August 25, 2008

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

3 comments:

Katie said...

There were so many opportunities for you to give me a shout out in this post and you didn't!

Vince Miller said...

I love it... so true. We need to just peel back the onion and get to the soft, smelly, exposed part of ourselves that God created and made beautiful anyway. We spend our whole lives hiding from ourselves, only exposing the hard, crusty, outter shell and never reveal the beauty of God with-in us. Only understanding this can we become not someone else but the "bloomin onion" we were meant to be.

WCB said...

DREW! DREW! DREW!

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