Travel, like our life, reflects where we are literally and figuratively at any given moment. Literally, I was recently in the city of Paris. Figuratively, I continue to be in the state of questioning. Where are you?
Following are six perspectives on Parisian life. The Paris insights may be of interest. How you can apply them in your life can be invaluable.
1. French Women Lie
In 2005, Mireille Guiliano wrote the best selling book, French Women Don’t Get Fat. It went straight to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, and the conscience of millions of American women.
I can only imagine Mireille made money in addition to helping American women feel even worse about themselves. She suggests a multifaceted solution to losing weight, which I don’t mean to oversimplify. However, the one claim that stuck with me was ” three bites of anything” strategy. Three bites and stop, she claimed. The problem Mireille contended was in eating it all.
I sat at many a café, and I have walked by even more, and I am here to tell you that French women lie. At least this one French woman lied. They eat like pigs. I saw two women each eat a whole grilled panini sandwich, pomme frites, or French fries, coke not coca light, and a French pastry for desert. And they didn’t leave a crumb of anything.
I sat and watched another woman eat every bite of her thousand-calorie pastry. When I asked, she claimed French woman moved more than American women. Sorry, she would have to walk from Paris to Normandy on a regular basis to walk off those calories. So why do French woman lie?
I don’t think they really lie, I think they eat really well once a day. And maybe once or twice a week. But they don’t eat every meal like the meals I observed as an American Peeping Tom in Paris. It’s all a matter of perception, and that is my point. Our whole life is perception and so is your value.
What is your perception of your value? Do you talk about it accurately?
Is your perception your client’s and your market’s perception?
5 More Parisian Perspectives
1. A Different Take on the Champs-Elysees
Walking on the Champs-Elysees one night, two clowns approached. The two clowns were a young couple– just married as it turned out. The bride and groom and their unorthodox bridal party were approaching strangers and asking for marital advice. One member of the bridal group had a notebook and took notes. What an interesting alternative to the traditional dance of the clone’s reception.
Their mission reminded me of the value of input. Of course, their challenge will be in choosing which suggestions to follow. The art will be in following the right ones. Isn’t it always?
em>What strategies or people do you have in place to help you choose, follow, and stay accountable to great advice?
2. Standing in Line to Hand Over Money
Nespresso is a trade marked unique system for making the perfect cup of espresso. It is available in the U.S. but hardly the hot commodity that it apparently is in Paris. The landmark Nespresso store in Paris, on Rue Scribe, was packed every time we walked by. Not filled with idle shoppers, the lines were long at the multiple cashiers. We even saw a super store being built right on the Champs- Elysees.
What’s interesting about this product is not only that people line up to buy the machine, they also lineup to buy the refills that make the customer a customer for life.
Do you have a product service or idea that people would line up to buy, and have you figured out how to make them customers for life?
3. Living in Your Own Bed
My feet would tell you that I walked every street of every arrondisement.
I observed that many of the street people left their “beds” neatly folded on the sidewalk or window ledge during the day. I surmised that they returned at night to “make their bed” and sleep in it.
Don’t we all make “beds” for ourselves and figuratively return to them each day. Where’s your bed?
4. A Four Legged Balthazar
Balthazar is a dog I met, after I had met Oscar, Lilly, Odette, Brandy, Romeo, and Estrid. Unlike the small traditional French dog we picture, Balthazar was an 80-pound dog. Untethered, he followed his owners down the sidewalk, never veering into the busy streets. So I accosted the owners to find out how they trained him. They said they started as a pup, and now he knows no other way to walk down the street.
So I ask you, what have you taught yourself or what has someone taught you that you just keep doing?
5. Three Bands and a Wedding
I attended a Parisian wedding . . . with three bands. The final band was a group of six Africans singing Hebrew songs. They had no idea of what they were saying, but they said it well and with feeling.
What can we learn, even if it not of our nature, culture, or language-and communicate it well and with feeling?
Like the newly married couple surveying tourists on the Champs-Elysees, it is now up to you to choose the advice to follow and follow it.