Businesspeople: Learn how to mock the wire

October 26, 2011
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Ah, the glory and beauty of Netflix. It reaches me where I live—literally. And then it grabs whole chunks of my time and life by selecting intriguing films I’ve never heard about and insisting I watch them, right now. Naturally, I always obey. It’s just the way I was raised.

That’s how I ended up watching “Man on Wire,” the riveting story of Philippe Petit. He was the tightrope walker who snuck into New York’s Twin Towers in 1974, stretched a cable between them and casually scampered back and forth like a crazy squirrel for almost an hour. Then he returned to the roof and was arrested.

Since running a life or business these days can be very much like navigating a tightrope, we could learn something from Philippe. He didn’t just walk the wire. He mocked it—smiling, laughing, sitting down, standing up, even talking to a gull while lying flat on his back—all a quarter mile above the sidewalk.

It’s a rare person who can look danger square in the face and laugh at it. But having a healthy disrespect for the challenges we face could be the perfect antidote to our fear of falling—or failing.

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