The second installment on this subject of getting weird in business just appeared in the Nevada City Advocate. Since the first one never appeared online, I’m posting it here. In the August edition, I talk about my own business inner weird. Go get an Advocate at your favorite coffee spot in Nevada County or read it online.
I want to hear from you about YOUR inner weird. Come on I know you have weird!
Embrace Your Inner Weird
This week I am working with a publishing business that is ready to take their business to the next level. In an effort for them to prioritize all of their opportunities we are brainstorming their strengths and weaknesses. One person claims that a weakness for them is that they are pretty darn weird. I ask, “But isn’t that also a strength?” They look at each other and start nodding. And without missing a beat I say, “In fact, isn’t being weird one of your greatest opportunities?” Which is followed by much laughter and excitement.
I spend 25 years in the music industry. Not only was I pretty darn weird, I embraced a catalog of weird. When I started selling music, Dead Kennedys and Green Day were weird. Today Lady Gaga is a perfect example of embracing weird. You may be reading this saying, “But I like Hank Williams (weird) and the Beatles.” (crazy weird) or even “I listen to Mozart.” (King of weird!)
But here is what Green Day and Lady Gaga know that Hank Williams and Mozart couldn’t have known: We now have access to the whole world and all the people in it. We don’t have to reply on just the people in our neighborhood. People all over the world are craving and feeding their inner weird. Weird is not a barrier to success it is a rock through the window of mediocrity.
As I watched this publishing company embrace their weird, I was excited and jealous, because I realized that I am like many business people: terrified to embrace my inner weird.
I was very touched last winter at See Jane Do’s “Passion into Action” conference. That whole day was about embracing your inner weird and changing the world while you do it. In one workshop the assignment was to turn to our neighbor and speak our passion. I hemmed and hawed and finally admitted that my passion was pretty darn weird and I am terrified that anyone hear it. Ouch!
Given all the barriers to business success in 2010, can we succeed if we don’t get brave and let it fly? And if that is true for me, and a publishing company, is it not true for you too? Being weird not only catches attention, it is the biggest opportunity for all of us. I plan to get brave starting today. I will embrace my inner weird and challenge you to embrace yours.