I had a dream recently where I was approached by a client of mine who was wearing two different shoes. He explained to me that he had recently purchased a new pair of form fitting, high-end shoes but he was just having a hard time getting used to them. They were tight and restrictive so he went back to his old shoes which were loose, worn, and comfortable. My client decided that he would wear one of each until he figured out which one he really wanted to commit to. As my client is explaining his mis-matched shoes to me, he hands them to me and says, “here, you wear them”, at which point, I said okay and put the mis-matched shoes on my feet.
My client disappears and now it’s time to get my seven-year-old off and out the door. I finally get him ready to go and I look down and realize I don’t have ANY shoes on my feet. Ugh. I go and find the mis-matched shoes, put them on, lace them up, and start the process all over again to get my seven-year-old out the door only to realize that I don’t have any shoes on my feet again. This goes on several times and I start to get frustrated.
Eventually we leave. We have to take a small fishing boat across this big lake to get to where we are going. Now, consider that lakes, oceans, rivers… any large bodies of water are always a big deal in my dreams because I am not comfortable around water. I don’t feel that I am a strong swimmer and deep water always ilicits a degree of fear in me. So as we are walking to the jon-boat, I am grabbing trashcan lids or anything that will float because I don’t want to end up in the water. In fact, I started thinking about it and realized that neither my son nor I had a change of clothes, so if we did end up in the water, we would be cold and wet the entire day. I was having a little bit of an anxiety attack.
As I’m standing there with trashcan lids in hand, I see my husband swimming across the water. He sees me and comes over. When he gets out of the water, I showed him my mis-matched shoes. He asks, “why aren’t you just wearing your own shoes?” to which I could only respond, “huh. I don’t know” and began looking for my own shoes, a pair of vivid, bright blue tennis shoes.
As I woke up to this dream with a vision of bright blue tennis shoes in my head. I couldn’t shake it.
I started thinking, what if the mis-matched shoes were an example of how I am always trying on new business ideas and marketing strategies. I’m trying well worn and tested ideas that may or may not be relevant to todays market… I’m trying brand new inventive ideas that may or may not be a bit too progressive for my target market… I’m trying ideas of what to do/ what not to do based on what has worked for others… What if those mis-matched shoes are a reflection of that.
Then my husband, in his infinite wisdom presents the simple question, “Why aren’t you just wearing your own shoes?” Why aren’t I using my own personality in my business ideas and marketing strategies? To which I wake up thinking, “where are my blue shoes?” And the even bigger question, what is my personality? I have spent so many years being white-washed by corporate America and stifled by difficult family siuations, that I have lost touch with who I am. Where are my blue shoes?