Being the Big Cheese: Who Can Qualify Your Quality?
March 20, 2014
I had coffee with a new friend, Vanessa, and our conversation had drifted into the “boss” mentality. So many people are convinced they are or aspiring to executive level or CEO status. Many times the mentality is hinged upon being in charge or having nice things or people “liking” you. But she and I agreed that a boss is a boss before he has any subordinates, expensive things, or even overall support. Most CEOs will speak to times of sacrifice, determination, and quite often isolation.
Our conversation drifted further into how people become “famous” on the strength of social media popularity. Social media is a wonderful outlet for new talent and it is inspiring when individuals find a platform as their outlet—self-included! But when those people gage their success on the number of likes or views their product gets, I don’t agree.
In this age of Instagram likes and YouTube views leading to individuals becoming buzzworthy, I can’t help but to ask, “Who are these thousands of people who ‘like’ you?” Not taking from anyone’s recognition, but when it comes to all these people, who are you speaking to? What are you taking from it all? Is there a plan?
Vanessa shared an analogy with me about pressure and growth. She gave an illustration about seeds planted deep have stronger roots, which, conversely, lead me to think that seeds planted in shallow soil are prone to birds. Are you positioning your seeds to have strong roots or are you in place to be swallowed up by birds?
Another point we shared was that people “like” things according to their capacity. It stands to reason that more exquisite, more intricate, more refined things substantially have fewer “likes,” but that does not take away from the product; it actually adds to it. There is something to be said about exclusivity. Think about the people who like processed cheese food as opposed to aged cheese from rare cows-- both are very likable, but it’s safe to say that fewer people “like” aged cheese from rare cows… but aged cheese from rare cows is still aged cheese from rare cows. Aged cheese from rare cows will always be aged cheese from rare cows, because of what aged cheese from rare cows is and those who give aged cheese from rare cows its worth. This takes nothing from processed cheese food. The masses love processed cheese food, but sometimes the masses may not be what we all aspire to.
Know your worth, and know it’s not in quantified in likes and views.