I’m a nice guy. I swear, it’s true.

But I take the contrarian view on lots of issues, and that can make dealing with me quite a challenge. I know this about myself. And I lay it right out and accept that there are going to be people who like me and others that think I’m an arrogant, pretentious nightmare.

To those who think those bad things about me, the REALITY is that I am those things, because their PERCEPTION makes it so.

Everybody “is” a “way”. And if you’re going to effect real business change you need to embrace that way, whatever it is, and build on it. You can, by the way, choose to change your way, but that’s a lot harder than changing your approach and working with what you have. I, for example, wouldn’t be happy pretending to be a New York Yankees fan and don’t want to be one (Let’s Go Mets!).

As a contrarian I sometimes make my points by picking apart the points of others or comparing my position to theirs. I’ve said nice things about Seth Godin on several occasions, for example. And lately I’ve picked on Chris Brogan a few times.

You know where this is going. Chris, I apologize ahead of time.

A few days ago, Mr. Brogan wrote a dissertation on who he is and what he does. The occasion was explaining the redesign of his logo after quite a few people told him how much they disliked it. And while I happen to be on the “don’t like it” side of things, I totally agree with Chris’ ultimate point on the subject: he likes it and he has to be true to himself.

So why does Chris Brogan want us to think he’s not a social media guru and not a Twitter star?

As of this writing, Chris Brogan has almost 140,000 followers on Twitter. He’s also being followed in over 12,000 lists. When Chris Brogan says something, the twittersphere notices, and reacts. Chris Brogan IS a Twitter Star.

Chris calls himself a marketing consultant, and earns what I can only believe to be a very nice living as one. Social Media is a huge part of every successful company’s marketing plans today. Chris Brogan is a Social Media Guru, or he couldn’t do his job.

So why does Chris Brogan deny these things?

Because Perception is Reality.

Chris Brogan has decided that he wants the world to see him in a particular way. That’s a smart business decision, and maybe a real business change. If You Don’t Tell The World Who You Are, They Won’t Know How To Work With You. Seth Godin, by the way, does similar things. Like I said, Smart Choice.

But in with creating business change comes managing business change. And if the perception you create is that your words don’t mean anything, the (ultimate) reality is that they won’t.

Say who you are. Mean it. Own it. Your business can only grow when you do.

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