When was the last time you said something shocking?
Or did you just think it, but swallow it for fear of repercussions?
Did you fear, “No one will like me anymore”?
My Own Change Of Heart on Risk Taking
I used to think, when it came to running a business, that it was always best to take a middle-of-the-road stance, steer clear of controversial subjects. Namely, the Big Two, Politics and Religion. Ohhhhh, no, don’t talk about these subjects. Be very careful here. Tread lightly.
Well, phooey to that noise, as my mother used to say.
And if you’re someone to whom I’ve given that advice, my sincerest apologies. Because I was wrong.
I’ve learned that in business, just as in life, squelching your opinions for fear of reprisal is unproductive. And unnecessary. If the aim is to please everyone, I got a newsflash for you. You can’t. You won’t.
So stop trying.
The only thing it will do is make you, and anything you write, downright dull.
Booooooooring. Can’t you hear Jo Anne Worley’s voice there? No? Maybe I’m aging myself.
Okay. Sure, if you voice your strongly-held opinions, you’re going to repel some people. No question about it. They may even talk about you. Gasp!
You Want To Get Noticed
Let me ask you: Isn’t that what you want? To get noticed? To garner attention?
My mother always said the time to worry was when people stopped talking about you. And if you have a blog site or run an online business, you totally want people to talk about you. Even if what they’re saying is, well, less than flattering.
Why? Because it makes you interesting. And interesting people get noticed. People want to see what they’re up to, what they’re going to do or say next.
So they pay attention.
And since that’s what you want anyway, what’s the problem?
The Problem – Or What We Think Is The Problem
The problem is, we worry about what others think of us. We shouldn’t, but since when has that ever mattered?
The simple truth is, you’re never going to please all the people all the time. And you certainly won’t by being boring and dull. Nevermind pleasing anyone. You’ll be lucky if they notice you.
Don’t Incite Controvery Just For The Sake Of It
I’m not telling you to go off half cocked and stand on street corners declaring your beliefs. You don’t necessarily want to be controversial just for the sake of it. Well, I can think of a few comedians and public figures who have built their brand doing just that, but for most of us, that’s not our intention.
But when you have a strong opinion, on any subject, but especially as it relates to your business, share it. Write about it. Show your feelings. Don’t hide behind the fear of offending people.
Let’s face it, one of the perks of owning your own business is that you get to pick who you do business with. You get to surround yourself with people who are like-minded and who make your business exciting.
I have friends who have different beliefs than I have and some of them are my very best friends. I am not saying that you can’t connect with those with opposing views. I’m simply saying stop trying to pretend to be something you aren’t.
It’s freeing. It’s fun. It generates conversation and the sharing of ideas. It ignites passion.
And it gets you, and your business, noticed.
Go Ahead – Speak Your Mind
Go ahead. Be yourself. Say what’s on your mind. Use the occasional swear word, if it fits your purpose.
Stop hiding behind what’s safe and comfortable. Stop stifling yourself.
Be brave. Write about topics that you feel strongly about. Express your opinions.
Stir things up. Make waves.
And watch people take notice. Watch them talk about you. Watch them want to connect with you.
And watch your business thrive.
If you found this post helpful and it made you want to go take a risk, click here to share it with your friends. Maybe they have been afraid to do it too. And please post your comments below. Let’s get the conversation started.