On Falling and Flying


It strikes me that people in business are afraid to fall. “We’ve been doing it this way all along, and even though the results are diminishing, we’re just going to keep doing this.” You’ve heard this, right?

I have fallen quite often in life. I intend to do so many times over. Falling is the only way to learn how to fly. Want to walk before you fly? “Walking is a series of controlled falls.” – Stephen Wright, comedian.

The recurring answer to “how do you do it?” is actually quite drab. “I just start somewhere.” This answer is the sparrow of answers, the tofu, the ground beef.

But in there, snuck into the recipe, is the falling. For every success, several failures, or at least stumbles. For every launch, a faceplant.

This is how it’s done. You stand up. You take a breath. You step forward. What happens next is binary: either you fall or you do not. When you fall, you feel those sensations related to it (mostly bad things and negative things), and then you move forward.

What does any of this have to do with business communications? Everything. There are no blueprints. We are all making them up. We will fall. But then, we will fly.

And flying, friends, is a beautiful thing. No?

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