Four years ago when I began to stew and stir the idea for my remarkable business, I thought everybody, everybody would love and appreciate what we had to offer. After all, who couldn’t stand to improve their communication/soft skills and who wouldn’t want to do it in a fun and interactive setting? In my enthusiasm, I forgot one of the basic tenets of auditioning as an actor: I am not for everybody.
I had forgotten that regardless of how brilliant, beautiful and talented an actor might be, there are a million different reasons they don’t get the job that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Whatever you put into the world, whether it’s art, an app, an end table, a training business or simply yourself, it is not for everyone. Not everyone will want, need, desire or even be interested in what you’re offering. And that’s okay. There are many tribes.
One of the most influential business books I’ve ever read has been Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. In it, he expounds on the idea that conformity cannot equal maverick-ism and that you must revel in what sets you apart. “The real growth comes with products that annoy, offend, don’t appeal, are too expensive, too cheap, too heavy, too complicated, too simple - too something (of course, they’re too too for some people, but just perfect for others.)
When I started my business, I had to spend a lot of time educating people on the value of soft skills before I could educate them on the value of my business. We further set ourselves apart by utilizing theatre strategies as the platform for what we do. It’s scary to many people. It’s different and unusual and I was repeatedly told by people I respected that I should take theatre out of the equation. I opted not to listen to them. I believed, as Mr. Godin eloquently writes, “In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.”
You can not like me. You may think me too loud, too bold, too smart or too freckly. Perhaps you don’t see the value in a business that uses humor and theatre games to teach real-world human skills. Here’s the thing of it, while I and my business are not for everybody, everybody is not for me, or my business. And that is as it should be.
LB Adams is the Founder of Practical Dramatics headquartered in Charleston, SC. Her company produces training events utilizing theatre strategies to help humans grow more profitable conversations with other humans.