Saturday, March 24, 2012

4 things I learned from using a quote in a post

It's important to get your facts right. Here are four things I learned about writing the first Legal Shoe post last Thursday.

THING 1: I said a very wise thing about the legal business, and business in general: 

It's 97% spit and polish, and 3% BS. 

I like to think I'm wise, But I'm not that wise. The formidable Joanne Quinn-Smith, who knows a thing or two about show business herself, reminds me that the quote stemmed from words of advice given to her by Don Di Carlo, Lightweight Golden Gloves Champion and Vaudeville Agent in downtown Pittsburgh before it was "The Cultural District." I tried to do some online research on this guy, but will have to let Joanne guest post about him. She can write about her gold lamee boots in the same post.

Joanne describes Don as a classic producer, hustler, and showman. There was always something from lunch left over on his suit, but you could put your makeup on just using the shine on his shoes. 

So think of Don Di Carlo. People are going to pay attention to your shoes. They are going to draw conclusions about you by looking at your shoes. Shoes first, BS later. Substance if you get the opportunity. Just remember that.

THING 2: You can't polish green suede shoes. That's what the little brush in the shoe box is for. Take care of the shoes, and understand the implications and conclusions that will be drawn if they don't look good. You won't feel good, and anyone considering your services will think you're slovenly in all aspects of your life. It looks especially tawdry if you've just forked out $1,000 on an "interview suit." Don't pay attention to the ads with the talking stain. The guy behind the desk is actually thinking about the applicants nice, shiny shoes.

THING 3: I have a green leather handbag that is as awesome as my green shoes. It's not suede, but it says the same things, and people notice it. It's not as big as a briefcase, but big enough to fit an iPad, an Airbook, or a really nice journal for taking notes. It's a spectacular bag. 

If you're a woman, have a spectacular bag when you meet clients. I don't mean a great big tote bag - unless of course you're auditioning for Mary Poppins. I mean a bag that's streamlined enough to look awesome, but big enough to include the things you'll need to impress prospective clients. You will be known for this bag, as Don Di Carlo was known for his shoes. 

If you're a man. there are briefcases out there (I have at least two from my father's collection) that are slim and tidy and don't look like you just stepped out of high school debate squad. Find them. Get two.

THING 4: LISTEN. Listen to the stories around you. We survived as a species by telling stories. You will learn more from your clients and mentors if you listen to their stories. You will never learn anything about them if you spend all of your time telling them how awesome you are. In fact, they don't care how awesome you are.

They already know that because your shoes are shiny and you have an terrific bag/briefcase with you.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:  
© Tamar J Cerafici, The Barefoot Barrister™ 412-467-6141

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