Sunday, August 9, 2009

The advice that got you where you are today...

I'm still recovering from a little medical adventure so I thought you might like to hear from this guy who shares a connection with Stephen King...

By Frank Cook (aka Husband No. 1)

“Be yourself.” Oh, com’on people. What kind of advice is that?

You hear it all the time. Going for a job interview? “Just be yourself.” Pitching an agent? “Just be yourself.” Going out on a date? “Just let her know who you really are – be yourself.”

Have you ever considered the possibility that “being yourself” is what got you unemployed, unpublished and unloved?

Let’s face it, if your Facebook bio says you work in a humdrum job and you live alone with your cat, are you really surprised you don’t have a lot of friends?

It could be time for you, and maybe all of us, to be someone else. And, I hate to point out, being someone else doesn’t pay half bad.

For instance, when Angelina Jolie played someone other than herself in “Wanted,” she got $15 million. When Reese Witherspoon played someone other than herself in “Four Christmases,” she got $14 million. And Katherine Heigl, when she plays Izzy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” she gets $225,000 per episode.

Trust me, nobody would pay those people a dime to just “be themselves.”

The people who tell you to “be yourself” are the people who figure that’s all your good at and you’ll never master being someone else.

There are something like 300 million people in this country so the odds of someone really appreciating someone just like you are pretty good, but the odds of ever meeting that person are also pretty bad.

What am I suggesting? Be someone else.

No, I don’t mean identity theft. (Though it was certainly profitable for the guy who got my credit card number.) And I don’t mean going to restaurants claiming to be Barack’s brother. (He lives in Kenya.) (Not that I’ve tried that.)

I mean creating a certain aura around yourself that could be viewed as being attractive. “Yourself,” but a little more polished. Like:

“What do you do, Frank?”

“I’m a writer.”

“That sounds interesting. What do you write?”

“Well, in fact, I use many of the same words Stephen King uses.”

See how much more interesting I am?

On the other hand, I could be wrong. As my first wife likes to point out, Tiger Woods makes $128 million per year to be “himself.” And LeBron James gets $40 million a year to be “himself.”

“Why don’t you trying making yourself more like ‘themselves’?” she suggests.

She clearly has an identity crisis.

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