Ripe is Rotten

I love this saying. Actually, I love funny or clever sayings in general – my guess is that this affection comes from my dad and family, all masters of the quirky and brilliant soundbite. Not to mention the “proud of myself because I made you roll your eyes” chuckle that usually follows. But this saying is a fave, at the top of my list.

This one actually comes from an old boss – another wizard of the one-liners. And it speaks to our need to keep learning… insert Shawshank reference, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Who just pictured themselves on the beach at the end?

beach2

Love a beach sunset… always.

It’s true in business as in life. Ripe is rotten. At the point you lose that zeal for learning, always staying fresh (read that relevant), you drop to the ground like a bruised apple, getting passed up by the more discriminating pickers – whether that means prospective bosses looking for their next rock star or your teenager cracking on your mom or dad jeans. And heaven forbid you’re in business for yourself, and your customers think you’ve crossed over and are stale or passé.  The cider press likely isn’t far behind – squish.

Even in tough seasons… in fact, especially in tough seasons – those periods of big changes we all go through – I hope you’ll keep on keeping on. Find something to learn about, something that makes you even more fascinating and cutting edge – think exotic banana smoothie drink with an umbrella in a fabulous glass, instead of plain Jane bland banana smush. You want to be Superman, not Clark Kent, right? I want to be a little Julia Sugarbaker – confident and fabulous – not… well, whoever her boring opposite would be. Snore…

I’m off my soapbox now, so I’ll save the shameless and plucky Steel Magnolias reference for another day, you get the picture.

I attended a spectacular conference focused on learning how to pin down what makes you valuable and how to articulate it. The sessions covered the gamut from negotiating to networking, based on Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value & Grow Your Value books (I’m a fan, by the way). One of the speakers was JetBlue’s Bonny Simi, who chronicled her career evolutions, and they were GIANT leaps – 3-time Olympic athlete to sports reporter to pilot to executive. Talk about never rotten! (PS – this quick clip gives you a little insight into her journey and advice)

So just like I’m stretching myself here a little bit in the blogosphere, I’m clinging to the vine in lots of areas. Still not ripe yet, still growing. Stay tuned.