I was bald once. Well, not completely bald, but I had really short hair. Whether it looked good is debatable. Did it give me confidence and attention from women? Actually yes, but a completely different type than I was usually interested in. For those who don't know me well, I like my curls. I've had curls since high school, and believe it or not, it is not my original hairstyle, which is actually wavy Chinese hair. But what does hair have to do with it?
Me with really long hair - Manchester/Helsinki 2009
I recently spoke about Ikigai and the sense of belonging. For a lot of people who are interested in finding their purpose in life, finding out where to start is a big struggle. For me, the answer often lies in your DNA. Now, I'm not really specialized in the actual DNA of the human body, but I mean the personal identity of someone. I became interested in the DNA approach when studying Urban Development and I read about the DNA of the City. I was fascinated by this because I noticed that a lot of cities were trying to change their image as a city, based on something they really lacked or weren't really known for (it wasn't embedded in their DNA). Often, these projects also failed, because they weren't able to acquire the knowledge, investment and incentives needed, the make that change. The cities that indeed succeeded were often cities where the industry was already active for over 10 years and big companies were able to identify the city as a city where that kind of industry was indeed succeeding.
Fast forward to my career in Social Media, I recognize the same trend. Companies that are willing to look at their DNA, focusing on the strengths of their employees and their products, and actually branding their products in such a way that it relates to their client's success. Clients that want to give the customer the feeling that their brand is a certain way, while the DNA of the company is completely different end up failing. The simple reason, they often feel tricked or are disappointed the customer experience is different than it was advertised.
Too often, we try to pretend to be something we are not, and when the facade falls, we either try to keep up the appearance, which is just really awkward. Or we realize that it was never who we wanted to be. I really liked my curls. But someone told me that people often don't take people with curly hair seriously. And that got to me. But I quickly realized that is who I was and that I enjoyed having curls. And once I realized that I never cut my hair really short ever again.