Your Awesome Needs an Antidote to Going Viral

The advent of social media forever changed the term “viral”. Myspace, and later Facebook, ignited the explosion of “going viral”.  Today it seems like a new social media outlet pops up everyday.  Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus are just a few.  I think I saw a cat chasing its tail get 25,000 likes on Instagram.  Who can forget the 2007 You tube sensation “Charlie bit my Finger”? Over half a billion people laughed at the little boy with the accent cry out “OUCH”!.   This is the essence of viral in the new age.  Long before the term “internet” was everyday language, a 58 year old Polish Cardinal was elected Pope.  Korol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II in the fall of 1978.  A key player in driving Communism from his native Poland, and later all of Europe, Pope John Paul II, along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher influenced change that affected the world for decades to come. Communism, particularly the oppressive Soviet Union, has fallen from its once strong seat of power, and more people are better for it.

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. Th...

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at Former Check Point Charlie, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. Türkçe: Berlin Duvarı, 1989 sonbaharı (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In your search for awesomeness, be careful to avoid the “viral” trap.  Whether it be as simple as being the likeable sales rep with little sales and a huge personality, or the marketing faux paux of Disney’s environmentally aware Lorax campaigning for Mazda’s newest SUV, the sizzle doesn’t always sell the steak.  The sales rep without sales goes home hungry regardless of how likable he is.  The cute and colorful marketing campaign with contradicting messages doesn’t sell. They may be fun to watch, but no one really cares and no one changes for it. Influence is much harder to achieve and sustain than being viral.  Author and blogger Jon Acuff writes about doing work that matters, work that is vital, not just viral.  The secret to adding vitalness to the viralness is practice, practice, practice. A healthy level of self-awareness is needed to take a step back and work at your craft.   Understand your customer’s “Why” and connect with them, and make stuff that matters. Afterall, your goal is not to be well known, your goal is to be awesome.  That means you are positively influencing people by playing a vital role in their quest for awesome.

What one thing are you doing today to practice being awesome?

Rocco De Leo



I’m a Man: What does that Mean?

I am a man.  I have different body parts than my female counterparts.  I have some extra hair, a deeper voice and I can watch an entire baseball game without moving.  Men and women are different.  This concept is so profoud that Time Magazine put it on a 1992 cover.  What does it mean to be a man?  Jamie asked me a few months ago what I thought it meant to “be a man”.  I kept struggling with things like what I would do if something bad happened: ” I will defend my family…I will support my family…” Does this mean that women don’t do those things?  That’s ridiculous!  Women do these things and do them well.  So what does it mean to “be a man”.  I recently read John Eldgrege’s book Wild at Heart¨. Ironically, I picked up this book on audio about a week after I began pondering this question.  I am 37 years old and am challenged to answer a simple question of what it means to be a man.  John’s book did an excellent job openning up the conversation within my heart.  Here are a few things all men have burning within them that make them different than the ladies.  These are things they must engage in and their women must embrace.  Without them, men are doomed to mediocrity and unhappiness. Embrace them, and men will be proufoundly successful in living a fullfilling life.

1.  An Adventure.  Men are built to live adventure.  A sedentary life has never been in the mantra for man.  From the cave man days, to the revolutionary war, to today.  Man goes forth to find challenges to overcome.  Man is desgned to actively pursue.  This is as true in courting our women as it is in pursuing career aspirations.  The hunt is the fullfilling joy.

2. A battle to fight.  As men, we need a cause.  In fact, we need many causes.  This doesn’t mean that men must  be chaining themselves to trees at Green Peace rallies or doing PSAs for Darfur (although many do).  As men, we  have a much more personal battle to fight.  The greatest challenge in life is not fighting this battle, but discovering it.  Men like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Pope John Paul II, had profound, world impacting battles to fight.  Civil rights, Civil War, and the evil communism are huge battles.  They are also obvious at this point.  What battles to we fight?  This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately and will discuss this much further in future posts.  For now, challenge yourself to discover your battles.  This must go beyond the “given” battles of protecting your teen age daughters from boys.  Every one does that.  Think BIG and Think DIFFERENT!

3.  Spiritual Leader of the family.  A recent study from Touchstone in Europe discusses fathers and church attendance.  If the father attends church with the mother, the children become regular church goers 33% of the time.  Without dad, that number is 3%. Dad leads the family to salvation.  This means dad must wake up early on Sunday and push the family to get ready on time.  Developing a fervent prayer life as a single man or starting now as a married father, this is a key component to being a man.  Daily prayer isn’t just for old ladies at daily Mass.  Remember the apostles with Christ were all men.

4. Strong and Confident.  Man must be of strong spirit.  Not all men are particularly strong physically, nor was that ever nature’s only intention.  A fulfilled man must, however have a strong spirit.  This starts with confidence, ability, and drive.  The era of feminism has emasculated many of our men.  Watch any TV commercial during the daytime and you’ll see images of weak, stupid men who can”t even back the car out of the garage without running over the sprinklers.  This distorted view of men, created by angry women who misunderstand men, shows man as wandering aimlessly without the heroic virtues of his woman who must do everything to protect the world from her stupid man.  This is a perfect image of a man without strength.  Man must be strong and couragous enough to balance his leadership within the home with his wife’s need to be valued and heard.  A strong man knows when to push and when to concede.  If he doesn’t know this, he will strive to learn.

5.  Creative and Creators:  As men, we have a creative spirit.  From the natural urge to create families to the urge to build things, we are creators.  As a little boy, I built a model of the classic cutter the “Cutty Sark”.  This was a beautiful and giant model of a grand sail boat.  I built forts, model airplanes, and go-carts.  Men must create and have “ownership”.  Without this sense of ownership, we are selling out on our manhood and fulfilling the feminist vision of “stupid man”.