Years ago, as a single mom I was working very hard to reinvent myself with very few credentials to my name. My financial and emotional bank accounts were constantly being drained with demands and responsibilities. There were days where I would have preferred to stay in bed for a month, but I got out of bed, painted on a smile and picked up my boxing gloves; just like every under-employed single mom I knew.
At work, I had a colleague named Raj. He had a Master’s degree in Mathematics, came from a prominent family, and was newly engaged to a professional woman. They were living the dream and had life by the balls!
On a pizza day, I let my guard down and permitted myself to share some of my challenges as a single mother. He sat silently as I joked about my circumstances. After all, if you don’t laugh, you will cry; and that isn’t helpful.
He quietly told me that that he realized that he was untested in life. He reflected that I was very resilient and doubted he could still be standing, much less making jokes. Then he said something that truly surprised me. “You know what you are? You are a Weeble!” And then he was called away to a client.
At first, I was trying to figure out if this was a compliment. “You are a Weeble”. Then a genuine smile crossed my face when I realized he was right. All the things that I was doing were the things that you could learn from a Weeble.
Do you remember the Weeble? It had the most positive message for a toy.
Here’s a commercial from the early 1970s.
Here are 3 lessons we can learn from Weebles that can help us in both life and in business.
- Get back up. Weebles wobble but they don’t’ fall down. No matter how many times you fall down, learn to bounce back up and get back in the game.
- They travelled in groups. Hasbro put them out in groups with a theme to have more opportunities for creativity and fun. No matter what city I landed in; or new job, I learned to network and create support networks for myself. This was instrumental in dealing what life might throw my way.
- Reinvent yourself. In 2004, the Weebles came back to life in a children’s cartoon called “Weebleville”. Resilient businesses and successful people reboot and reinvent all the time. When I first finished high school, going to University was expensive and not encouraged for women. Times have changed. When I turned 40, to catch up to the times, I went back to school to get a piece of paper that proved that I knew what I had been talking about all those years on the front lines of crisis intervention. Instead of training my bosses, I had turned the situation around. It’s never too late to upgrade and rebrand.
Sometimes we need an unbiased sounding board to bounce off a few ideas in order to get back up. As a Professional Weeble and Certified Coach, maybe I can help?