December is upon us, and with it, thoughts of many turn to vacations.
With that in mind, I hope you don't mind if I take you on a trip.
An ego trip.
But worry not, there is indeed a lesson in this voyage of vanity.
Over my 35-year career, I've been interviewed. A lot. By everyone from elementary school students to Craig Ferguson on CBS's Late Late Show.
But over the past couple of years, I've found that I've become somewhat boring during these Q & A sessions. Maybe it's because I had more to lose (running and selling Airborne Mobile and taking over at Just For Laughs), but I found that my recent responses were over-thought. Rather than being myself and "going for it," I developed an interview "persona," one quite different from me, and who only came out when the microphones did.
Over the past couple of months, I've thrown all caution to the wind.
I've gone in open, not unprepared, but definitely unrehearsed and unguarded.
Maybe even unhinged.
I said what's in my heart, what's off the top of my head and what's on the tip of my tongue.
I'm having fun again. More importantly, I think I'm becoming a better salesman, and--dare I say--more inspirational.
When people care enough to query you about something, they don't just want answers to their questions; they want answers to bigger issues. They want direction. They want enlightenment. They want guidance.
Cliches and response-by-rote they can get anywhere. But to be a great interviewee, one has to take a risk, open up and speak from the heart.
They're raw, disjointed, and often crude.
But they're real.
And they're me.
And judging by the reaction they are getting--and I am getting--they're working.
Not everyone can be funny. Or outrageous. Or provocative.
But by being real, everyone can be themselves.
And there's no better interview subject than one's real self.
I hope ;)
(P.S. One caveat--I wasn't really "ripped" in the National Angel Summit talk below, but I did want to shake up what seemed to be a very staid room. And I needed an excuse for the wine on stage, so...)