(#366) Why Not You?

May 28, 2017

Speaking and writing does not belong to some elite group of individuals.

Have you considered publishing or speaking to broaden the powerful impact and reach you already have on those around you? It could be for a small local audience or something larger. You might do it for money—or for the sheer passion you have for a particular topic.

Later today (May 28, 2017), I will have the opportunity to facilitate a workshop at the annual NISOD Conference in Austin, Texas.  I will pose a simple question, “Why not you?” If you don’t share your talents, who will?

I hope to encourage participants to consider sharing their accumulated wisdom through publishing and/or speaking. I will be talking to college professors, advisers, and administrations. But whether you manage a retail store, teach students, serve customers in a restaurant, nurse patients in a hospital, coach a little league team, manage a household, or lead your community, you have experiences to share.  Speaking and writing does not belong to some elite group of individuals.

Take a moment today, and consider all that you have to offer with respect to your accumulated wisdom.

To be sure, just because you want to write or speak, does not necessarily mean you should write or speak.  And just as assuredly, not everyone has the talent or temperament for speaking and writing.

Before you brush aside the idea, though, consider what you have that others may be interested in learning.  From parenting, to surfing, to gardening, to home renovation, to mentoring young minds, you make a difference in your world. Here are a few questions to help you sort through your thoughts to share your wisdom. I encourage you to work through these with someone who will give you trusted feedback.

  • WHY do I want to publish and/or speak? Is it for ego, profit, passion, or the need to share an important lesson?
  • WHO cares about my work—and why should they? Huge question! If you decide to speak or publish, who will be interested enough to listen?
  • WHERE do I find opportunities? Local community organizations? Regional and national conferences? Letters to the editor? The community newspaper? A national magazine? Self-publishing?
  • HOW do I develop a supportive learning community of associates to help me develop your writing and speaking talents? And, how can I help others to find their voices?

When we start examining these types of professional and personal growth opportunities and questions, we identify and clarify our inner desires, strengths, and challenges. And we increase our chances to connect and form collaborative, supportive networks, and create community.

Rather than saying, “I’m not a writer or speaker” I hope you will consider (and act upon) “Hey, I can write and speak, too…just never thought about it.” Find a mentor to help you begin your journey.

In fact, you may find yourself saying, “Hell, yeah, that is for me!”

Video recommendation for the week.

Your story has power!

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

(#149) Are You Unique? Well, Isn’t That Special!

March 31, 2013

Demonstrate what you have done (what action you have taken)
rather than getting caught up in hyperbole.

Words matter. What we say, how we say it, why we say it, and when we say it create a message.  Whether you write books, blogs, songs, or office memos, every one of your words has a purpose—intended or not.  After 9 books, 2 CDs, and nearly three years of blogging, I still struggle with “tight writing.” (Thank God, for my developmental editor who helps to keep my thoughts parallel and proper. Thanks, Shannon!)

Image: kookkai_naki/Free DigitalPhotos.net

Image: kookkai_naki/Free DigitalPhotos.net

A recent article by Jeff Haden, titled “Stop Using These 16 Terms to Describe Yourself” examined the words people use to describe themselves on websites and social media sites. He poses a simple question, “Do you write things about yourself that you would never have the nerve to actually say?” Haden then annotates 16 words that we should never use to describe ourselves.

If others are saying these words about you, great!  But as for you, it is best to demonstrate what you have done (what action you have taken) and what you bring to any given situation.

Here are Haden’s 16 words. (In his article, he briefly describes why each is on the list.)

  1. Innovative
  2. World-class
  3. Authority
  4. Results oriented
  5. Global provider
  6. Motivated
  7. Creative
  8. Dynamic
  9. Guru
  10. Curator
  11. Passionate
  12. Unique
  13. Incredibly
  14. Serial entrepreneur
  15. Strategist
  16. Collaborative

Here are the takeaways for me:

  • Describe action you have taken or will take rather than to describe yourself with glittering generalities. In other words, describe for me how you will help me.  Remember the English professor’s warning: Show don’t tell.
  • Even if one or more of the terms above describe you, there may be more impact associated with the word if someone else describes you with it. If you are that good get some testimonials.
  • Some words have become so overused that they lose impact.  You know, like “special.” If everyone is “special” then no one is “special.” What person selling himself/herself would not claim to be motivated? And unique?

Video recommendation of the week:

This word reminded me of one of my mentors. In the video clip below, Rick Kaden suggests how to best present oneself during an interview. Notice what he advises to do rather than selling yourself as “unique.”

What words would you add to or delete from the list?

And remember, you and I are “unique” and “special”–just like everyone else in the world.

Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Make it a wonderful week!


  • Please pass along information about my April 10 webinar, Underlying Principles of Student Success.  Great for teachers, tutors, and supervisors. Click here to register now.  Or go to my website for registration information.
  •  Check out the newUpdatesfeature on my website.


©2013. Steve Piscitelli.


%d bloggers like this: