I was on the treadmill at the gym yesterday and Oprah was on TV. Adam Lambert from the last season of American Idol was her guest. I couldn’t hear the sound because I was listening to my iPod, but as I saw a magazine cover they posted on screen, with Adam on the cover and the headline “Wild Idol” it got me to thinking. Here is a guy who puts himself out there authentically and without apology. He knows who he is and he doesn’t try to be anything or anyone else. Whether you like him or not, or agree with his lifestyle choice or not, you cannot argue he’s an original and he’s proud of it.
Compare this to the other American Idol winners … can you even remember who any of them are besides Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood? I know I can’t. Funny, the ones I remember are the ones who didn’t try to fit themselves into the prefabricated American Idol mould, and didn’t win as a result. The ones I remember – and I’ll bet you do too – are those who stayed true to who they are, sang their kind music, dressed the way they wanted, and to a certain degree “rebelled” against the vanilla pop-star image Idol could be accused of promoting.
Oh, and these “runners-up” are the ones with the successful careers, too.
Here are a few examples:
Chris Daughtry: 4th place finalist from season five, whose first album holds the record as the fastest selling debut rock album in history. American Idol – no way! His music is described as “post grunge, alternative.” (And he’s one of my favorite artists, by the way!)
Jennifer Hudson: finalist in season three, who was criticized on Idol for her size and theatrical tendencies, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her role in the movie Dream Girls. Oh, and her album has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
Carrie Underwood: winner of season four, has become a wildly successful, Grammy Award winning COUNTRY music recording artist. Although Carrie won her season of Idol, she and presumably the American Idol folks realized her sweet spot was country music and they let her shine in all her authenticity. The result? Multi-platinum!
What can we learn from this as business owners?
Success will be found when you let yourself be who you are. When you stop trying to fit yourself and your business into the mould that someone else created, when it’s not right for you. When you start taking all that advice you’re getting from coaches, mentors, info-products, teleclasses, ezines, blog posts, etc. and you start running it through YOUR filter to see how it fits, before blindly following. And when you stand up for what you believe in and follow your heart, even if it means breaking ALL the rules!
If you own your own business I know one thing for sure, you’re smart and determined and you have a unique gift to share with the world. Because people who don’t possess these qualities simply don’t go into business for themselves, they choose to work for others.
So isn’t it about time you started owning who you are, trusting yourself, and yes, seeking advice and guidance but always remembering to run it through your filter first, before applying it?
Sometimes I look back and I see that I have checked my brain, my instincts and my personality at the door, and blindly followed others. No more. From this point on, I am standing up as who I am, blemishes and all, and I encourage you to do the same.
I choose to be a “Wild Idol.” How about you?