November 6, 2007

House with white picket fence
I was watching a real estate program where a realtor was telling a seller that her home was too unique. Her bedroom was too “undefined” because it had a divider between the bedroom and the closet. The kitchen tiles were too busy. The driveway too long.

Meanwhile, the property was beautiful and the views were fantastic. It didn’t matter; all that mattered was that her home was not plain enough to appeal to most people.

On another show, the realtor walked through saying, “neutralize” whenever she saw a wall with a hint of color. I thought I was watching Star Trek. Set those photon torpedoes on “neutralize!” (No, they never said that on Trek, not that I know of anyway.)

Whether you have unique tastes in furnishings, or in careers it doesn’t seem like an advantage. When I graduated from high school, I was told I should be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, etc. Being a writer never came up. Neither did having my own business. All I was supposed to do was get a good job and get a pension.

Don’t follow your own desires. Just fall into line, get into that cubicle and keep quiet. You’re getting paid, aren’t you?

Not that following those career tracks is bad, but it’s not for everyone. Beige walls and generic tile floors aren’t for everyone either. If your home is a reflection of you, then it probably will not appeal to everyone. Same thing with your career.

I once saw a home with purple walls in the bedroom. All I could think about was how much paint I’d have to buy to cover them up. If I’d really wanted the place, I would’ve bought it — purple walls or not. Obviously they weren’t painted that color to appeal to everyone. They didn’t have to because they appealed to the person who lived in the home.

Find out what appeals to you, then do it. Neutralize the wall colors in your house if you must, but don’t do that to your life.

Copyright © 2008 – 2014 Deborah A. Bailey

Excerpted from: “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”

Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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