We all admire people who do something new, different and unique. There is no praise for counterfeit. But sometimes we find ourselves mimicking or following the people we want to be like. And while there are some eternal truths -- returning calls, being on time and treating people with respect -- each one of us has a unique story to tell and a unique way of doing it.
Why is "being you" so important? Think about this: Danny Devito, a prime example of a man who has found himself. I don't think there's many people in the English speaking world who don't know who he is. He's a very talented actor and a very smart, intuitive man who knows who he is: a comedic genius; he has nailed every role I have ever seen him portray.
He has achieved so much. He's incredible, and he was able to do it all with out being like any other person in the world. What a unique soul. He would probably rather be taller, weigh less and have more hair, but despite those things most of us would use as a reason not to get into acting, he took all of those things and created Danny Devito, Hollywood superstar. A classic example of a man who we all love because he is himself, he doesn't pretend or try to look like other people. He is recognizable because no one else is like him.
We all want rare things, so why do we try to be like everyone else? That's the mistake most people make: They try to be someone they are not. I guarantee you if Danny Devito started his career with a hairpiece and a pair of elevator shoes, he wouldn't be who he is today.
You are unique, you are different and you are you. And like your fingerprint, there's no one just like you out there and there never has been. Here are three things that can help you convey the real you.
1. Stop chasing other people's dreams.
It's the only way you can achieve your own. Sometimes we only want things because they are hard to get. Ferraris, large homes, jets and even simple things like a better seat at a concert are not always what we really want but it feels great to achieve them because it validates us and conveys our success to the world.
There is nothing wrong with any of these things but they can be such daunting goals that we find ourselves flustered trying to attain them. The trick is not thinking about them.
I never chase money; I chase success. If your business model is sound, do the work and the money will fall into your lap. Plant your seeds and the crops will yield.
2. Be comfortable with you.
This doesn't mean show up to work in your pajamas and drop table manners. It's about being you. Accept your failures along with your successes. It's ok to be wrong sometimes. Your ego will do more to tear apart your business relationships, whether it's partners, clients or vendors you depend on to make your venture successful.
The Beatles are arguably one of the most successful bands of all time and while each member went on to record their own albums and had varied levels of success, most of them kept singing old Beatles songs. People wanted The Beatles. Egos get in the way and destroy what would otherwise be successful ventures.
Find out what makes you tick. What do you really like? Play it out in your mind and ask yourself, what would your perfect week look like? Be idealistic, dreams are achievable. You might be surprised to discover that most of your favorite things are not hard to get or expensive. I found that when I actually had the money to buy something I thought I always wanted, it was often enough to know that I could buy it if I wanted to.
3. Conveying you.
Be real. its a simple philosophy, but in a competitive world peer pressures and keeping up with the neighbors, it can be hard to do. If you can find out who you are and be yourself, you will be happy. Happiness is the easiest and most natural thing to communicate to others. Happiness is contagious. People spend all of their lives looking for it.
Don't over-promise and under-deliver. Show up on time, be real, make real commitments and stick to them! Take the time to tell people what you are good at and don't be afraid to communicate where your weaknesses lay. People respect honesty.
Show the world who you are and how much you have to offer. Find yourself, be yourself, sell yourself. If you do that, the rest will fall into place.
Follow Nate Holzapfel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nateholzapfel