Stop the ‘Obnoxious Sham’…Be Yourself

I’ve always been told that I would be a good salesman. I’m not exactly sure why … I think it has to do with the fact that I am 100 percent certified in the art of BS.

The more I think about it, though … I guess I have successfully “sold” things in my lifetime.

• As a recruiter for the TCU football team, I “sold” a tremendous school, the chance to get a great education, a winning head coach, and a quality program.

• When I was dating, I had to “sell” myself. (Thank goodness Tanya purchased all of that stock, because the quality “selling points” were somewhat subjective.)

• When I worked in the newspaper industry, I constantly had to “sell” a story idea and/or designs to my editors.

With that experience – plus my certification in bull sh** – I never would have imagined the anxiety and apprehension that was waiting for me when it was time to start selling for e-Partners in Giving.

I think it had to do a lot with this statement:

“I don’t want to screw it up.”

So, I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I bought books on selling techniques.

I Googled “selling tips.”

I wrote out detailed dialogue for conversations.

EXAMPLE:
(Note: You have to read it with the most stereotypical robot voice you can muster to get the full effect.)

“Hi. My name is Drew Myers.

(pause)

I am the president and CEO of e-Partners in Giving.

(pause)

We are a brand new company…blah, blah, blah.”

I would wake up in the middle of the night – constantly thinking, “It has to be perfect.”

I wouldn’t eat, because I was too busy pacing around the office/house “practicing.”

I was a mess.

Then I received some of the best advice of my life. It came from our Director of Giving, Stefanie.

I had asked if we could meet over lunch so she could hear my speech, and I don’t know if it was the robot voice or the apprehension spilling out of my eyes, but she said the most profound statement in the world at that moment.

STEFANIE: “What are you so worried about? Just be yourself – be Drew!”

It was like she gave me my life back with two simple words that I’ve known and tried to live by for 99.9 percent of my life: “BE DREW!”

Now, I simply remind myself every morning to simply be myself and attack the day.

Stefanie’s advice has become a lot more relevant lately, because I’ve seen this statement on more than one occasion: “You need to be branding yourself.”

I guess the market saturation of blogs, social networking sites, and online professional networks has made “Brand U” a hot topic.

Here is my brand: What you see is what you get! (You can brand a cliché, right?)

I feel like it’s more important to be authentic than something or someone you’re not. (That includes posting pictures of myself with my mouth wide open – that’s how I’ve taken pictures since junior high. That’s me. That’s me “being Drew.”)

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite books. (The page has been “dog-eared” for years): “Be natural! The only way to be somebody is to be yourself. Trying to wear another’s personality is as unnatural as trying to wear his teeth, and just as nauseating. A comical, obnoxious sham!”

What’s ironic about that statement: I’ve been called obnoxious MANY times in my life.

Just think how obnoxious I would have been if I wasn’t being myself.

OTHER NUGGETS

THE LIST: WORKING ON No. 34
(No. 34 Serve on the board – or as an advisor – for a non-profit organization)

I am discussing this potential opportunity with the executive director of Frog House, which is TCU’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

e-Partners in Giving has submitted a proposal to Frog House in order to take part in its efforts for the 2008-09 school year. We have a meeting later this week to finalize the partnership, which includes a possible advisory position for me with their fundraising team.

I sat in on an orientation Saturday, and I was blown away by Habitat for Humanity as an organization and the TCU students in charge of the project.

A representative from Habitat came to the meeting and reinforced that “Habitat for Humanity is NOT a ‘hand out’ to these families. It’s a hand up.”

I love that!

OTHERS GIVING BACK
I’ve had several “blog readers” share how they are giving back – through donations or volunteering. I want to keep hearing about ALL these efforts.
Not only does it warm my heart, I firmly believe that sharing these stories helps motivate others to give back.

• Donna Biasatti, a friend who works at TCU, is volunteering at Cook Children’s Medical Center.

• My sister, Susan, told me this weekend that she wants to be a part of our Habitat for Humanity Build build.

• Coach Gary Patterson and his wife Kelsey donated 150 brand new T-shirts to Presbyterian Nigh Shelter through Coach Patterson’s foundation.

QUOTEBOOK
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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