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Do I Really Care What You Think?

By November 18, 2012February 25th, 2021The Formative Years

Now there’s a somewhat bombastic title to start off a new blog. But then again, this isn’t your usual “About Me” page.

Some people on the Interwebs write “about” pages without really telling you what they’re actually all about. I’m going to try my best to avoid that problem.  But as I venture into uncharted waters here, excuse me as I’m feeling a little bit emboldened.

You see, I’ve decided to make quite a few changes heading into 2013 and I want to share some of them with you. But I thought long and hard about sharing this information with you and I had some real doubts.

Would my family think that I’ve finally gone of the deep end? Would some of my friends think the same? Would current and prospective clients be taken aback and maybe stop answering my calls? Would my Twitter followers abandon me?

Would anyone really care what I have to say at all? Then I realized that I really needed to think about something. That being, do I really care what you think? Does it really matter to me if you see this video and say this guys nuts?

You see, having an unpopular point of view or being the contrarian in the room can be detrimental to fostering relationships and building new business. Or so we’ve been told.

The reality of it all is I no longer care. If being popular means conforming, you can have it. If being popular means sacrificing your beliefs, then fuck it, that’s not the person I am not the person I will ever be.

You see, my formative years dictated that I would be someone very different than others. I was born a product of an interracial experiment back when such things were kind of dangerous. I continued the experiment by being thrust into a predominantly white grammar school, followed by an even more white high school, followed by an … guessed it, an even more white college.

I married not one, but two white women and fathered an interracial child. You can top all this off by looking at me and you realize I wasn’t the type that could hide in a room full of people. Nor did I ever try.

So it’s for these reasons that I believe my formative years molded me into being the type of person that I am. Over the years I’ve had a lot of fun. I was labeled a wild child, but was I? Maybe it was in my DNA.

You see, I was lucky enough to be blessed with athletic ability and a few marbles upstairs so doors opened for me that not all people have opened for them. But what’s most interesting is how many of those doors I slammed shut on my own.

I made some very unpopular decision along life’s journey, and I’ve had to live with the ramifications of those decisions. And I have to say, that although not all of them were the right decisions, they were all mine.

Which leads me to today. I was wondering how I would move forward writing a new chapter for 2013 and after looking back upon my 52 years, I decided there was only one way to do so. And that’s being me. Being authentic. Some even may say being the pain in the ass that I’ve always been.

The snarky guy with an attitude. The guy who seems so friggin cocky. To all of you who think that describes me, you’re right. I am snarky. I am as cocky and arrogant as they come and you know what, that’s what keeps me kicking your ass.

I’m not looking to win trophies. Shit, these days everyone gets one of those. My goal is to win life. I’ve been bottled up for sometime. Like some kind of self-inflicted prison…no it’s been more like an asylum. Working with people and using social media to build “fans” and “followers” as if that currency was some kind of honor badge.

And I’ve worked within the walls of the asylum quite well, but there’s been something lacking. If I could put it into words I would say that I’m tired of being careful.

I’m tired of wondering what people think and how they will perceive me. Now, I want to erase any perceptions. I want people to know that they don’t have to read between the lines. I want clients to know that I’m a fighter and I take competitors to the mat looking for the tapout.

I want people I work with to know that they’d better keep up and if they try to get in my way, I’m not at all afraid of putting a boot to their neck. Scary stuff isn’t it? Not a real popular point of view is it? Yeah..that’s me.

You see, lately I’ve seen a few things and learned a few others and one of those being that “people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it and that the goal in business isn’t to do business with everyone, it’s to do business with people who believe what you believe.

I’ve also learned that it’s more than ok to be unpopular. Why? Because it’s authentic. I don’t want you to be a friend, I want you to be a close friend. I don’t want you to be a client. I want you to be a partner. If you understand the difference in those relationships, you understand a lot more about me.

So do I really care what you think about me? Of course I do. As long as you believe what I believe.

My name is Barry Cunningham and I consider myself to be an innovator, an antagonist of conventional wisdom, a conversational advocate, and an engagement evangelist.

Barry Cunningham

Author Barry Cunningham

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