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Drop the Corporate Bullshit and Tell us What You Really Think…
Making the transition from van driver to marketer and business owner has been very interesting and trying at times. Over the last few years I’ve been to places I never thought about going to and I’ve been in meetings and connected with people that I never dreamed possible before.
It’s not that I’m living a jet-set lifestyle (yet!), it’s just that it’s dramatically different from what I was doing ten years ago.
But one thing has stayed with me throughout and it’s the one thing I know helps me to stand out and encourages people to read this blog, open our emails, visit our website, listen to my talks, chat to us at our expos stand and then… buy from us!
“No bull, just great beef!”
I saw this painted on a wall in a restaurant near me a few years ago. I’ve since changed it to “No bull, just beef” for our brand and it forms part of my book.
Bullshit is everywhere. Words added into copywriting to make it seem more clever, suits and ties worn by people to networking meetings when jeans and T-Shirts are more comfortable, and ‘hoity toity na na’ (that’s now a phrase, OK) spewed all over video and from the stage at talks.
Drop it. Drop that act.
When you get home, you don’t talk like that. When you get off stage, you’re different. You’re yourself. So when I read your book and then met you and you weren’t the same, it felt odd.
Why the change? We don’t need to be someone else to win at business and we certainly don’t need to pretend we’re more educated than we actually are. Whilst I’m at it, don’t do the silly over-egged bios on LinkedIn.
“We all sit down to shit!”
I love that quote. How true. We’re all the same when it comes down to it but we’re also different in our own unique ways and we should celebrate that, too!
I didn’t want to taste wine….
When I drove a van, I would on occasion have to go to wine tastings. They weren’t my bag and I didn’t really like going to them. I had to ‘pretend’ and I hid my lack of knowledge and filled in gaps with words I’d heard before. Wine was wine. I liked it and I’d learnt some stuff about it but I didn’t want to admit I didn’t know it all.
I’m glad I went though, as a chance meeting at one of them led to the beginnings of my social media journey with an introduction to Twitter.
That was a big moment in my life.
But most of the time at those events I would just pretend and try to fit in and I see that happening online all the time. We have the ‘fake it till you make it’ crowd, the ‘100% happy couple’ on Facebook, and then the ‘selfie brigade’ who basically take the selfie and even choose the places they go just to tell everyone how wonderful they are.
Their real life isn’t a patch on their Instagram life
Outside of the square lines of the filter, life ain’t always that good.
I took a photo for someone recently. They passed me their phone and asked me to capture their moment. It was pre-set with their Snapchap filter of choice and they told me to take it in portrait, and then told me, before I took it, that it probably wouldn’t be that good anyway.
Just before I took the photo she fell into a load of boxes nearby.
Outside of that photo wasn’t the perfect filtered person. It was a pretty drunk, insecure young woman who was already hating the photo I hadn’t taken yet. She posted it anyway as it would only last for 24 hours.
It’s all bullshit, isn’t it?!
I’ve learnt this the hard way. When I got divorced in 2013 a lot of people were shocked as my Facebook timeline looked like I was happy. I wasn’t. Now I try to keep a fair balance of things, especially as I become more influential and because I’m followed by a lot of young guys, too.
But I wobbled recently
I had a wobble about a new kind of wine tasting. I found myself on the way to a secret circle, a private dinner, a mastermind group with a room (so I thought) full of millionaires and people who’d ‘made it’.
But I gave myself a reality check.
I didn’t know who was going to be there. I was dissing my photo before it was taken and I also (wrongfully) presumed that I had nothing to offer that room and that I would be the odd one out.
In fact I added to and influenced that room and the guy who ran it. He even referenced a conversation I’d had with him earlier at the dinner during his opening talk.
I dropped the bullshit. I put on a shirt that fitted me AND my personality and wore jeans and cowboy boots. I strapped on my Spaghetti ‘man bag’ and went on in as me, Todd from Spaghetti Agency. And I bloody well enjoyed it.
There’s too much bullshit in business and there’s a lot more online and on social media
Be the person you really want to be and don’t ever be afraid to be something else. That experience (as you might tell from the tone here) has reminded me (yet again) that it’s OK to be me and that my opinion counts.
When I got back from that dinner I published a blog about GDPR. It’s not my field, but it’s a topic I had opinion on. I would have been nervous to post it but I’d got it checked by an expert. So screw it – I posted it.
It’s been one of the most popular blogs on this website and it’s certainly been the most popular blog that I’ve ever written in the first two days of being live.
My words, my rant, my thoughts, my opinion – they mattered. They matter now too and so do yours.
Sure, people kicked up at it. Some people challenged the ideas in it, and someone went against me and my expert. (They’ve since apologised and changed their view.)
You’re good enough.
No – you’re better than that – you’re unique. What you offer to people is unique. You’re only not good enough if you don’t share what you have to offer.
Drop the filter, the fake lies, the 100% positive posts, the letters after your name on LinkedIn, the tie or heels you can’t wait to get off when you get in, and drop the bullshit.
Guess what’s happened since I stopped listening to everyone else’s opinion of me? I got better at being me and the things and business I’ve attracted have been more suited to our business. The type of people we naturally attract are right for us. That’s not everyone, and that’s a good thing!
Drop the bullshit, be 100% true to yourself and see what happens. The right people will support you and the right people will buy into and from you, too.
Trust me – I’m a cowboy!
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