Have you ever sat in a room and sung along with Frank Sinatra?
I have.
My favorite is the song “My way.”
The words make me tremble when I hear Sinatra bellow the last line, “I did it my way.”

The third stanza starts off with “Regrets, I’ve had a few…But then again, too few to mention”.

I’m told that I should live a life without regret.
I try, but I can’t stop regretting the things I did do.
That’s what happens with the past.

I wrecked my dad’s car when I was 21.
I didn’t call Teresa back.
I said and did too many things to mention.
Regrets, I have many.
Most happened in my youth when I lost my moral compass.
Until 1996.

On September 6, everything changed.
A girl kissed me.
She was the perfect balance of sweet, generous, gorgeous, and soft.

I kissed her back and never let her go.
We were engaged in 2 months and married in 2 years.
Without Aline, I’d be dead, in jail or drunk in an alley.
After 25 years, I sometimes forget her impact on my life.
She’s never steered me wrong.

This is supposed to be a marketing blog.

You’re thinking, get to the point. I’m getting there, but before we wind this up, here’s another regret.

In grade six, I was the master of ceremonies at the school Christmas pageant.
Mrs. Legere was in charge of the pageant. She was my first public speaking coach.
She wanted me to wear a kilt to introduce the Highland Dancers.
Google Highland Dancers. It’s basically Scottish ballet with swords.

I’m in the bathroom, fitting into the kilt. I looked down, and all I could see was a skirt.
My Scottish ancestors shamefully shook their heads in disapproval as I took it off.
I couldn’t do it. Everyone would laugh. I had a reputation to uphold.
I told Mrs. Legere that I wouldn’t wear a skirt in front of 200 people.
I regret not putting on the kilt. It’s not a big deal to 48-year-old me.
But to that 12-year-old boy, his entire future was at risk.
That 12-year-old kid worried what others would think of him.
He didn’t know memories flee in moments.

Your marketing is full of two types of regrets.

The ones you did but shouldn’t have and the ones you didn’t do but should have.
Forget the past. It cannot be changed.
Think about what you need to do before that final curtain.

Wear that kilt with pride.
Celebrate your difference in the world.
Stand out.
Be noticed.
Get talked about.
Some will say nice things. Some will not.
The haters will call you a fool, a joke, an idiot.

You will be rewarded by others for your courage when you are true to yourself.

Here’s a secret the disapproving audience cannot understand.
The only approval you need is from the one who holds your moral compass.
She is the captain and will steer you away from the real danger.

And then and only then, when you face the final curtain, you’ll know for certain you did it your way.

Latest posts by Rick Nicholson (see all)