Accepting Applause

Applause isn’t about you.

Applause is something the audience needs to express to in order complete their experience.

Applause is created by them (notice that you can’t really make them do it) and it is created for them.  They may think they are applauding you, but really they are applauding to punctuate their own experience – which is great!

Sort of like when you take a bite of a cookie and say, “Yum.”

The “yum” is not for the cookie. The cookie doesn’t care.

The cookie has already done its job of being a fabulous cookie.

The “yum” is for you. The “yum” sets apart this bite from all other bites. It underlines your experience and helps you to understand this particular moment of your life.

So don’t feel shy about graciously accepting praise or applause – you’re doing your audience a favor by welcoming their engagement.

(And the really important part for you is not whether or not people liked or didn’t like what you did, it’s what they liked or didn’t like about it that is significant. The approval means very little. The specific feedback means everything.)

So go ahead and take your bow, because like I said…it’s not really about you.

Ode To The Small Business Practitioner, or, Oh, You American Dreamer

Ode To The Small Business Practitioner, or, Oh, You American Dreamer


And as you stand there


About your Search Engine Optimization and

Curious if this new Seminar might really be of some help and

Kicking Yourself A Little for all the Work that is piling up as we speak


Let us now praise you.


You, the Wondering, the Curious, the Kicking Yourself A Little.

You, the Founder, President, CEO, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer who WILL

Double your sales this year.

You, the American Dreamer.


You are made of stern stuff.


You hopped off the Merry-Go-Round

(or maybe you were pushed)


And now you live in this New World of

Checking Google Analytics and

Waking up with a Great Idea at 4am and

Telling your family: Yes, I’ll be right there – I just have to do this





And while you may grimace when you hear your friends say,

“Wow, it must be great to work in your pajamas” and

“Wow, it must be so great to be your own boss” and

“Wow, are you lucky!”


It’s true.


It is great to work in your pajamas and

Be your own boss and


You are lucky.


Lucky to be here now in this time of Unprecedented Opportunity.

Lucky to have this passion for Your Work.


And even though you might start making

Hysterical Hyena-like Sounds the next time some Pessimist mutters, “Well, in this Economy…” and even though

The Loneliness of being The Boss can sometimes be a hot, shimmering desert of aching solitude and

Even though

Even though

Even though…


You wouldn’t have it any other way because

Now you know what you did not know before.

Now you know:

Always. Back. Up.


And now you know:

Always have someone proofread, especially the dates and the phone numbers.


And now you know:

Always test all the Action Links

(And don’t just hit the “send test” button because I think that sends from a different server so you need to actually create a “find people” test list made up of dummy addresses that you set up in Yahoo and Gmail and your own webmail and, if you have to, even AOL, so you can see what people are actually getting in both HTML and Text-Only – trust me, it’s totally worth the hassle.)


And now you know:

Always trust your instincts.  Always.


Because it is your instincts that have

Brought you this far and

It is your instincts that will

See you safe home.


So dream on, you Gladiators of the Kitchen Table.

And as soon as you can figure out

What the hell API integration actually is,

I have no doubt that you will do it.


You are living The Dream.

You are living Our Dream.

Long live this Vibrant, Gritty, Hard-Fought, Hard-Won, Capricious, Eclectic, Heart-Pounding, Soul-Stirring, Headache-Inducing, Detail-Oriented, Incessant, Unstoppable, Terrifying, Tantalizing,




Jump-On-In-The-Water’s-Fine and

I’m-Sure-Next-Quarter-Will-Be-Better and this is




(Bloodied But Unbowed)

American Dream.


© 2010 Sam Bennett I All Rights Reserved

By The Way, You Look Really Great Today



In Praise Of The Grumpy

In Praise Of The Grumpy


Click here to buy this t-shirt for the grouch in your life.


And as you stand there
Arms crossed

Managing to look both infinitely patient and impatient at the same time

Trying not to roll your eyes and wonder how much longer all this will take

Let us now praise you.

You: the grumpy, the grouchy, the grumbling.
You: the beleaguered and the put-upon.

You: our hidden hero.

Because while you are
Short-tempered with the witless
Furious with the shallow and
Yelling at the television

It is only because you are so thoughtful
That everyone else seems so thoughtless.

