How to be a breath of fresh air


What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?


I’m sure most of you may think of a time when you were complimented on how you look, how you were dressed, or that you smelled nice. (I mean, how flattered are you when someone can’t stop sniffing you?)


But when I think of the compliments that still stick in my mind and that I ‘feed off’ to this day were the ones people said about who I was.


Like the time when someone who’s my best friend now told me: “Talking to you is like drinking fresh cucumber water”


Or when another friend said, “You are unusually mesmerizing”


Or another time: “You are literally the weirdest person I’ve ever met and I love it”


That’s my garden of compliments that I think about every day. Because hell — am I going to look this good forever? We’ll talk about that another day.


So whether you’ve gotten compliments like that before — or simply want more of them — I thought about HOW you can do it without being a weirdo fishing for compliments.


And Do I Have A Solution For You If You Want People to Feel Like You’re a Breath of Fresh Air


But first…


…a story.


I got on the phone with a friend of mine for the first time last year. We’re both in the business world, so typically these ‘meet and greet’ kind of conversations usually go like this:


Hey! How do you know so-and-so who connected us? What are excited about right now? How can I help? Bye!


Which isn’t necessarily a BAD conversation…


…But it also isn’t an exciting one either.


So you can imagine how relieved I was when we both got on the phone and were honest about the fact that we didn’t want to have that kind of conversation and instead, had a rich, fulfilling one. We talked about anxiety, health, philosophy and we both agreed that we were breaths of fresh air to each other.


Because it’s so easy to do what people already do, and what other people tell you to do.


It’s so easy to think of a script instead of saying how you actually feel in the moment.


It’s just like how in the coaching world, everyone does the same thing and charges the same rates — but I decided to do the things nobody does because it gets my clients even better results by changing who I spent time around. Doing that — and being a breath of fresh air — is like having a secret weapon.


So what is the nitty gritty of this?


It’s simple.


Deliberately expose yourself to different perspectives.


And let me explain before there’s an eye-roll and an ‘I’ve already heard that before’.


This was a concept that stuck with me back when I was in a leadership program at Northwestern. The guest speaker there — a CEO — came in to give a speech and the last line of it was this: “Oh, and one more thing. Read things you disagree with.”


And then he left the stage.


It was this cryptic, unexplained message that made me think: “Why would I want to waste my time doing THAT?” But realized that every time I did, I learned something new and therefore had new opinions and topics of conversations to bring to the table — completely different than what everyone else was doing.


And truth be told, I’ve even PAID to put myself in situations where I actively disagree with the opinions of who is there and I actively dislike (at least initially) some of the people themselves. I know it sounds weird, but think about it this way: How can you ever expect to grow if you’re always around the same types of people? (This is why I deliberately choose friends who are opposite of me and are not entrepreneurs)


So Here’s Your Action Plan For This Week


  1. Think about a topic you have serious opinions about, and disagree with whoever has the opposite opinion on the topic.


  1. Expose yourself to the opinions of that topic you disagree with. Try to understand WHY you disagree with it. Is there any point of mutual understanding? See if it helps you think differently or come up with a new topic for your next conversation.


  1. Free gift: If you really want to take your ‘breath of fresh airness’ to the next level and use your perspectives in your storytelling, I’m giving you this 45-minute presentation on storytelling I recently did for a start-up here in San Francisco, 100% complimentary to you.


A few notes before I hand over the goods:


  • This is a topic I’ve spent the past 7 years honing, learning, and breaking down into its finest, teachable bits. I love talking about this, and seriously thought about charging for it or putting it into a future course. But I decided not to because I know there’s so many of you who can benefit from this now.


Therefore I expect you –if you choose to listen — to make the time to actually listen to it and follow through on applying what you learn. Otherwise, just come back to it another time when it’s right for you.


  • This particular storytelling topic is focused on how to use it specifically in work situations. You can easily apply it to social contexts, but know what you’re getting into before you listen. It’s the most useful for people who have to motivate and inspire people to take action as part of their job.


  • Here it is, just for you.  ← Click there to download the audio of “The Art of Storytelling: How to Create a Compelling Message and Persuade Anyone.” (You can easily put this file on your phone to listen to while driving, commute, working out, etc though I recommend taking notes while listening.


Of course, let me know how this helps you. Would love to hear what stories you came up with and used!


Talk soon,




PS: Thank you to everyone who applied for the complimentary session I offered to just 5 people on Friday. It was not easy choosing the lot of you, but I’ll be doing more of this in the future in case you didn’t get a chance this round.

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