I (in my 30’s) once lived with a guy (in his 30’s) that owned and ran posh restaurants.
He’d pay himself £12k a year or something, working 100 hour weeks, for 3 years at a time.
‘What a nob,’ I quietly though.
Until he told me about selling each of his brilliant restaurant brands for half a million to a million quid each.
Thus exposing the fact that I was pointing my ‘nob’ in precisely the wrong direction.
(I could edit that last sentence, of course.
Now I’ve read it back and remembered I am 55, not 15.
But I don’t want to).
The kitchen in his house was lovely.
On many early mornings, I’d discover him reducing sprigs of green things, chopped other things and (I think) meaty things in a tall, silver, battered pan to produce something delicious smelling, treacly, dark and sticky.
Something that, the same evening, he’d expertly rub into a lamb’s leg with the concentration of a top surgeon.
On other days though, in that same kitchen, he’d Pot Noodle.
Annoyingly though, he wouldn’t Pot Noodle properly.
He’d refuse to push the obligatory almost-off lid back down to sufficiently steam and soften the noodles in the crucial pre-stir phase.
What a fucking mad man!
“Does he know nothing?” I’d scream internally.
And you know what else he’d do?
Sometimes, he’d eat bits of out-of-date toasted bread, picked up from the omnipresent crumby zone on the kitchen floor where the over-zealous toaster would, again and again, pop its contents.
Dirty, dirty man.
This is a real story about real people.
The emerging businessman (me) that didn’t really understand the difference between revenue and equity.
The obsessive foodie (him) that obsessively innovated, boiling up anything he could find, to produce beautiful, beautiful glazes on frosty Sunday mornings.
The young award winning entrepreneur (me) that was also nobby enough to get pedantic over haphazard Pot-Noodlery.
And this is also the story of the respected restaurant entrepreneur millionaire (him) that eats smashed toast off the floor… because he wants to.
Because none of us is on duty all of the time.
And because he’s human.
These are real people.
Doing real things.
So next time you’re thinking about what to write in LinkedIn.
And you’re thinking about saying…
We won a client.
We employed a person.
We grew our business a bit.
We’re proud to announce that we won a thing.
This client really loves us.
We really love this client.
This project went perfect and on time.
(When we know it didn’t).
… pause a little.
At least sometimes, please, tell us what you’re really like.
And, when you can, take the time and the care to weave in the lessons and the love to your real-world story.
Tell us what your world is really like.
So we can relate.
So we’re interested.
It’s so much more compelling to hear how you derailed then re-railed, than it is to hear how you delivered a perfect project.
(When we know you didn’t).
Just like, I think, it’s much more interesting to hear how a wonderful, wonderful millionaire food guy is imperfect, as are we all, because he can’t even steam and soften the noodles in a Pot Noodle, in the crucial pre-stir phase.
(Hey; these things matter!)
But he can build hospitality brands so magnetic that we pay £50 per head to eat there.
Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear.
Don’t sanitise it.
Because you know what, we don’t want to hear how shiny and perfect you are.
(When we know you’re not).
So don’t get boring.