I need a favor. It will only take about ten minutes of your time, and I promise there’s something awesome in it for you. Before we go on, I need you to ponder two questions. First, do you want to be successful? Second, do you want to be inspired—today, right now?
What was that? I thought I heard you say yes twice; excellent! Now, about that favor…
Who Are You?
What kind of kid were you? Be honest.
Dare I say most of us were geeky children? We all know how it feels to be the underdog fighting to make a difference, even if it’s just in our own lives. It’s why we flock to movies like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers.
Now, maybe you were one of the kids who picked on the geeks. You shoved a couple in lockers or tripped them on the playground. It’s okay. I get it. We’re not all in touch with our inner geekiness. Somebody’s got to be the bad guy, right?
Who are you today? You’re probably a far cry from that knee-high geek or super villain who roamed the school halls. Maybe you’re running a small business, burning the midnight oil 24/7 to create success. Maybe you’re an author, eking out a living in the maze-like trenches of self-publishing. Maybe you’re a freelance writer or editor, striving to grow a stable work-from-home platform so you can say goodbye to the 9 to 5 drag you currently call work.
I know who you are. You’re the person with a dream, loaded to the hilt with passion, and determined enough to take it somewhere, turning it into something BIG. As Tom Hiddleston so perfectly put it, you’re not like others…
…For they have no imagination. The sky’s the limit. Your sky. Your limit.
— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) December 31, 2011
And this is why I want to talk to you about being true to you. With all the marketing, business, and self-help advice out there, there is really only ONE thing that matters. You must be true to you.
So, in true me fashion, I invite you into my office here in the realm of all that is geek. In fact, I’d like to give you a peek at my inner geek and impart some of my hard-learned lessons that can help you make the New Year a success.
Own It like Iron Man
I’m a word nerd. I adore what words can do, and I love stories. Great storytelling is as much art as it is technical prowess, and something special happens when a great story is taken to the big screen. One of my favorites is Iron Man.
What’s the one thing that made Iron Man dynamically different from every other superhero to grace paper and screen? The iron suit is not the answer.
“I am Iron Man.” These four words set him apart from every other superhero. Stark didn’t hide his identity. He embraced it. He owned it, character flaws and all!
The Lesson: It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, from entrepreneur to indie author to student. Own it! Own it like Iron Man! Be genuine. Be confident. Be YOU, in all your crazy, eccentric madness and balking character flaws. You are destined to be great as you are, not shoving yourself into a mold that just isn’t you.
Be A Little Bad like Loki
Who doesn’t love a good, bad guy? Loki is nothing if not persistent. As the boy destined to be a king, he has a goal and isn’t afraid to chase it. Okay, so maybe his methods aren’t exactly friendly, and he did try to take over Earth. But this demi-god has his goal clearly in his sights at all times.
Loki knows what he wants. He’s not afraid to make mistakes. He doesn’t care what others think. He dumps his passion, albeit demented, into his endeavors by the bucket. And that, my friends, is a recipe for greatness. When we last saw Loki, he was sitting on the throne of Asgard:
The Lesson: Fear is what we make of it. It can either stop or fuel us. As individuals gifted with an entrepreneurial spirit, it can be like jet fuel if we treat it with respect. So, be a little bad like Loki! Set your goal, no matter what it is, firmly in your sights. Strive for it. Reach for it. Fight for it. Go a little villain for it! We all love Loki, and he’s the bad guy. Stop caring about what others think and simply strive to be the best at whatever it is you do.
Team Work like The Avengers
I cringed a little when I wrote this section’s heading. Although the Avengers turned out to be an unstoppable, epic team, they are not the most graceful act to follow. Stark wasn’t afraid to admit their difficulty in finding traction:
The Lesson: You’re not a superhero, and it’s okay. You cannot (and should not) do every last thing by yourself. Get some team work like the Avengers, dysfunction and all! You need a support structure, whether it’s internal or outsourced. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to work.
Your mission is to learn to let go and work with your team. But understand your team will only be as effective as you allow it to be. Sometimes you just have to back the heck off and let the awesome team you brought together make the awesomeness they rock at.
Truth Creates Trust
Once you own it, go for it, and get help with it, you are left with the ongoing task of staying true to yourself. Your career, brand, business, blog, or [insert your thing here] will succeed if you do the right things for the right reasons. In a sense, you get to be your own superhero and fight for what’s right.
Truth creates trust. When you tap into your passion, drive, and motivation, people connect with it. Suddenly, you’re not just a business, a blog or a professional. You’re this living, breathing, morphing, growing entity. You’re interesting, breathtaking, inspiring, and (hopefully) a little badass! I call this my inner geek. You can call it whatever you want. But make no mistake, it’s what will lead you to success.
Thanks for visiting my geeky little office on this final day of 2014! We’ll do it again soon. Until then, keep being awesome. Keep being you, no matter who you may be.