Till The Well Runs Dry

Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes with me, which is admittedly asking a lot given my verbose nature, knows that I love a good quote.

Quotes are a part of my daily existence. I re-quote in conversations, as part of meeting agendas, as icebreakers, to emphasis a point, or just to show how smart or well-read I am.

The latter is self-deprecating, because I clearly understand that most people are smarter than I and I usually follow my re-quote with an exasperated “I wish I had said that”.

To start the second day of my tenure at WKRC-TV as the Director of Integrated Marketing (actually New Media Manager at the time) in July, 2002, I broke out my first quote during a Tuesday morning sales meeting before an incredibly well-seasoned team who I know had to wonder where the heck this strange-looking bald guy got off trying to impart on them his implied wisdom.

The quote was actually a lyric from a song composed in 1871 by Rowland Howard, a little-known Brit who dabbled in comedic and melodic parodies. Thanks to a more in-depth Google search, I know that now, although at the time I mistakenly attributed the quote to Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials.

“For you never miss the water till the well runs dry.”

Part of the chorus, this lyric is just as relevant today as it was 13 years ago.

The point I believe I made in 2002 was that I was humbled to be given a chance by a powerhouse television station like WKRC-TV (not yet Local 12) after spending a little time wandering the wasteland looking for my next opportunity.

The first time I ever really hunted for a job was after I closed my cigar store in 2001. And in the year-plus that it took to find my way to Cincinnati, I kept thinking that as much as no one really likes to have to work to make a living, you really miss it when you don’t have it.

Not just the money, we all like that, but the reason to get up in the morning, to look your best, to meet new people, be with friends, energetically attack the day and all that it holds…it was all of that which I missed before being given a chance to become a part of society again.

Well, it’s 2015 and I’ve got that song rattling around in my head again.

My last day at FOX19 was May 1. I’ve spent the summer working on numerous self-development projects, both mental and physical (emotional, too, if I really want to be honest with myself and the blogosphere).

It’s been refreshing and it’s helped me to decide what I want to be when I grow up, although I’m nowhere near certain that I ever really want to grow up! It’s been a change and anyone who knows me understands that I love the c-word.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
— Dan Millman

I am a proponent of change, a big believer that the status quo needs to have the foundation shaken once in a while, to point toward new directions, challenge the norm and occasionally just drive a different way to work.

It’s the only way that you’ll see things from a different perspective and who knows it might lead to greater success or abysmal failure, but you’ll never know until you exit one block sooner than you usually do.

I’ve certainly exited the highway and although I won’t claim to miss the rush hour I will refer back to Rowland Howard:

“Waste not, want not is a maxim I would teach,
Let your watchword be despatch, and practise what you preach;
Do not let your chances, like sunbeams pass you by,
For you never miss the water till the well runs dry.”

I’m ready for the next chapter in my life to unfold and as such I’m casting my dye into the social media waters.

Know anyone who is looking for a Chief Engagement Officer, someone who knows how to engage, ideate, build a brand, lead the charge, fire up the troops, sell, market, challenge the norm, put the foot down hard on the accelerator, champion a cause, build a fire, or dig a deeper well?

Call me, text me, tweet me, or drop me a line.
I miss the water, but this well is far from running dry.

Original photo by Wenrick Katigbak
Harmoneion Singers, The. You Never Miss The Water Till The Well Runs Dry by Rowland Howard. On Where Home Is: Life In Nineteenth-Century Cincinnati/Crossroads Of The East And West, Vinyl/LP. U.S. New World Records, 1977
Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives, Page 113, (H J Kramer, Inc., Tiburon, California, Distributed by Publisher’s Group West, Emeryville, California, 1984)
Grand Prix. Dir. John Frankenheimer. Perf. James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand and Toshiro Mifune. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1966. Youtube. Web. 16 January 2012.