Jane Pollak Logo

Jun 12, 2014

Are You a Better Pick-er or Pick-ee?

I gave my first public talk last night about my trip around the world to a joint audience of Living All the Way and Ladies Who Launch members and guests. The response was thrilling, and the feedback extremely helpful.

An experience I shared that was particularly memorable involved my cab driver, Sajith, in India. I mentioned how challenging it was to select a driver from the hordes soliciting business and how we had agreed on a price of $15US for 4 hours–car and driver. When my talk ended last night, Aliza offered me a ride to the train station. I mentioned that I had pre-arranged a car service back to the city. “Four hours for $15?” she quickly responded. Hah! If only…

The most meaningful response I got referred to a particular portion of my experience. I mentioned that the Semester at Sea voyage changed radically for me halfway through. On March 16 (I got on the ship February 1) I had the opportunity to address my shipmates in Union, the auditorium onboard, and share the entrepreneurial lessons I’ve written about in Soul Proprietor. As a result of this exposure, students, faculty and others on the ship began approaching me to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with them so we could get to know each other better.

Up until then, I’d approach various people in the dining rooms trying to find the friendships I was hoping to establish. Not much developed from that strategy. What I learned was that the people who were attracted to my stories and life and who picked me, made better friends and relationships than the people I tended to pick.

It seems that I’m better at being picked than picking. Which are you?

A Possible Comment Tag Line Here


  1. Katie

    I wanted to share with you all that I was one of the lucky ones who was able to be there for Jane’s talk. It was like going on vacation with a friend, sitting in the best parts of a history class, and wishing I was sitting at a travel agents desk, all at the same time. Jane, you have a way of communicating that just makes me want to be onboard with you. That pun was not intended, but “onboard” is just too accurate not to use. On land or sea, you endlessly inspire me.

    I also would like to say that I am a member of Jane’s Mastermind Group and if you haven’t heard about it— definitely ask her!

  2. janepollak

    Thanks for that great comment! I loved the whole crew last night. Thank you for coming!

  3. Scarlett De Bease

    I picked you back in, I believe, 2006.
    I heard you present in a tele-sminar to professional image consultants, and I loved ALL of your lessons.
    As soon as I found, via the internet, that you would be presenting live and in color, in my neck of the woods, Westchester, I rearranged my calendar to be there.
    And the rest they say, is history.

    • janepollak

      I remember it well. You represented yourself and your company so impressively, I had to hire you. The friendship came very quickly along. Thanks for picking me!

  4. Anne Garland

    I “Picked” you after a talk you gave for ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) many years ago and have always been in awe of “you” as we have grown together in many ways including a wonderful friendship. However, I was a “Pick-ee” when my wonderful husband #2 found me on Yahoo Personals and it has been magic ever since(Note: I did not do well when trying to pick in that arena – the universe stepped in!). I look forward to an encore performance of your talk, I truly regret I had to miss the first.

  5. Cassie

    I’m generally a pick-er, and definitely have picked you! But I want to make the observation that being in this role means the onus is on me to initiate stuff. The fact I’m fine with and enjoy making those connections (in fact, love it and am building a new business around that trait) is great, but it does seem like the pick-ees are then off the hook. If my back-in-the-day 6th-grade daughter had said she couldn’t find friends to have lunch with so she stopped trying and waited for people to choose her, that would have been, as they say, a teachable moment. Food for thought Jane’s tribe?

  6. Stirling Design Associates, LLC

    I think it all depends on whether we’ve heard the ‘other’s’ story before we pick. You were a good pick-ee because they had a chance to see the real you in your address and those who could relate picked you. Had you to opportunity to have heard everyone’s story before you picked then you would have been just as successful finding your matches. So many times I’ve chosen the person who’s appearance ‘lures me in’ only to find there was nothing there (for me) except the bright feathers of attraction. Then I will be placed at dinner next to someone who in appearance is invisible to me only to discover we are practically soul mates.

    May I change subject and put in a plug for my Dentist’s son’s new book which is rightly number two on the NY Times Book Review. The book is *The Promise of a Pencil* by Adam Braun. My promise is you won’t be able to put it down. (Disclaimer: I am only on page 70) I bought it because while having my teeth cleaned Dr. Braun sold it to me; but I was happy to support his family. Today on my way running late out the door to have my nails done and not wanting to take the time to run upstairs for the book I’m now reading I grabbed Adam’s book still sitting on the counter where I left it when I came from the dentist. (I always read at the nail salon) By page 43 with both my hands in the firm grip of the manicurist I had tears streaming down my cheeks and was ready to give up everything and go work for Adam. I would be reading it now, but I have five minutes to check email before I run off to another appointment. Please let me know if you like it as much as I do.

  7. Stirling Design Associates, LLC

    Grammar change to above comment. ‘Had you *the* opportunity to *hear*…. I am much to quick to post. There are probably more but have to run. 🙂 Julianne


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.