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Mindless platitudes, the low bar of amazinghood, the constant chest pounding of the chestless. Do you want to grow up to be an influencer, a thought leader, a blue-check tweeter? Are you creating a personal brand of white noise? Does this video describe your company?


How does this post make you feel?

Here’s my useless, humble-brag, self-congratulatory post.

“Thrilled to share that I’ve just closed another big deal in my capacity as a thought leader and solution-oriented influencer in the industry! This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible synergy between my strategic mindset and my exceptional communication skills, which continue to set me apart from the pack.

It’s been an exhilarating journey to the top, but I remain grounded and humble, always striving to optimize my multi-disciplinary skillset and add value to my clients in innovative ways. With over 180 years of experience in spiritual enlightenment, I continue to set the benchmark for excellence in this space.

I  humbly and am deeply grateful to my mentors and colleagues, whose unwavering support and guidance have been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory. This achievement is a testament to the power of hard work, passion, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Looking forward to sharing more updates on my exciting projects and initiatives in the near future. Together, we can continue to drive positive change and unlock new opportunities in this rapidly evolving landscape.”

You know what that says about me? I exist in the intersection of bullshit and vacuousness.

Everything Ain’t Amazing

This company is amazing, that company is doing amazing things, and that guy is amazing. The superlative amazing is absurdly over-abused.  It’s overused on LinkedIn, Tweets, in life; it just might be used more often in the Tech Press than punctuation marks. Here there, and everywhere you see amazingly abusive overuse of the word, amazing.

Look, kids, Webster’s definition of amazement is kind of amazing in and of itself as it uses the derivative word amazement in the definition.

Webster  “Amazing – causing amazement, great wonder, or surprise”

It is said that goldfish have the shortest memory in the world, which is amazing on so many levels like A) that there are scientists that are testing the memory of fish (talk about solving 1st world problems),  B) imagine said scientists playing Concentration with goldfish, C) they actually have better memory than we thought which is amazingly awesome because goldfish can remember things for three months which is probably why you never see one tearing apart their houses looking for lost car keys.  A goldfish actually has a better memory than a politician 2 minutes after the election.

Is it possible that these mesmerized amazianacs have such a short memory that all things are new and groundbreaking? Do they look at the world with childlike wonder because everything seems new? Is it a memory issue or are their lives so mundane that little things like a flipped coin coming up heads or tails are amazing?

If everything is amazing, eventually, nothing is amazing.  It’s like having a hundred tasks and making them all a number 1 priority.

So cool it all, you amazingholics with your amazing thises and your awesome thatses. Be descriptive.  Tell me why you believe something is amazing. What is the bar of amazement? Is it a measure of how many users a company has corralled? A measure of revenue?  A measure of the complexity of the problem that has been solved? Is it based on a bell curve?

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 equals boiled tofu, and 10 equals bacon, where would it fall on that scale? Really? Why? Because it’s salty because the smell drives people crazy? Because when you cook bacon, all the dogs in your neighborhood circle your house like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Because it can take boring white toast, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise and turn it into an epicurean delight?

As far as I’m concerned, here are some amazing things:

  1. 1 Million paying users
  2. Zero to $1 Million in revenue in under a year
  3. A $1 Billion exit
  4. They went from startup to toppling Yahoo as market leader in 2 years
  5. They’ve been on the top 10 download list in the Apple Store for ten months straight

Here’s some stuff that ain’t amazing:

  1. They are covered in the press again (Tech Crunch, Mashable, Washington Post Online,, all need content to get advertising hits.  Bits are cheap and not as impressive as ink. Many of these bastions of journalism think reprinting press releases is journalism. Being covered by the press is an achievement but not an amazing achievement.  What is amazing, however, is the amount of energy some people spend trying to get press instead of customers.
  2. He just published a self-published book.
  3. He’s a Pay to Play member of the Forbes Business, Tech, or Coaches Council – It would be amazing if you paid $10,000 to be a member, but unfortunately, they only charge between $1990 – $9,990. Darn, just $10 more, and you would have had my admiration for buying this meaningless sign of glitter traction.
  4. He or his company won some hollow award where the event organizer makes money by charging sponsors to have access to people who think that winning fatuous awards have meaning
  5. One of their customers just wrote about loving them
  6. They won a pitch contest, or Glen Hellman named them a top 5 company raising money (People like me who judge these contests are wrong more than we’re right.  It isn’t amazing to win a beauty contest unless winning comes with a $1 Billion exit).
  7. They just raised $500K (Raising money isn’t amazing.  It’s notable but not amazing or awesome. Using that newly raised capital efficiently to build a company of great value is amazing.}

Stop Calling Yourself

  1. Amazing
  2. Expert
  3. Rock-Star
  4. Ninja
  5. Sherpa
  6. Guru
  7. Diva
  8. Thought-Leader
  9. Key Note Speaker – When you speak for free or worse, pay to speak
  10. Author – When your self published and a best seller because you buy and give away your books
  11. TEDx Speaker – if you have less than 100K YouTube Views on your talk and don’t get a robot to push you over that number

And Declaring This BS

Stop assailing the world with your BS Humble Brag Pre-Ambles

  1. I’m humbled
  2. I’m honored
  3. I’m grateful
  4. We’re on a mission

Hey, just shut up and do the work. Build a company, build a product, build a customer base, and forget your “personal branding flatulence.”

Okay… rant over.

Want help being more authentic? Want tips on how to model the kind of behavior that engenders trust? Want to learn more about building high-performance teams? You can check out my new book, Intentional Leadership, available on Amazon, in Hardcover, Kindle, or Paperback by linking here.