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Maybe it’s okay to be really excited about what you do.

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It’s been a busy week and I’ve got a bucket full of half-written ideas that I didn’t get published, but before the weekend arrived I wanted to follow up with one more thought that’s been on my mind since I published the Robbie T story.

It’s something I’ve noticed in my own behavior for a number of years and, maybe through so much personal observation, it’s something I’ve started to notice in other folks as well.

In a sentence, we’re afraid to let ourselves get really excited about stuff.

An Example
Last year I was at NSAA. Between meetings and sessions and other conference festivities, I helped man the Inntopia booth with Jim Lilly.

At one point a prominent leader at a potential client stopped by. Someone I admire, look up to, and respect. We began chatting about this marketing/commerce/bi vision Inntopia is working toward, but when he gave me a clear cue to talk about how I see all this, I replied:

“Yeah, it’s been an interesting journey so far. Some ups and downs, but it’s an interesting direction. We’ll see how it goes.”

With such a flood of enthusiasm and optimism, hard to believe he didn’t just sign on the dotted line right then, eh?

The stupid thing about my response is that’s NOT how I really feel. Of course there had been ups and downs, but what we’re building together really is cool and exciting and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given that let me be part of that.

But I didn’t say that. I held back.

The only thing I’ve been able to figure out in the times it’s happened since then (and the times I’ve witnessed it happen with others) is that somewhere in my brain is an enthusiasm meter. Like the “red zone” on a tachemeter, there seems to be a red zone on this gauge that flashes warning lights if my excitement level is putting me at risk of looking “uncool”.

And then I think about Robbie T.

A man who sold me a cheeseburger pizza and couldn’t contain his excitement for this total stranger to try his new recipe and tell him what I thought. And why wouldn’t he? Like my 9-5 efforts, this is something he’d worked really hard on. Something he was proud of as is but something he also wanted to improve. So he had no reason to hold back and he didn’t.

He embraced it.

In that moment I didn’t think Robbie was uncool or lame or nerdy. In fact, I thought the exact opposite. I thought, “Man…wow…that’s the kind of person I want to be.”

Be Robbie T
To be clear, Robbie T may not be the type of person you want to be. But if anything within this story has resonated with you thus far, I invite you to join me on a challenge I’m making myself.

The challenge is:

“The next time I speaking or doing a demo or asked to pitch or someone wonders what I do for a living, I’m not gonna play it cool and hide the enthusiasm I feel for the things I’ve worked so hard on. I’m gonna go all in and call it like it is. If Robbie T can be genuinely excited about pizza, I can be genuinely excited about a new piece of software or marketing campaign or tagline.”

Will it backfire and make me look stupid? Maybe. Will people love and appreciate the fact they’re getting the real me and real story? Perhaps. But there’s only one way to find out. And when I do, I’ll let you know how it went.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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