I recently read a blog post where I was referred to as a superstar, which to me an absurd classification given that I am me. But I do like to think of myself as being citation worthy in nature. Some people are citation worthy because they do great in depth research while others are citation worthy because they are creative or naturally quirky and then there are people who are citation worthy because they can relate complex ideas to easy to understand topics. Some people push buttons or are egotistical / insecure / shy / weird / uncultured / uncouth to the point of being citation worthy.
At times I am all or none of the above. Depending on mood, who I am with, where I am, how I feel, what song is playing, and what dance I am doing.
When I was in the military we had to wear these stupid straps on our glasses in bootcamp. The difference between me and most other people was that when I got to the boat I still wore those stupid straps, largely because glasses gave me a headache if they put pressure on my ears, and largely because I knew it annoyed certain people. At one point I also ate so much bacon that the boat got put on rations so that I personally forced the cooks to fix breakfast. Both of those things made me citation worthy.
I recently met a cool girl and we make up lots of fake words and tease each other for some of the silly things we say or do. In a couple of weeks of hanging out there are dozens of shared bizarre words and experiences. The connections associated with those tags we made up are easy to vividly share and remember because we made them up and only we know what they mean. I think great writing has the ability to make you think the writer was just writing for you.
I went to a Bob Dylan concert with a friend of mine last night, and on the ride home there was a dining place which had neon lights that said bakery and cocktails. And while that may have been dumb marketing for a restaurant to combine those two (who does that?), it also was citation worthy and memorable. And being memorable is about sharing connections. Our imperfections (also known as character) are what make life great.
I saw some people giving speeches at the conference which were well polished and were effective at making the audience yawn. I decided to not polish myself to the point of trying to make myself a perfect speaker. It is not who I am and is not who I want to be...at least not now. Instead I decided I would try to feel comfortable and just make people laugh. I am not sure how well my speech went (Powerpoint online here). If you saw it (or my Q&A Panel) feel free to let me know what you thought below.
If you give into who you are then you are less likely to get burned out and will be harder to replicate. If you have things you feel insecure about or areas where you feel insufficient or inexperienced one of the best things you can do is embrace your default character and let that carry you. If you are following someone else's path you are likely building their brand and reinforcing their market position while undermining or ignoring your core assets. What makes you a non-commodity is just as likely to be your flaws as your skills, so long as you are unafraid of appearing broken, which can go a long way on a network consisting mostly of various manipulative goals and chunks of scattered text.
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