I was invited to a great barbecue last year and it was one of the best I have attended.  It was a glorious summer day and the food was tremendous.  As expected, people were milling around and engaging in the usual panoply of frivolous conversation. My interactions were along the same lines, with one exception.  I encountered one guest that was very interested in my entrepreneurial background.  I tried hard to steer the conversation to the weather and sports, with no luck.  With no alternative, I began to tell my story.  I told him about the months it took to just learn what was involved with court transcription.   I then began a dissertation about the countless months I spent trying to get my first order from one of the clerk’s offices in my area.  It was about then that I could sense a yawn coming over him.  He wasn’t really that interest after all. I then changed my approach.  I hesitated and said, “Well, as I think about it now, I was an overnight success.”  I then added, “Just think, you get to work for yourself, you don’t have a boss, and you get to keep all the profits.” His face lit up like a Christmas tree.  Within minutes he had told my story to at least five other guests, all of whom sought me out to hear the story themselves.

What is it about getting rich quick dialogue that intrigues us so?  Our appetite for the easy, abundant, encompassing life of luxury is insatiable.  It allows us to dismiss reality and begin a never ending quest for that non-existent, miracle phenomenon.  And we don’t just buy-in ourselves, we will recruit and persuade others that the ‘holy grail” to the easy life is just around the corner. In fact, we even know the guy that has the entry key.  The problem is, that’s not how it works.  With only rare exception, it takes a long, circuitous, laborious route to even have a measured degree of success.  And, as I found out, it’s certainly not something that makes good conversation at a barbecue.

Lewis Parham
Writer’s Cramp, Inc.