The other day, I got the shock of my life.
When I arrived home after a day of doing my thing, I spied my boys playing in the backyard pool. With a big smile on my face I hurried to join them and to my horror – saw their freshly shaven…
Yep. My beautiful, biracial boys with their irresistible locks of curly hair were now sporting Mohawks that would make Mr. T blush.
I instantly descended into a sullen outrage. What the hell had happened? Where was their nice, normal, preppy haircuts? Who said they had a right to be…well…different?
As I watched them run across the yard with broad grins and shaven scalps I realized that my moment of truth had arrived. The Universe wanted to see if I was a hypocrite. The question was simple – Did I really believe in being Hardcore Spectacular – or not?
Was I going to steal my boys’ right to be spectacular? Or, was I going to start the relentless social indoctrination that turns little boys into “small” adults?
How about you?
Has a boss, parent, spouse or sibling convinced you that you had to toe the line? Are you wearing a uniform of mediocrity that is crippling your ability to shine?
This is important. Don’t get defensive, think it through.
Are you making excuses for why your blog, business or products are desperately unspectacular? If so, who told you to crawl into that self-defeating box?
If you can pinpoint the thief of your creative birthright – kick their butt off the island as soon as possible. If you don’t know who the dream-stealer is then it’s probably your own fear. If so, then spend the next 30 days isolating your fear, addressing it and then grinding it under your heel.
Listen, you can’t succeed in the new world of a socially connected, authentic, and hyper-competitive business by hiding in the crowd. You need to be passionately outrageous.
You need to sport a Mohawk.
This is easier said then done. I know. I wrestle with my natural tendency to shrink from the limelight. However, my dreams require boldness (yours too).
If you need a little help then here are 5 Spectacular Pointers:
#1: Write Your Boogey Man Post:
This is the post crouching in the back of your mind. It’s brilliant but scary. You are afraid to unleash it because it may be too controversial, idealistic or honest – but you can’t let it go. You gotta write it – it’s the price of admission for Hardcore Spectacular.
#2: Fall in Love with Your Audience
Stop being the Social Media “grown-up”. Throw the rules to the wind and cozy up close to your readers. Fall hopelessly in love with your Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and blog commenters. Decide to regularly give them surprise gifts of spectacular content “just because”. These are the people that make your journey worthwhile. Give them everything you’ve got.
#3: Drop the Avatar
Don’t get mad at me – but your readers want to see and get to know you; not some goofy cartoon or logo! Even though you think you are hideous, you’re not. Your readers deserve to connect with a face. I guarantee that you’ll see your comments, subscriptions and followers improve.
#4: Make A Stand
I am a card carrying liberal. But, I don’t mind my conservative brethren. Why? Because I know where they stand and they sure as heck know where I’m coming from (happily from left field).
Your readers are secretly hungering for your feisty side. Give it to them. They won’t abandon you. In fact, it may be the very thing that convinces them to buy, tweet or like you.
#5 Turn Passion Into a Habit
Find something to get fired-up about every day. Make an unruly post. Call out an enemy. Gush poetic over a reader. It’s easy to slip into a mushy coma where routine trumps the spectacular. Make it a point to touch base with your wild, heart-thumping side daily.
By the way –
Corporate Culture Isn’t an Excuse…
Are you doing the social media thing for a big biz? Are you questioning the wisdom of being Spectacular? Let me tell you the hard, honest-to-goodness truth.
Playing it safe is risky. Right now, somebody in your organization is throwing caution to the wind – and will get the glory, budget and the staff to make things happen. Soon, someone will be whispering about the Maverick who just got promoted – it might as well be you.
Back to My Kids’ Mohawks
By the way, after a breath and a sharp look from my wife, I knelt down, looked my boys in the eyes and said…
“Love those fancy cuts boys!”
Then went inside, fished out my clippers and shaved my head bald.
How about you – how are you daring to be spectacular today?[Spectacular Mohawk Image Courtesy of Michael Kingsley]