Friday, February 21, 2014

Standing Out Quietly

There are plenty of ways to stand out in the market. There are plenty of BAD ways to stand out in the market. You can be all me, all the time, on every social media network out there. You can make lots of noise talking about controversial, divisive topics. Or you can be Kate Hansen.

The name might not be familiar, but if you've been watching the Olympics, her dance moves probably are.
Kate is a member of the US Olympic Luge team. She's young and no one expected her to win a medal this year. Spoiler Alert: she didn't win a medal. Kate actually finished 10th. That's great, but hardly newsworthy.

But that didn't stop Kate from getting as much, if not more, news coverage than her teammate Erin Hamlin, who won Bronze. Erin's medal is the first for any USA luge competitor, men or women. It's kind of a big deal. But the cameras just couldn't get enough of Kate. All because of something she did quietly.

Before each race, Kate warmed up with Beyonce going strong in her headset and some pretty kick butt dance moves. Alone, in isolated parts of the track, Kate did what she needed to do to perform her best. At first, she had no idea the cameras were there. Once reality kicked in, she didn't change a thing.

And that's why Kate has become a story. If she had stopped dancing, made a quick "gee golly, did you see that?" statement and then conformed to what everyone else thought she should be doing, this would have been a 30 second news blip about an Olympian getting caught dancing on camera.

Instead, Kate opted to stay true to who she is, ignore the cameras and, literally, dance to the beat of her own song. And overnight, she became a media darling and internet phenom.

What can we learn from Kate? First, Beyonce makes some excellent dance music. But more importantly, it always pays to be yourself. You are wonderfully, fabulously, uniquely you. You can't find success trying to be like someone else.

So go out there and get caught being you. Do what you do, because it's the right thing for you. And when the cameras find you, you won't have to worry about what image or brand they'll see. It will always be you.

2 comments:

  1. I had no idea about this (I've been glued to figure skating), but I'm really glad you pointed it out. Honesty and self-confidence are always more attractive than attention seeking. :)

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  2. Great advice. I see no reason to show people anything other than who you really are. Even when I make mistakes, I'm okay with people knowing because I'm only human.

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