That’s the way I’ve always heard it. However, the earliest reference to the parable appears in the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs.
But who is wurs shod, than the shoemakers wyfe, With shops full of newe shapen shoes all hir lyfe? (1546 J. Heywood Dialogue of Proverbs i. xi. E1V)
The American version sounds sad. The original version sounds like torture!
Nevertheless, many cultures have some version of the parable involving the cobbler and one or more of his family members. Yet, in some cases, the parable applies to other professions.
Spanish: There are only wooden spoons in the blacksmith’s house.
Chinese: The lady who sells fans fans herself with her hands.
Arabic: At the potter's house water is served in a broken jug.
This Author: The learning and organizational development consultant had no website.
Regardless of the culture or profession, it appears that I too have suffered from a global phenomenon…business owners often do for their clients what they don’t do for themselves. Running a business on tight margins, I want to be a good steward of my finances. I’ve tried to “make-do” with Facebook or a blog for far too long, and it wasn’t working for me. It’s not what I would advise my clients to do, so today I rectify the situation.
It’s shiny and new, and it makes me feel like I do when I get a new pair of shoes. More importantly, it helps people better understand what I do and how we can work together. Please take a look and send me your feedback.