Appearances

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 A marriage,


  a partnership  


…your business


on the rocks?



No need to contend for an Academy Award. Don’t get me wrong. acting isn’t always a bad thing if it serves to entertain or educate. Besides, theatre is in my family’s blood going all the way back to early Armenian and early Irish performers. (More on this some other time :<.)

The point is that acting to maintain or

enhance an image rarely serves the purpose.


Keeping up appearances only works for limited periods of time with limited audiences. With crumbling marriages, acting may not be a bad thing with young sensitive children who need to know –no matter the cause– that it’s not their fault. The same can be said for employees and customers when a business partnership goes south.

When a business stands firm in the face of a tsunami, the tsunami will prevail. It’s best to not pretend all’s well to those you do business with when it’s not . . . unless you’re certain a short-term BandAid will not prevent forward motion once the air clears, and you’re mentally prepared for any worst case scenario.

If you’ve been pretending things that are terrible are really great, be alert for reality to take its toll. A little snack for thought: Consider taking periodic mental inventory of where things are and where they’re headed. Step back. Take a break. Go for a walk, a drive, a ride, a swim, a vacation. Breathe. Get your brain unwound.

Accept that the stress these acting roles

produce is simply not worth all the pretenses.


Failing to own up to perceived threats of reality often puts businesses and their owners under. You are, you know, after all is said and done, a human being. And your body may, as some say, be a temple, but it is also (regardless of fitness level) a fragile temple. 

In a business tsunami, you are as susceptible to psychological trauma as you are to physical and emotional assault.

You may not be able to prevent accidents simply by staying out of harms way, anymore than you can avoid business upsets by just dressing things up and acting the part of conquering hero.

Even when you might think you are on track to a best actor or best supporting actress Oscar, when you begin to see that all the affectations, costumes, makeup, props, and mastering of character study you can muster are just not going to bail you out, face the reality head on. Be honest and direct.

Remember that –while you might think the situation at hand is the most humiliating and crushing life experience possible– others who are not as good as you have survived it, and most have become stronger for it. So, don’t shut it down. Put it out on the table.


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