Ephemeral

All the prep work for tomorrow’s holiday is in full swing here at Rancho Deluxe.  The turkey stock is made (no pan drippings when you fry them, bubba), shopping is done, silver is polished, and we figured out that we can use an old set of Colorforms shapes as stickers on wine glasses to identify everyone’s drinks  without spending a fortune on those cute little charms.  It’s a lot of work that the Mrs. and I do each year and we’re happy to do so.  Having the 25 or so family members and friends around the table (more like around the room) for dinner is a highlight of the year.  Which of course got me thinking about a business point.

We have photos going back many years and mostly it’s the same people from year to year.  That’s very different from the business world, where so much is ephemeral.  The word comes from a Greek one that means “lasting only one day” and is a great one for any of us in business to keep in mind because so much of business is ephermeral.

Ever know anyone who confuses their title with who they are?  What happens in their heads when change happens and that title evaporates?  At some point, you may have been the top VCR maker or typewriter manufacturer or led the field in buggy whips.  All gone, or at least gone as important businesses.  Millions tune in and vote each week during the American Idol season – how many of the contestants have retained the majority of that popularity (besides Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson?)  Most of the others have had the bulk of that fame pass.

I had the thought because tomorrow we celebrate many of the things that matter and which endure.  While many of us enjoy the business world, let’s remember that lovely word: ephemeral.  To paraphrase George Harrison‘s words, all things must pass, but in business, many of them pass a lot more quickly.  I’ll be  celebrating the things that don’t.  You?

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