Ok. In concept this is a simple idea, but fraught with peril in implementation.
If your reason for being is big enough you will get noticed.
I will state the obvious behind this thought just to get it out of the way. If your reason for being is big enough there is …
– no need to stand in the middle of a room and shout for attention.
– no need to do cartwheels in the middle of a mall.
– no need to run naked in the middle of a soccer match (thank god).
– no need to wear a clown suit (unless you are a clown for a living).
And best of all …
– no need for a dozen jelly donuts (or bagels) or any food bribery when you go to meetings.
If all that interests you then keep reading.
I mean what you stand for and what you say and what you do day in and day out.
I mean what you want to be seen as and ultimately known for (not something tangible … something intangible).
And while this could be about companies and business (and I may try a word replace just to see if that is true) I am gonna keep this one focused on you and I and us (as individuals).
Ok. Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be noticed.
We don’t want to be overlooked or underappreciated (for either a talent or just as a person). That is normal. And has nothing to do with ego or ‘humbleness’ or any of that type of stuff. This is just good ole self esteem and such. This is just about receiving some confirmation that your existence matters (in normal words: ‘you matter’) and some positive reinforcement for self being.
That said. While I hate (abhor) the things on the ‘no need’ list I typed I also believe getting noticed is one of the biggest challenges people face. It is a fact that not being noticed is an obstacle to a lot of things that truly matter.
It makes it harder to communicate what you want to say.
It makes it more difficult to make an impact.
It makes it nearly impossible to change the world (change meaning small, medium, large or extra large in impact).
I say this to make the point that getting noticed does matter. And it matters a shitload.
Look, once again, getting noticed (in the right way) has never been about being outrageous. Getting noticed, like any other incredibly difficult challenge, is all about who you are.
It’s about becoming some color when everything else is black & white.
Its about finding your own way of being distinct.
And mostly it is about finding out what you are good at and being comfortable with who you are as a person.
And if you do all of that I can almost guarantee you that people will naturally gravitate to you (the corollary to that is if people do not gravitate to you then rather than bitch about why they don’t maybe you should begin to reflect upon yourself first).
So. Some thoughts about being comfortable with who you are (the core to being distinct individually and ultimately noticed the ‘right way’):
– Be comfortable doing what everyone else thinks is wrong.
Now. I don’t mean all of the time. I simply mean on things that matter. Why? Because accomplishing anything that truly matters starts with the belief that you may have to be different and its okay to be different. Oh. And not just “shades of gray” different. You have to be completely different.
Yup. Sometimes for people to know that something new is occurring (and want to be involved) you have to commit as a person to capture the essence of the ‘difference’ in what you say and how you present yourself. Oh. And “new” most often comes to life by having the ability to point out things that make people feel uncomfortable (because you are debating the status quo).
In the business world this is called ‘disruption.’ BUT. At its core disruption only is effective if it is relevant. Being different for different sake is wrong. That is making an empty statement. Be comfortable in insightful relevant disruption.
– Be candid. Be truthful.
There are ridiculous things happening everywhere. People’s behavior, attitudes and perceptions. It is easy to overlook the important things because … well … it is easier to focus on the ridiculous (and it is ridiculous). If you want to change the conversation and get people talking with you (as well as about you), start talking about all this ridiculous stuff. Spend the time to create intellectual arguments that get people thinking.
– Understand effort matters.
Oh. And, in particular, effort for the moments that really matter … well … really matter.
Get it in your head now (no ifs, and or buts) that there are truly no easy get rich schemes. Believe it deep in your soul. Etch it somewhere on your body if you have to. One of the most debilitating things that can happen is a choice to make personal investments in shortcuts. No shortcut can replace effort. The same thing applies to vision and how you manage details. There is nothing to do but “DO”. That’s the attitude that you need to have. And if by expending massive amounts of effort on things that matter you happen to gain success, then absolutely enjoy it. You will get noticed for the effort on what matters.
Is this true all the time? Nope.
But consistency wins this particular game. You will be tempted by the short cuts (we all are) but deliver the effort on the things that truly matter on a consistent basis and you will get noticed. I guarantee it. And you will be noticed for the right reasons.
– embrace (some) vulnerability.
This is the last one and the most difficult one.
Maybe I could have just written, “be human” but vulnerability is a much more powerful concept. And it takes some real kahones to embrace this one.
Why is this important to getting noticed? Well. People are flawed. And people like people who are flawed. Perfection scares people. And, honestly, no one is perfect.
We all have things that impact us so emotionally they, well, bring us to tears. And those are things that you need to be talking about. You need to be passionate. You need to show you actually care about something. Care so much that you are open to getting hurt. Care so much you become vulnerable in some way. It shows that you live your life, willing to get hurt on things that matter, and are honest about what matters most to you.
So. In the end?
It all starts with you.
If your reason is big enough, your cause worth it enough, being noticed will be the least of your worries.