When Your Skills Serve You Up a Lemon, Make Lemonade

In case you haven’t yet been badgered inspired by my incessant appeals lately for your contribution to Lemonade Detroit, here’s what you need to know for this post to make sense.

Lemonade Detroit,” is an inspiring film project conceived by Erik Proulx that aims to focus the world on the cool and amazing things people are doing in Detroit that are creating a strong foundation for the city’s rebirth. I became a producer last fall, buy purchasing 100 frames ($1 per frame.) I’m up to 148 frames right now, with plans to buy more soon. Want to become an IMDb credited producer of Lemonade Detroit, too? Great! Go here. I’ll wait.

Last week Erik put out the call to the producers to make a short video that he could  post on the LemonadeDetroit.com site, as well as cut into a larger producer video to be shown at a couple of upcoming fundraising events.

I was excited at the prospect of making a video that reflected my true passion for Detroit. I drafted a script, practiced, and fired up Photobooth. Six hours and a hundred plus takes later, I looked at the “best” ones, and was not happy. At all. My passion for the city was buried beneath a wooden, inauthentic feeling delivery. And it wasn’t getting better with practice, it was getting worse. Ugh.

I closed things down and decided to try again the next morning. This time, for spirit, I donned my limited-edition Wayne State “Made in Detroit” T-shirt. Forty or so takes later, I held my nose and uploaded the one I thought stunk least.

I wrote Erik, letting him know it was up and complaining that I thought it wasn’t that good. He (kindly) wrote back, “Forget the script and just speak from the heart.” The problem was that I was speaking from the heart, it just wasn’t coming across. My video was a lemon! I realized then that until I got some coaching, the verbal  just wasn’t going to cut it.

So, what did I do? I’m from Detroit, man. I made lemonade! Check it out.

The moral of the story: When promoting yourself or your business, if you run into a wall in terms of your skills and abilities, don’t give up, think ways your existing skills can be used to get around it!  Not only will you complete your mission, you also may discover a brand new way to use those tried and true skills to express yourself.