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Stand Out From the Crowd

As we move through life, we notice many different kinds of people in our orbit. Usually we have one of two reactions: We either ignore them, or we remember them. Unfortunately, you are usually only remembered for two reasons. You either did something really bad, or you did something really good. Our memories often don’t differentiate the things that were just ok, or normal because it is just that.

Normal.

Now think about a truly memorable person you’ve met in real life, not just on the internet. What is it that makes you want to pay attention to this person? Is it the way they speak? Their Intelligence? Is it their mannerisms and behavior towards others? Is it the passion with which they speak on a subject?

People are attracted to things they can rarely see in themselves, and yet so many of us possess.

When I was a child I was blessed to grow up with an imperfect, yet wonderful, mother who truly allowed me to feel comfortable thinking for myself even as a child. She encouraged me to read and explore, and always supported whatever crazy job idea I came up with. She always told me I could be anything I dreamed of, and to never dream small. She also taught me to never fear my intelligence or dumb it down for anyone. No man will love me more because I hide my truth from him, and the world will not love you more if you hide your truth.

It took me 10 years in my career to realize the truth in that statement.

I had hidden my power, pushed down by the masculine tide that carried the music business. Afraid to be too loud, to speak up, to assert myself and my knowledge.

That all changed when I got to California. I had a belief in my head that I would learn so much, finally find someone to believe in me, a mentor.

Turns out that wouldn't happen, and I would be disappointed.

Turns out that all the years I had spent perfecting my craft, others had not. They had rushed in with less experience and less knowledge, barely able to put together and run their gear let along have a good show. This infuriated me, offending the reality of the utopia I created in my head.

Upset with myself, and the power of assumptions, I took a long hard look at myself.

And then I took back my power.

I became unafraid to assert my position and knowledge. I demanded equality and fair treatment. I moved out of the shadows and into the light of all the work I had done.

And I was noticed.

The time I had spent in the shadows had allowed me to hone my craft, my emotions and my management.

I stood out not because I constantly put myself in people faces. In fact, quite the opposite. I kept my eyes to the stars and my chest pointed forward and worked my ears to bleeding (metaphorically of course, I AM a sound engineer after all!). People took notice. The passion with which I spoke about my job, the aspects of it that impassioned me caught people’s attention. My care for my artist and attention to detail became well known.The smallest effort had been repaid.

I stood out from the crowd. I had defined myself. People knew my name, my work, even the sign of my red hair. The bands I worked for perpetuated my rumor, speaking on my kindness and professionalism and even (much to my pleasure) my ability to be a hard ass when necessary.

I never let anyone tell me what my success would look like, and I never let anyone tell me how to stand out from the crowd. I had to figure it all out myself.

And I am so much better for it.

Success and standing out from a crowd looks different for everyone. Your version of success is not necessarily my version and there is nothing wrong with that. Don't let other peoples vision for your life cloud the sun of your joy.

Go Stand Out.

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