And while you insist that you do not care about
What anyone is wearing or

What anyone said or did or
What so-and-so said or did back,
Nor do you give two figs about

The disenfranchised urban-dweller of today or
The illiterate or
The underprivileged of some foreign land or

Whomever it is we’re supposed to be caring about today and that

You will not, under any circumstances,
Attend the choir concert or

The holiday party or

The 12-step meeting or
The neighborhood street fair or
The fancy dress ball or
The class reunion – for God’s sake especially not the reunion – and that

You mustn’t be relied upon for
Donations or
A ride home or
Free advice or
Help moving in to your new townhouse or a
birthday present (what are we, six years old that we still have to give
people birthday presents just because they managed to get born and stay
alive?) or

Whatever it is that all those people with all those
Outstretched hands

Seem to want

You must know that we all know
That you do, indeed, care and that
You will, if pressed, attend and that
We all do rely

On you.

We can tell that you care,
Because you so assiduously refuse to conform to
Some greeting-card version of caring

And instead insist on caring about us as individuals.

You remember the conversation we had about
Ry Cooder’s guitar playing, and
Six weeks later you slip us a
Homemade cassette tape with no label.

You shun the collection plate, and yet
You shove a hundred dollars into the Youth Group’s coffee can

(A check, of course – no sense missing out on the tax deduction just because you had a weak moment.)

And when you go to greet us,
You look us in the eye and take our full measure

And if you should

Notice that we look a bit sad,

You will grab our hand and
Kiss us roughly on the cheek and say,“You OK, darlin’?”

You might grouse about Christmas Eve,
But you do love Christmas morning.

And while you would never voluntarily look at a
Photo album,

You forever hold a picture in your mind of
How we looked in
That Halloween costume
That prom dress
That uniform.

And we know you will attend
(Quit squirming – this poem isn’t that much longer)
Because underneath your self-proclaimed
Disdain for all humanity
You are curious.
Intensely, insatiably, incorruptibly curious
And while you act repulsed
I suspect you are truly fascinated by us –

This clamoring horde of strangers you are compelled to share the planet with.

OK, OK: with whom this planet you are compelled to share.
Good grief you can be a pain sometimes.

And oh, how we rely on you.

And finally,
While you have largely succeeded in getting yourself off of

The phone tree
(That tactic you had about boring everybody silly with the excruciating details of your latest Water Filtration Project did wonders for removing you from any thinking hostess’ guest list)
We do still rely on you.

Oh how we rely on you.

Oh how we rely on you.

You are our voice of sanity
Our comrade-in-arms
Our truth-telling ally in a world of endless bullshit.

You are our hidden hero
Deceptively chivalrous with

Your tender heart clad in dented armor.

And you must know that
When you are gone

We miss you.

So go ahead and
Sneak out at intermission and

Have an extra drink to get you through the reception and
Just turn and walk away from the
Over-gesticulating and the infuriatingly self-righteous.

Save yourself from these petty cruelties so that
When the world becomes just too much for us poor mortals to bear

We can rely on you to save us.

Oh how we rely on you.
Oh how we rely on you.

Oh how we rely on you.

Now stand still, because we’re going to give you a nice, big hug.

© Sam Bennett
By The Way, You Look Really Great Today

An Ode To The Overwhelmed

An Ode To The Overwhelmed

Easily Distracted T-Shirt


And as you stand there
Late again
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you.

You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.

The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and

And that despite your best efforts,
You rarely eat a square meal,
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.

But you are good and brave.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and

As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
You are a fount of good intentions.
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little….funny.

But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.

So much for the overpriced lingerie.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?

But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.

You are beautiful.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.

Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.

© Samantha Bennett

PS. There’s still time to register for the Get It Done Teleclass – we begin this Tuesday, May 12th at 11:45am (Pacific Time) call in once a week for 12 weeks and get motivated, do homework, complete the project that will bring you closer to your best life.  If you can’t make it, you can always listen to the recording.  Results and satisfaction guaranteed.  Feeling tempted?  Yeah, this is going to be fun.  Go here to learn more:

PPS. You can buy the t-shirt
by going here: