WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?
Todd Dewett | January 10, 2022
You can’t please everyone. You don’t want to please everyone!
When smart marketers build a brand, they know they are simultaneously trying to attract certain people while excluding others. Something quite similar should happen in your career. Too often, it doesn’t, typically because of our strong desire to please others.
We try to please in order to avoid conflict, to be kind, to affirm, etc. – all in the service of staying out of trouble and possibly advancing. This strategy inevitably leads to compromised values, difficult emotions, overly contrived relationships, and time spent doing work that doesn’t inspire.
A better strategy is to be like a savvy marketer and draw your lines. Stand for what you believe in. Dress, speak and behave in a thoughtful (and respectful) manner that is authentically you.
Sure, this is not a risk-free approach. Not everyone will like your look, less-filtered opinions, etc. Great. That helps you know who tolerates and likes the real you. This is immensely valuable information that will help you with a host of future decisions. Besides, as noted above, you’re already carrying a big burden by trying to please everyone, so what are you afraid of?
I honestly try to live by this advice. Lots of people love how I look and what I do. Others don’t get me or don’t like me. As an educator, some users of my products have noted that my tattoos are not professional. As a professional speaker, I regularly lose gigs because a prospective client is afraid of how I look.
Fine! I’m not trying to speak to everyone, and neither should you. If you try to please everyone, you’re not fully pleasing anyone. If you try to avoid being offensive all the time, I promise you that you will never inspire anyone.
So, where should you get started drawing your lines? A low-risk approach to start is fine. Just begin with how you speak to one or two key people. Not how you look, that comes later. Focus on how you speak to them interpersonally, then slowly, in front of others (e.g., at meetings). Then tweak how you speak to others. Then tweak how you look. Take one small authentic step at a time.
Life is too short to be a full-time people pleaser. It’s too short to be constantly presenting a highly contrived version of yourself to everyone. You can do this. Draw your lines. When you do, most others will reciprocate with a bit more authenticity. With them, you will build game-changing rapport. With the rest, well, that isn’t nearly as important, is it?
WHAT’S UP WITH DR. D?
Gigs! I’ve been booking gigs, rescheduling events, or switching them from in-person to virtual. Thanks, Covid! The strange journey continues. I’m not complaining at all. I’m healthy and still working. I sincerely hope the same is true for you and yours.
I just had the pleasure of sharing eight new courses with some people in the industry… which platform? Not clear yet – stay tuned!
Just had an anniversary, thank you very much. The wife just had clean scans for the first time in a long time – that’s huge! No power disasters yet this winter in Houston – yes! Lot’s to be thankful for. Remember to count your blessings 🙂
Do you love meetings as much as I do? Ha! Make your group better immediately by choosing one meeting to cancel, one to float, one to go virtual, and one to go to chat. Some meetings only exist because they were once useful. If it’s not currently essential, cancel it. Some are useful but only on occasion. So stop scheduling it every Wednesday and only schedule it when it’s actually needed. Some are important, but face-to-face time isn’t required. Save some time and just jump online. If you have zoom fatigue, try a conference call – remember those? Finally, some meetings can just be carried out by typing in a chat or group app. People pose a few questions; everyone discusses and quickly shares relevant files – done. I might be oversimplifying a little, but seriously, you can cut back on the traditional meetings!
Until next time – stay safe, go learn something, maybe help someone, or at least do something interesting!
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All of my links in one place: https://linktr.ee/drdewett.