How my Bat Mitzvah Helps me in Business

When Reverend Kleinman helped me sing my Haftorah for my Bat Mitzvah at age 13, who knew he’d be prepping me with business skills to last a lifetime?

All I knew back then was that I was taking precious time away from tennis and rec room parties to listen to my elderly tutor (who was probably no older than 60) sing my Torah portion the way I was supposed to sing it.

Not only did he record the tune for me on a handy cassette, but he also gave me a notebook with my Torah portion in Hebrew using hieroglyphics.  No kidding.  It was like an Egyptian wall filled with swirls and arrows to help me remember how to pronounce a certain word, when to hit it hard and when to keep on going.

Somehow I made it through the big day, singing and all.  And then, much later, after years of college, grad school, and jobs in radio, a crazy thing happened.  I started to use the very same hieroglyphics I was taught at 13 to help me read news copy and record client PSAs and audio tracks for video.  I literally didn’t realize I was doing it until I looked down at a script one day and saw I was using the same arrows and circles and swirls I was taught at 13.

Here are a few of the symbols I pencil in to my scripts when I go into the audio booth:

So, what have I learned from this?  That I probably should have paid more attention to what I was taught in grade school, and that you never know when you might pick up a lesson that’ll last you a lifetime.

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