STTA: Perks of being a Nobody

I’m not “someone” yet. I’m not a CEO. I’m not a celebrity. I don’t have an impressive job title. I don’t even have 5000 instagram followers. I have a pretty rare last name, but I’m otherwise a pretty normal person.

I of course strive to be successful in the future, but in the meantime, I’m happy being a nobody. A normal person in the pursuit of excellence and confidence. Someone who believes that no act is too big or small.

This blogpost was originally going to be about “Perks of Unemployment” but 1) I currently do have a day time job. 2) Over the weekend I went to an event with a lot of celebrity types …and that got me wondering about what kind of attention they deal with.

The way I see it, being a nobody (however you define it-someone in between jobs, someone still in school, someone just starting out) has plenty of advantages.

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Here are the perks of being “a nobody”:

  1. You get to live your life without the added scrutiny or unnecessary expectations. It’s hard enough to be your own worst critic and have your own voice commenting on everything you do in your life. There’s also the opinions of your family, friends and coworkers. Can you imagine having the noise and bombardment of the general public and strangers? People who don’t know you making unsolicited judgments and comments about you, online or in person. Being under the radar without obligation, with no one keeping tabs on you allows you not only to be yourself but is more liberating and less stressful.
  2. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. Have people underestimate you and surprise them. When someone assumes your competency based on your title, age or even style/way of dress, they’re filling in the blanks of what you can do and who you actually are. When you’re a nobody, you can show them how awesome you are despite what they think or see. Something to note: if someone is not taking the time to get to know you/not giving you the time of day when you are asking or offering something of value, they’re probably not who you want to be around anyway.
  3. When you’re a nobody, you can make mistakes and people most likely won’t notice or care. Forgot to post an instagram photo? Didn’t go to a party? Made some spelling errors?Late turning something in? Foot in your mouth?  If you are famous or have an image to maintain, the crowd is mostly unforgiving and your intentions will most likely be misunderstood. When you’re a nobody, you can fail, try and lose as much as you want to without having to explain yourself on a public stage. You keep these moments to yourself and no one is keeping track. You don’t need to impress anybody. You don’t have a bajillion people to answer to. Just do your thing.
  4. You get to decide what kind of attitude you have when you have nothing or you think you have nothing to offer. When you’re doing grunt work, paying your dues and putting in the hours behind the scene either you’re impatient and entitled or you take everything with gratitude and as a learning experience. Being a nobody build your character and tests what you’re really made of. Do you treat others poorly when you don’t get what you want? Do you think of others and try to help even when you have nothing “to give?” It’s easy to be nice and happy when things are going well, but do you brush yourself off and try again when things get hard? As you might have heard: “Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.”
  5. Being a nobody filters out the wrong kind of people. We live in a world that places value on monetization, status and achievement (generally speaking). I’ve been there: being at a networking event to meet people only for them to ask you what you do and you not having an answer. I get it, being unemployed can be taboo, and just starting out can be undesirable. However, spending countless hours working behind the scenes, paying your dues, having no life while you put in the work, helps you figure out who you are as a human being when you don’t have the thick wallet or the impressive job title. Who are you as a human being when you don’t have a company association? What kind of thoughts and activities fill your life? The people who appreciate you based off of the conversation and feeling you give them, not how you’re dressed or what money you spent, are the ones who appreciate who you are not what you have. Keep those people around.

The way I think about it is this: If you were in some random country with limited or no access to the internet… where investment banking doesn’t mean anything or social media means absolutely nothing… would people still like you for you?

Even the “somebody’s” started off as nobodies… and are nobodies at the end of the day. People are people.

Just STTA. (Something to think about).

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value“.

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Love the reflection questions. Now time for me to think…
I graduated one year ago and have been working a corporate job. I do calligraphy on the side but I’m constantly wondering if I should pursue it more. At work, I don’t feel like I’m that special… Kind of a cog in a wheel. But if I do my own thing, I have the chance of being “somebody”.