Silly socks teaching lessons about people
I’m lucky enough to get in the press and on the radio quite often and recently I helped BBC Suffolk Radio with their “Hands off” campaign helping BBC Suffolk raise the profile of their campaign to get more of us to put the phone down when we get behind the wheel of the car. So when BBC Suffolk got in touch and said “Mandie would you help Mark Glenn Murphy on the Breakfast out with a campaign?” I instantly said yes. (I really must remember to ask what it is first!)
You see what Mark wanted me to do was don a pair of silly socks for Comic Relief day on the 24th of March. No big deal right? Accept me being up for any challenge (heck I fight fear for a living and I’ve done a nude calendar for charity!) I had to take it one step further…
And on the Breakfast show in front of all of their listeners I said “Heck Mark I’ve got 6 speaking engagements this month, I will wear silly socks for every speaking engagement!”
They were that impressed they had me back on the radio twice more before the big day and we even convinced another speaker to do the same at their annual AGM! And the great news is that just one pair of socks (okay that admittedly made me look – in the words of one audience member “Zany”) not only raised £100 for Comic Relief (I did nothing!) they also showed me something very interesting about people…
There I am walking around Business East or the West London Business Show in a suit jacket, a smart frock, heels and a pair of Super girl socks. Wouldn’t you say “what’s that all about?”? Well apparently not.
Some people would subtly ask the team that I work with “Is that just Mandie’s zany way?” to which they would explain no its for charity. (I know I’m lively and I’ve a no holds barred honesty to my style of professional speaking, but seriously am I really a business woman that would rock that look!)
Being someone that watches micro expressions, exhibitions are a great place to be any way. But they had that added interest for me when people can’t make eye contact with you because of your choice of socks! Should I have been concerned about their interpretation of my professionalism? I think not. I think it says more about people not having the confidence to speak up and say “I like the socks.” The fact is that those that did ask me about the socks ended up learning about my book and I ended up learning about their businesses and how I could help them. My “Stand out socks” led to leads and business. So should you be the same as everyone else? Obviously not.
Should you be prepared to stand out? Yes
Should you worry less about what other people are thinking? Yes!
In my book there are a number of chapters that help with these fears;
- The fear of looking stupid
- The fear of what people are thinking.
- The fear of asking for what you want.
However when we overcome these fears we get what we want in our life, we get rid of obstacles and we become a true version of ourselves. And that builds confidence. And by building your confidence you can trust that you can do more of the same to get better results in your future.
Does it take confidence to wear a pair of stupid socks on a stage at an event with 500 delegates? Probably. However I know I attract the right connections, the right opportunities and the right successes and that could only come from being Mandie Holgate. Being myself. And it turns out myself is someone to be proud of (as it is for you too!) because I gained some fabulous opportunities, and to be honest I wonder how we would have got the conversation started to get me the opportunities had I not had the socks on!
Be brave, be you. Silly socks or not. It could lead to some awesome opportunities.
In my WH Smith’s book of the month, “Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life” Chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11 will help you overcome the fears that we talk about here in more detail.
Read it? I’d love a review on either site (or both!) Thanks.