Don’t Be Silly…

Many years ago, when my daughter was very young, I was dropping her off at school one rainy spring morning. The rain was only falling lightly but my daughter was dressed up from head to toe in her favorite yellow rain hat and cape with a pair of orange, almost knee-high, rubber rain boots. As she walked down the sidewalk from the car to the school door I thought she looked a little like a duck. In fact, I noticed, she was even walking like a duck, with feet turning slightly outward. Then I noticed why!
“Sweetheart,” I yelled after her, “you’ve got your boots on the wrong feet!
My little girl stopped short, right where she was, and looked down at her feet for a long, silent, minute. Then she looked up and back at me and, as only a six year old can do, she put her father immediately in his place.
“Don’t be silly, Daddy,” she chided, “of course these are my feet!”
It is a cute story and I have always remember it. But there is a message there I never expected. Can we say, “out of the mouths of babes”? Indeed, when I first got into the marketing field the story came to mind as I realized that it isn’t always what you say to someone that is important, it is what the other person hears!
We may, in fact, say exactly what we mean, carefully crafted, professionally delivered, but the recipient may not get the meaning we intended. As we build our businesses and market our products and services to others, as we reach out asking for help, as we offer help to others, we must be precise in what we say and then we still must examine the immediate impact and result of what we have said to ensure that the message we thought we delivered is, in fact, the message that was actually received.
So, remember, “Don’t be silly…” Get the right message out and be sure it is correctly received.

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Written by Steve

Rev. Stephen B. Henry, PhD. is an author, web developer, small business consultant, and mentor. Steve provides technical and online presence support to small business owners, e-commerce providers, and entrepreneurs, including those who work from home. He can be reached by email at

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