In the last couple of days I’ve become mildly obsessed by Alex Cooper’s personality and her Call Her Daddy podcast. I stumbled upon her on Steven Barnett’s The Diary of a CEO episode, with her as a guest. Turns out, she has created the most successful female-run podcast, and at some point, she was No.1, surpassing Joe Rogan’s one.
Yet, I haven’t heard of her before.
I don’t care about her podcast’s content as much. From what I see, she started with dialogs focusing on sex, celebrities gossip and all the spicy nitty gritty stuff, although right now she’s steering towards other serious topics – voting / responsibility, confidence and vulnerability.
Sex sells. That has been, is and will be number one people are curious about knowing. This, and what’s behind closed doors of other people’s lives. So it’s obvious that content around it will score and have a higher market penetration (😃) than a podcast treating about – let’s say – bioluminescence.
Kudos to her, that she used this social hook to get traction and as her show grew, so did her sense of responsibility and influence for good.
What got me interested in learning more about Alex’s journey was her charisma, strenuousness and an unapologetic, yet approachable style.
There is something incredibly powerful and sexy in showing your worth and shamelessly just going for whatever drives you.
Too much talent has never been unleashed, because people like you and me fear rejection and ridicule. Yet, we admire those who break free from social stigma and we wish we were them.
Alex, Joe, Elvis, AC/DC, Rihanna, Beyonce, Madonna, Queen… There is a social permission for artists to behave unconventionally. The crazier the better.
But somehow, in business, we think we ought to behave a certain way. Blend in to get accepted. But being shamelessly assertive does not need to mean unethical, rude or unprofessional.
What does professional even mean?
As I read (and not asking ChatYouKnowWhat this); professionalism means to adhere to certain standards of behaviour and dress code, that are considered appropriate in a given industry or setting.
What if you think the status quo needs to be changed? What if you want to lead the way? Richard Branson, Yvon Chouinard or Nick Woodman managed to have it their way, while achieving the impossible. I want the same for us.
For me, being professional means that you are able to conduct yourself in a manner that is respectful, competent, and ethical, while staying true to who you are.
All I know is that if we didn’t let our fears take over, we’d be doing things more aligned with our personalities, and as a result, we could be more successful.
It’s not becoming in a young girl
I think another important factor that plays a huge role in shaping how women end up being more conservative in their risk taking is our upbringing.
“Women are taught to be risk-averse, to avoid failure at all costs. This can hold us back from taking on challenges and pursuing our goals with confidence and determination.”Arianna Huffington
Women carry this ingrained sin, as if we owed something to the world, as if we should behave a certain way.
The world is still playing double standards, modelling girls’ young malleable minds into being more responsible ones. Often, parents and surrounding circle is doing this harm subconsciously while meaning well. It takes a sharp eye and an open mind to notice it.
By the time we’re set to decide for ourselves, we take this worldview as a default. Most don’t question, that there is another way.
But the truth is that you don’t owe anything to anyone. So dare to be professionally unapologetic. Give less f*cks to what others think – of course as long as you’re not doing something that you wouldn’t want to have done to you.
Stay cool. Stay hungry.
You have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice — well, then you’re going to get fucked.Mark Manson (that guy from the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck book)
Damn, lots of fucks in this post. So be it.
Fuckups – that’s a fuck* you should give a damn. Become comfortable with.
I have. I guess it comes with age and experience. Understanding that we all start tabula rasa here, and some of us are just a little bit better at faking it and looking like we know what we’re doing.
I’ve done and said things in the past that now I would have done differently. I failed many times. But so what? At least I tried.
I’m still not where I wanted to be, but I guess this is down to four issues I need to keep working on:
- I haven’t been clear enough with myself what do I want. I didn’t dare to articulate it well.
- For a long time I was spreading myself too thin. Decidophobia (fear of choices) is definitely something we all struggle with. Instead of concentrating on all our different choices and opportunities, find out what is important to you and concentrate on doing just that. I used to be helping other people first, when I didn’t have much time myself. Many of those didn’t even appreciate my help. I’m much better with setting my boundaries now.
- I was too much of a perfectionist.
- I sabotaged my progress by comparing my success against the success of others. I felt small and questioned all my plans instead of just taking on world’s stage, getting feedback and improving on the go.
Find a struggle that’s worth it.
As I get older, I realise how precious my fleeting time is. So I concentrate on the few great things – and don’t give a fuck about everything else. You too, should be totally ruthless with this.
There is no such thing as an easy life. And since struggle is unavoidable, you have to find something worth struggling for. You have to identify what you really enjoy doing and deprioritise everything else.
I enjoy being around people. Entertaining them. Sharing what I know about technology I’m really into.
As long as I’m on that track, experimenting, failing, surrounded by people who challenge me, I know I will end up where I should.