Side Eyeing: Kisses, Long Tails and Change

On my last trip down a digital rabbit hole, I found my very first blog from… (get this)… 2004.


37 posts.
A not so great wall of words.
And a grand total of 3 grainy pictures.


Fifteen years feels like a lifetime ago, but there are 3 things I remember as vividly as my first kiss.

(Okay, as long as you asked → David Horn in first grade. A subzero day when we were forced to “chill” on the school playground during recess. Me in my bright pink parka talking to Shelly Spain about Barbies. He lunged in to plant my very first on-the-lips-kiss — then immediately raced off. Prettttt-ty sure that meant we were girlfriend-boyfriend. 💋)

The blog. The blog. Carolyn, the blog…

  • I wanted it to be the “People® Magazine of Franchising”, even though I wasn’t sure what a blog did.
  • I didn’t understand why Blogspot would provide this platform for free. How did they make money? (Hey, the business model geek in me dates back a loooooooong way!)
  • And I always forgot my password. (Where were you then, LastPass?)

It was a far cry from living up to my vision of People® worthy storytelling. But it’s an early example of my bent to experiment. Like that unfortunate stretch in high school when (speaking of crying) I grew a rat tail.😫

I also remember finding my writing voice was about as smooth as a prepubescent girl asking a boy to Sadie Hawkins. If my asks were as lame as my writing, I would’ve gone solo to a lot more dances.

But looking back, I’m glad I did it.

I posted for 4 years — right up until I started writing my franchise book (which produced a lot more pithy writing thanks to my co-author Bev Bachel.)

I notice that every time I try something new, one of three things happens:

Sometimes it sucks and I dump it faster than David Horn.

Sometimes the results are lukewarm. And I get frustrated figuring out how to make it better. Which sucks the life out of me.

And sometimes the results are ballin’. So I try to milk it like a season pass at Coney Island. One day, I’m at the climax of the Thunderbolt, high on life. And the next, I’m in a bumper car being rammed by a bunch of 8-year old boys who outmaneuver me. (Little assholes.) After awhile, it feels samey — and sucks.

Which lands me in the how-did-I-get-here and how-the-hellz-will-I-claw-my-way-out-of-this dip.

The recovery period is a bitch — but only if I try to hang onto the high — long after the buzz has died down.

So after 16 years of experimenting and failing.
And experimenting and meh-ing.
And experimenting and succeeding…

I realize when I try to hang onto something past its prime, I fail. (Elephant pants and a Dorothy Hamill haircut, anybody?)

Because in direct opposition to my love for trying new things — I’m also capable of resisting change harder than a farmer steering clear of the John Deere dealership in favor of his horse and plow.

I know whenever I try to avoid failing, I fail.

I fail when I’ve mastered one area of my work, but don’t challenge myself to expand upon it. Like stopping after 10 pushups when I know I can do more.

Because playing small is failing.
Tolerating samey is failing.
Resisting is failing.

We’re human, so it’s only natural. But we’ve got to know how the story ends ⬆. At least now I know the signs for where it always starts ⬇️.

Whenever I’m feeling restless, I know it’s time to get ruthless. (With myself, not you!) And being ruthless sometimes means letting go of a “sure thing.”

But all the times it means being as open as a 24×7 bodega to let go of my resistance.

I can side eye change for a minute, but I can’t avoid it.

Posted In: Business Model Design, Mindset & Priorities, Thought Leadership