Do people hope I was gone? And how many share this feeling?
(this less than optimistic thought was triggered by an example I read: A town has 2 restaurants, one great, one not great. The not-great one is about to go out of business. The town is excited because it might possibly be replaced by another good one. Two good options! In this example I read, the banks rallied to prop up the not-great restaurant. Everyone loses, short term and long term. But is it the right thing to do? And does this apply to me, as a person? Or just to my business? Let’s find out…)
Do people wish I was gone, and replaced by someone better? For sure some do.
Hopefully it’s a small number, personally. If it were a big number, I wouldn’t feel very good.
But there are many indirect ways for someone to hope I were no longer here. I take up a space that could be occupied by someone else. That’s just the facts.
Probably there have been many times when someone was hoping to see someone else, and they say me. Or even that they thought I was someone else, from across the room, and then felt a twinge of sadness when they realized that I wasn’t that other person.
These are simple things. Inevitable realities.
I can’t lose any sleep over them. I’ve done the same thing to someone else, I’m sure.
It applies to everything, though. My art, my writing, my business. Someone has looked at my art and wished they were looking at a Picasso, or a James Winslow Homer. Someone has read my writing and wished they had just read Harry Potter, or 50 Shades of Grey. Someone has been to my business and wished it were Old Navy, or Pottery Barn, or some cheap grocery store.
What’s the moral of the story?
You can’t be all things to all people? You can’t make everybody happy? It is rare, or nearly impossible to hit the timing just right, so that you appear in front of the person that’s most hoping to see you?
Something like that.
Ultimately, it means you just have to try. (Even if you’re the restaurant people don’t like, keep looking for ways to get better. Maybe you are better, and people just don’t realize it yet…) And when that perfect moment hits, that moment where that person wishes for nothing more than for you to be there – like when they pick up the book they were waiting all day to get home and read. Or when they fly across the world to see your art. Or when they walk into your store and you have everything they could have imagined and more – you savor it. You celebrate. And then you get back to trying.