Hal Lublin on October 19th, 2009

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The best part of my Social Media odyssey to Las Vegas wasn’t a panel or a discussion. It was a poker game.

I’m a HUGE poker geek. I read blogs about it, follow tourneys on TV, and play when my bank account allows it. My dad told me about a charity poker tournament benefitting Ante Up for Africa featuring some of my favorite pros.

Let me get this straight: Charity, Poker and meeting (possibly playing against) my favorite pro players? I must have annoyed the hell out of the organizer making sure that I had a seat. (Thanks for the genetic markers for OCD, Mom.)

When I got there and sat down, I had the time of my life, but not because of the cards. I got to hang out with Chris Brogan, who is just a super cool guy. We were joking and laughing together, Andy Bloch was in on the fun (and as Chris points out on his blog, did a real solid to keep a guy in the game), and everybody had that great attitude that comes from helping other people. While making conversation, Chris helped me realize something really important. I realized that I’ve been keeping a big part of myself held back.

I come from a background in entertainment, doing improv comedy, sketch comedy and any other kind of comedy you can think of, but when I sit down to write these blog posts while  I might throw a little something in here and there, but I keep it “professional” and “informational” and “serious” so I can be taken “seriously”. The things I write come from the heart and I really mean the things I say, but I’ve definitely held back. They read like I’m giving a friggin’ college lecture.

Well, class is dismissed. I’m not Mashable, or Seth Godin, or Chris. But I’m a pretty damned good me, and I’d be doing myself and everyone else a disservice if I was anything different. Not everything I write is going to be gags and bits, and I do have things to share that will be a bit more serious, but I can’t run from what I love and who I am. I love making people laugh, and when Chris laughed so hard that he spit up his drink, it made my night. I wasn’t “networking” with Chris because of who he is; I was making friends with someone who is nice, kind and shares my twisted sense of humor.

Think about how this applies to you, too. People do business with people. People do business with people they like and trust. People won’t know if they like you unless they really get to meet and know you. Let them in. We all worry about influencing and reputation and branding, and while that’s important, when the brand is you, be you. Not a projection of you.

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  • http://www.gingerwilcox.com gingerw

    Your amazing sense of humor is exactly why I love you. Well, that and you compliment me endlessly. But seriously, giving you a standing ovation. Bring it on baby!!!

  • http://www.rerockstar.com Matt Stigliano – @rerockstar

    As someone who just met you and shared a few laughs, I say go for it. @bnix taught me not to fear being “me” in my blogs and I can't thank him enough. @chrisbrogN reinforced that for me with our brief encounter and watching him interact with us during the Twitter panel. Even your dad is a great example. He's always up for a few laughs and being just himself. Let “Hal” shine through in all you do. I know I will take you seriously, even when milk's coming out my nose.

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    Thanks Ginger! I'm really excited about this. Did I mention that you look lovely today?

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    I hope that you were “sniggling” as you wrote that. It was great hanging out with you at BlogWorld and I can't wait to do it again.

    San Diego, mayhaps?

  • http://chestercountychronicles.com Joe Sheehan

    Indeed!

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    :)

  • manatulberg

    But do you have a picture with Chris's arm around you? HaHa, top that!!

    You do make me laugh and now I'm looking forward to laughing through your blog post.

  • http://CoopCrafts.com Sarah Cooper

    Yay!! I love it when I can hear my friends' voices when they write. (And I've made many new friends by getting to know people by what they write – you're doin' it right!)

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    Just for saying that, I'm going to write the most boring post ever.

    Laugh through that! I DARE YOU!!!!

    Also, I believe you still owe me $1000 or a GoogleWave invite.

    Just sayin'.

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    Thanks Sarah – I'm already working on more posts – this is just too much fun!

  • http://Fresyes.com Fresyes

    Very handy… I think I will give it a try today!

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    Begin… NOW.

  • http://MyNapervilleHomesBlog.com tonylazz

    Hal~ You have absolutely nailed what for me was a major takeaway from the conference: your brand IS who you are and how you act. And, as an extension, in life as well as business. A famous philosopher from my youth keeps coming to mind. The way he said it was ” I y'am what I y'am” (Popeye, circa late 50's). peace, my friend

  • http://hallublin.com/ Hal Lublin

    Thanks buddy – I appreciate it and I can honestly say that it wouldn't have been nearly as fun a conference without you.

    Dracu-Pig says hello.

  • Amanda Hall

    I thought you were fabulous, but as long as you plan to turn it up a notch with the comedy and hijynx, you might want to think about including a profile pic with some bling in it. :)

    It was great to meet you and I look forward to reading more of what you are willing to share!

  • http://uptownuncorked.com geechee_girl

    Very nicely said :)

  • http://www.primemiamibeach.com Prime Miami Beach

    Hal – I've never told you, but your real life F2F personality is sooooo much more fun than your writer/professional one – I'm all for dropping the mask and being yourself, attracting like-minded people who will love you for you. The stiff suit is passe anyway. Can't wait to see your voice come out! (kindda like coming out of the closet teehee)

  • http://goo.gl/QvKcQ SusieBlackmon

    Jealous I wasn't there but appreciate the twisted sense of humor reference.

  • hthrflynn

    Smart man. Since I don't get to see you in person too often, I'm really going to enjoy getting the 'real you' in your writing. ('cause I think you rock.)

    =)

    ~H