I used to finish my work so fast in my primary and secondary school days that I’d frequently be found sitting at my desk with nothing to do. So I had to entertain myself. There was a day where I was reamed by a 4th grade teacher for muttering “I’m bored.” There was the day I went to the girls’ bathroom in high school and counted all of the tiles on the wall for the entire 55 minute class period. Twice. Fiercely competitive but rarely challenged early on in life, school never did it for me. Because I had to be like everyone else.
I think that’s peculiar – our school systems encourage uniformity, yet those who are better cut out for something less conventional get crammed into a square-peg-round-hole scenario. It took me 17 years in the business world to embrace that The Man wasn’t my ideal mate and I was much better off Just. Being. Me.
And being me? Well, it pays. Take Tuesday.
If you read this blog at all, you know that I don’t have a filter. I say what comes to mind, yet my vernacular has its fans and enemies alike. But that’s me. My clients and colleagues like working with me because I don’t have the capacity for bullshit. I make people laugh while they learn. I help them understand why things are important and am the first to admit when I’m wrong (and I’m wrong, much like the rest of you are, on a regular basis). And that’s my business model. I am my business model.
What’s your business model?
If it’s to be a dork nugget and troll the interwebz and business world for people who don’t do it just like you, that’s a pretty shitty business model. if it’s to run a business identical to something you picked up at a laptop-and-a-lunch workshop, equally shitty.
Isn’t it time that you were honest with yourself about who you are, what you love and why the hell people should care? From gigantic brands to bootstrapped startups, we spend entirely too much time fucking around with people who will never love us, buy from us, or tell a friend or colleague anything positive about us.
So why do we do it?
Because of school.
No one likes being the unpopular kid. Dateless at homecoming (raises hand), wearing second-hand clothes (hand is still up), nerdy (whistles…hand – over here, third row) and four-eyed (yep – hand is still up). You wanna break you off summa dat, dontcha?
Get out of school and get into business. Businesses that make a difference are the ones that are human. Humans are different. Quirky. They’re unpopular with just the right audience. Some wear designer jeans…some don’t. Sometimes they say exactly what we wish we could say. Others, they teach us lessons and make our lives better. But the best businesses are the ones you’d want to sit down and have dinner with because you can see the people behind the brand. Lovable yet flawed, ready to learn and grow.
So thank you to my readers and followers who made the below screenshot from my Facebook page possible. You make me laugh and remind me each day that I’ve built the best business model possible.
OH! And I promised a contest. I was lucky enough to score a signed copy of The Now Revolution by Amber Naslund and Jay Baer while at SXSWi, so that’s the ossum possum prize o’ the day. All ya gotta do is leave a comment and tell me your favorite HUMAN brand and why. I will choose the winner based on where I am at in my menstrual cycle, my bank account balance and phase of the moon. You have until tomorrow at midnight (3/25/11, 11:59pm MST). Go.