As a young and usually soft-spoken introvert, it may surprise people that I have strong opinions (what?), ideas about how things should be done (gasp!), and I don’t always follow the advice that seasoned adults condescend to give a young fledgling like myself (this is madness!). I have followed this philosophy with the happy result of going against advice to tell my clients lies.
On Exploding Brains and Imploding Universes
I do not follow all the advice I receive. This is more of a survival technique than anything else. If I followed all the separate advice to 1) major in engineering, 2) become a computer programmer, and 3) start my own multi-employee design agency, several unpleasant things would have happened.
1. My brain would have exploded. My career wouldn’t have mattered to me anymore then, but the results of my effort to live three lives at once would affect everyone around me. For next something even more globally devastating would have happened:
2. The Universe’s Law of Possibility would have been violated and imploded. This would have caused life, the universe, and everything to cease to exist.
Well, as you can tell since you and I still inhabit this lovely planet, when presented with this conflicting advice, I decided to exercise my rebelliously independent mind and do precisely what I wanted to do: I skipped college and started freelancing.
Granted, I have benefited from loads of excellent advice. But amidst contemplating the wise, I have laughed at the ridiculous.
True Story: Someone told me I should lie to my clients.
Recently I was supposed to meet with a business acquaintance, but since I wasn’t feeling well, I sent them a quick email to reschedule. When we met the next day, the first thing they said was that I should never, ever tell my clients that I’m sick.
People just don’t get sick in the business world!
I privately begged to differ, since after all I am personally in the business world but still managed the impossible feat of sickness the day before, but I kept a studiously blank face. With an expression of childlike innocence, I asked “So should I lie?”
They did not say no. They that I should make up some excuse like “I am sorry, another client has an urgent project that takes higher priority today, so I am not available to meet with you after all.”
Just tell them anything but that you’re sick.
When our meeting concluded, I pondered this suggestion. After much heartache and indecision, I finally made the decision to not follow this advice. There is a possiblity that you may get an email from me in the future saying that I’m sick, even if you are one of my clients (what daring!).
How has this rebellious attitude served me?
I am happy to report that this novel theory of not lying has every outward appearance of success. During my first year of professional freelancing, I have yet to grow fangs and morph into a dog-eat-dog business woman.
So, of course, the question then becomes:
What advice do you follow?
Let me introduce you to free-will:
You get to decide.
Accept advice from those who are wise, politely ignore those who aren’t, and deliberate every decision with the knowledge that you are responsible for your every action.