It is harder to know who you are than it is to be who you are. Everyone says, “The important thing is to be yourself!” I say that when I give them career advice. People like you better when you are being authentic. Gay people do better in their careers when they are out of the closet. Women do better at work if they are feminine at work instead of trying to be like the guys.
But there is very little advice on HOW to be yourself.
1. Don't be boring.
On the way to our board meeting today, it was me, and Ryan Paugh, and Ryan Healy, in a car, running late. Ryan Healy told me not to write about him on the blog anymore, but I think only because I used to write about him like he was my little brother or something. At this point, Ryan Healy is COO of the company, so I think I can write about him because really, how can I undermine him when I'm agreeing to report to him?
So I'm riding in the car with Ryan and Ryan and I finished my needlepoint and I didn't have anything left to occupy my hands during the board meeting. I know that as a board member, and the majority shareholder in the company, I'm supposed to be enthralled at these meetings, but honestly I find them largely very slow and repetitive. (I know I am not the only one who feels this way because another board member went to the bathroom and when he came back and found out that we waited for him, he was disappointed.)
Anyway, I was in the car with them and I was panicking that I didn't have anything to do in the board meeting except listen to the board meeting. Then I said, “I think I'll pop a Xanax.”
And no one said anything. Ryan and Ryan are largely bored with my antics. Read more