The legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey wasn’t always legendary. On a given evening, as the story goes, he was strolling through a neighborhood in Harlem with a musician friend of his when they happened upon a poster stapled to a telephone pole advertising one of Blakey’s upcoming gigs. With more than a hint of sarcasm, his friend commented, “Look at that – ‘Art Blakey appearing at the Dew Drop Inn.’ What a dump that place is.” Without missing a beat (pun intended), Blakey turned to his detractor and said, “Look man, you’re either appearing – or you’re disappearing!”
Ain’t it the truth? I often think of this little anecdote when I’m tempted to skip a networking event, or duck out of a cold call, or just wimp out of a phone call I don’t feel like making. We’re all either appearing, or disappearing. There’s nothing in between!