How To Write a Speech For Your Son’s Bar Mitzvah

Once Upon A Lifetime.

Once Upon A Lifetime.

My guess is that very few people who read Mark Schaefer’s post about running your business/blog like Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock interpreted it the way I did.

But I read it, saw Kirk and Spock, thought about Star Wars and Queen Amidala and immediately went to the silly conversation the boys and I had about Jews in space and thought how in a few months my son will have his Bar Mitzvah.

And then I thought about some of the recent commotion raised when Rabbi David Wolpe penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post regarding a Bar Mitzvah video that is circulating online.

It was of interest to me for a couple of reasons:

  1. I know Rabbi Wolpe from summer camp. In 1982 he was the unit head for my age group so when he shows up in the press it catches my eye.
  2. My son’s Bar Mitzvah is imminent and while he is immersed in studying for it I am trying to figure out what I want him to take from all of this.

The Speech And The Big Picture

Technically it is his day and the big speech is the one he gives but there are the words his mother and I will pass along to him too and while they probably won’t get the same press they are very important because they are tied into the mission statement.

Yeah, I went and pulled in some biz speak because blog has a business focus and Jayme Soulati will gripe at me if I don’t include some businessy stuff.

But it is not as silly as it might sound either.

What is the mission statement of your business? Do you have core values that you try to operate by?

My mission statement as a father is simple,  raise children who will become productive members of society, people of character and integrity.

So the Bar Mitzvah touches upon that in not just an immediate but a big picture sort of way.

Values And Education

When the Dot-Com explosion took place in the ’90s some friends and I kidded around about putting together a business plan so that we could ask some V.C. to give us a gazillion dollars we could use to lease a ridiculously opulent office and to throw ridiculously opulent parties for clients and prospective clients.

We never did put together that plan or ask for any cash and I like to think part of it was because it impinged upon our values. We needed to produce something that would have more meaning than a moment of fun.

At least I like to think that is why. I can’t say for certain because my perspective now in many ways is different than it was before I became a father.

But the connection here is that I this to have more meaning for my son than an ordinary birthday party. I want there to be some deeper significance.

At 13 he isn’t old enough to have figured it all out and I expect he’ll have lots of time to think and determine what he believes and why. It is part of why we have pushed him to work hard to educate himself.

When you are educated it is much easier to make good decisions.

Value and Your Customers

And as promised we’ll circle back to the businessy stuff.

When you are running a business you can choose to be the low priced leader and to sell your products/services based upon being the cheapest available or you can do it based upon value.

Value is sometimes harder to build and establish but once you do you generally find less push back from your customers. The people that understand they are getting something significant, meaningful and worthwhile are rarely the ones who ask you to give them a “great deal” because they know they already got it.

What do you think?

Bonus Music

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