Fly Swatters (Issue 629)

In which we are reminded to remember how we earn our money… and to focus on the main point.

Saturday morning broke still, overcast, and humid. Not a breath of breeze.

Feeling the urge for exercise, I headed for Estabrook Woods, a large plot of trees and swamps crisscrossed by foliage-umbrella’d trails.

My favorite trail rounds a large pond, about a 30 minute walk,  finishing with a long stretch over which traveled the Carlisle Minutemen to Concord’s North Bridge to face off against the English in 1775.

Not twenty yards into the woods, I met….the flies. Horse flies. Green headed flies. Gnats of all varieties. At paces any slower than sprinting, they buzzed my head. Actually, they trailed just behind and a little above me, diving at my hairless noggin, flying into my left ear, buzzing my left eye, hovering under my nose for brief moments, biting the back of my neck. Charming.

I raised a defense. Waving my arms and hands around my head as I walked and ran, I whacked a few buzzie buggers this way and that, squashed a few on my head (REALLY charming), and sniffed one up my nose (yup, it just got better and better).

I think the visual effect must have been something like ‘wobbling ferris wheel on broom handle,” and it worked, for the most part…but I was so distracted, I didn’t get to look at the scenery much.

Which can when we’re selling, right? We get distracted; we lose track of the main point, the stuff that makes us money.

Sometimes, we create our own distractions pursuing customers that don’t quite fit, needs that are really too small to matter, or accounts that soak up more time than they return.

Sometimes we get distracted by our managers, or internal politics, or the relentless buzzing and diving of our companies’ product managers each of whom wants our attention, each of whom thinks his or her product should be our first consideration. Bzzzzzzzzzzz.

For the woods, the solution is easy – a hat, some bug spray, and a flyswatter… I can enjoy the scenery.

In the office, not as easy.  Insect repellent and a fly swatter can be helpful in meetings… and other strategies may be required… to focus on the most important clients and most important issues through which we earn the big bucks.

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