There is an old joke about the fellow who goes to a men’s clothier to pick up a brand new custom made suite to help increase his chances for success in his business dealings, to similarly make just the right impression when he gets introduced to the woman he hopes will be “Miss Right’ and, to look super successful when he decides to launch his search for a better position with a bigger and better company.
This is going to be one very important suit of clothing.
His measurements were taken during his last visit to the shop and the salesman is now having him try on his new suit for the final alterations. The pants are kind of baggy across the seat and sagging in front. The cuffs seem nice but they keep getting caught under the heels of his shoes. The right jacket sleeve is too long and the left one is too short. The length of the jacket itself stretches all the way to below his finger tips instead of ending comfortably near the bottom of his palms. Buttoning the jacket reveals that there is room for about 25% more of him in there with him.
Of course, at each juncture, the salesman and the tailor, who are helping him “position” the suit just right on his body, pull one part down and twist another part up, squeeze a little fabric here and tweak another piece of fabric there. With each “adjustment,” the poor man is looking more-and-more like a wounded warrior scrunched this way and that and wondering, “Where did I go wrong?”
How that old joke ended is something we might be able to look up someplace. But, the set up for the joke; the way the salesman and the tailor yank this and reposition that in order to make the suit “fit” their customer can be an image that we all need to keep in mind when we are searching for the right business to take on as our own. How will it “fit” us? We absolutely do not what to be allowing anyone to talk us into it. And, more importantly, we do not want to be talking ourselves into anything either.
But, how can we know that we have found the absolutely perfect business for us to own and run? A suit of clothing is one thing. It can be altered to conform to and move with our bodies. We know if we like pleats or if we do not. We know we either look good in beige or we do not. A tuxedo is another story entirely. Black and tuxedo go together. But, your everyday life, generally, is not going to be spent in a tuxedo, unless you become a maitre d’. And, if you do become a maitre d’, well, then black is going to be OK for you and you will make it work.
That is not OK for selecting the business in which you will be involved, perhaps, for the next thirty or more years, before you “hand it off” to your successor; perhaps through the services of the National Protégé Enterprise. We certainly do not want to say what one of Cinderella’s sisters said when she was asked to try on the glass slipper in hopes of becoming the Prince’s bride. “I’ll make it fit?”