Here’s another startling example of doing the opposite: Brian O’dea posted the following ad when looking for work:
Employment Wanted -Former Marijuana Smuggler
Having successfully completed a ten year sentence, incident-free, for importing 75 tons of marijuana into the United States. I am now seeking a legal and legitimate means to support my self and my family.
Business Experience – Owned and operated a successful fishing business – multi-vessel, one airplane, one island and processing facility. Simultaneously owned and operated a fleet of tractor-trailer trucks conducting business in the western United States. During this time I also co-owned and participated in the executive level management of 120 people worldwide in a successful pot smuggling venture with revenues in excess of US$100 million annually. I took responsibility for my own actions, and received a ten year sentence in the United States while others walked free for their cooperation.
Attributes – I am an expert in all levels of security; I have extensive computer skills, am personable, outgoing, well-educated, reliable, clean and sober. I have spoken in schools to thousands of kids and parent groups over the past ten years on “the consequences of choice”, and received public recognition from the RCMP for community service. I am well-traveled and speak English, French and Spanish. References available from friends, family, the U.S. District Attorney, etc.
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While most people with Brian’s background would have downplayed his past in the hopes that someone would hire him anyway, Brian followed his gut instinct, did the opposite and revealed all in a public advertisement in a major newspaper. Result? Plenty of free media coverage and an amazing 600 responses.
So go ahead – turn your negatives into positives – and do what you think is right – not what everyone else says you should do, or what “conventional wisdom” advises. Sometimes taking what we believe is the correct course of action goes against the grain and seems to be the opposite of what the world expects. So what? If it means being true to yourself, there’s an excellent chance you and your business will fare far better for having taken the leap of faith than if you’d taken the common road.
As to doing the opposite of what people expect, the character George on Seinfeld did this for an entire episode, and for perhaps the first time ever, things worked out brilliantly for him.
True, you’re not a TV character – but the fact is you’ve only got one life. Do you want to live it as a copy of someone else’s life, or do you want to stand apart from the crowd and be your own person? Every great innovation began with people saying it either couldn’t be done or it would never work. Forget the naysayers and dare to be different.
By the way – this is not new news – in fact it was almost a decade ago that this ad appeared, yet Brian is still banking off of this with his own website called, “HIGH – Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler.”