A chunk of my face is missing today. I’m serious. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. Here’s what happened…
I have a puppy that likes to eat things. In this case, it was a rock. In a clumsy attempt to open the front door to bring her inside at the same time that I tried to remove said rock from her mouth, my face met a sharp corner of the siding of the house and low and behold there is now a 2 inch long gash on my forehead. I got the rock out of her mouth. Worth it? I’m not so sure. Next time eat the rock.
This was at 7 this morning. At 9 I was scheduled to be at Blogworld…a new media convention where a bunch of us geeks get together and talk about all of the stuff that makes us get all tingly inside and causes our spouses eyes to glaze over.
There was no missing this thing on my forehead. Perhaps I could have worn a hat in a poor attempt to hide it but I’d have to pull it way down over my face and would just end up looking like Charlie Sheen trying to sneak his way through the airport…minus the drugs and the crazy of course. I also could have just hidden in the back so no one would see this new addition to my face but that kind of defeats the purpose of being here. I instead chose to embrace my new found disfigurement (another exaggeration).
Since I couldn’t talk to anyone without them staring right at my forehead as if they were expecting it to start talking, I figured I should be the first to point it out. As Randy Pausch once said “if there is an elephant in the room, introduce him.” I did just that. I made it a point to tell everyone the story of what happened…
“I cut it running into a burning building to save a litter of kittens”
“I thought this was the Harry Potter convention”
“I got in a fight with Jay Baer“
“I cut myself shaving” (my personal favorite)
Some cool stuff came of this little “make the best out of a bad situation” moment. I became a little more memorable than just being the blogger at the blogger convention. Granted, I was memorable in a bit of an awkward “hey, your skull is falling out of your face” type of way, but memorable nonetheless (last exaggeration, I promise). The results? I met and connected with more people than I did pre-gash. Plus the people that I wanted to connect with most that get hundreds of e-mails a day are only going to get one with the subject “From the Guy with the Gash on His Forehead” which will likely trigger something that I may have said or asked. That’s a good thing. It beats walking in ice cold.
In the end, there is a lesson in here.
The old me from years ago likely would not have gone or maybe I would have hidden in the back of the room mortified at the thought of what everyone might think. I would have stopped myself from talking to anyone. Whenever someone looked at me I would have created a story in my head about the awful things they were thinking (yeah, you’re not the only one that does that).
Instead I chose to make it a strength. I used it to my advantage. And it worked. Go me.
It doesn’t matter if it is life or business. It doesn’t matter if it involves existing relationships or interactions with people you just met. You are hiding something. What is it? What are the weaknesses and imperfections that you currently have and why you are burying your head in the sand expecting no one to notice?
What if you were to step outside your comfort zone and shine a light on those things that you think your friends, family, clients, prospects and visitors aren’t able to accept. Wear them on your sleeve like a badge of honor. Be human. Turn your weaknesses into a strength. Starting right now…