Being an outlier is something I've done pretty well.
Not intentionally, mind you. But that's how it's worked out. For years, I've tried really hard to conform my narrative around really constrained parameters. I figured that if I put myself into a box, jumped through certain hoops and tried to play the game the way it's meant to be played that eventually stuff would work out.
Turns out, it doesn't work that way for me.
I mean, let's be real. Conformity gets you pretty far and there are limits to floating around without any moorings. But when I think about how things have worked, what I've found most often is I do my best work when I'm confident, passionate, supported and driven towards goals.
I started writing that first paragraph for one of my sites, because for years I've struggled with bios and so forth because I'm not even sure what the hell to say. Not because I don't have impressive things to talk about, but rather, I struggle with what's important and what's not. More often, I'll leave off things to the point where you'd almost wonder what makes me qualified to have the conversations I'm having at all.
That's changing some. The past year has taught me a lot of things, but most notable among them is nobody is going to give you the benefit of the doubt you won't give yourself. Actually, that's a consistent theme I've encountered a lot over the years. I can be too candid, too real and forget that not everybody is your friend, not everyone cares whether you succeed or not; so long as they do.
The awesome part is how many people do care and are willing when you ask. I've been taken aback constantly by the nature of so many quality folks that I've encountered and how fortunate I've been to have them in my life.