We’ve been misled into leaving our personalities at the door.
Even though the successful usually grab our hearts and minds by being authentically _themselves_ and wearing their quirks on their sleeve, we are told that it’s “unprofessional” to do that ourselves.
But what does the world really need from you? I tell you exactly what the world needs from you, and why, in episode 398 of The 7 Minute Mentor
The Heroes You Admire
Come up with a list of 3 to 5 people who you most admire. Next, think about how they present themselves. Are they merely professional, or are they something more?
For me, Steve Jobs comes straight to mind. Was he super professional? We know that he experimented with LSD in college. We know he lived in a very minimalist home because he was a huge believer in Zen philosophy. Those are pretty personal details. Did they make him seem unprofessional, or did they only attract people to him and his company?
Elon Musk recently advised his staff to walk out of boring meetings. He added, “It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.” Was that a particularly professional thing to say, or was he simply speaking his mind?
Gary Vaynerchuk is perhaps the best example of how things we think of as “unprofessional” don’t hold you back at all. Gary wears beanies and hoodies. He occasionally slams his foot on the desk to show off his new pair of “kicks”. He swears constantly. And yet, he has a massive following and runs a huge marketing agency.
You will probably find a lot of the people you admire might act in a professional manner, (being consistent, hardworking, honest, and respectful), but the things you love most about them are the quirks and even the flaws that make them uniquely them.
You will also find that your list is full of leaders. I don’t mean they necessarily lead big companies, like the guys on my list. I mean they are leaders in the truest sense of the word.
What it Really Means to Lead
In the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Seth Godin laid out why every one of us has a responsibility to lead.
You don’t have to lead from the front. You can lead from behind. You can lead from within. You lead whenever you set an example by being authentically you. The world needs you to step up and lead.
Do You Have Your Voice Yet?
People say that social media has given everyone a voice. That’s not true.
Nothing can give you your voice. You give yourself your voice when you express your true beliefs.
How can you stand out? Speak from the heart. Share your personality by infusing your work with your values, your experiences, your beliefs, even your dark sense of humour!
Other people might have the same tools as you do, but no one else can put them together in your unique way. That unique way is your unique voice. And the world needs you to speak.
Being “Professional” vs Acting in a Professional Manner
Being “professional” means copying other people.
It means hiding your foibles under a pressed, inoffensive tie. It means hiding your beliefs under memorized lines of company policy. It means doing what everyone else does and, as a result, not being noticed.
If you’re obsessed with being professional, you will churn out the same old content, services, and products we have already seen a hundred times. The world doesn’t need that.
But the world does need you to act in a professional manner. It’s very simple.
1. You do what you say you’ll do
1. You do it with integrity
1. You do it well
The world needs more people who act in a professional way, but it is sick of “professionals”.
Your responsibility to yourself, to me, to your kids, your spouse, your parents, to your coworkers, customers, and audience members – your responsibility to the world is to get up and lead. Be who you were meant to be…no…be who you were built to be.
That’s how you break out of your lifestyle prison.
If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook – 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.
Reserve your seat on the next free coaching session, now.
Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!
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