Admit it! If there’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, it’s exude. And I don’t blame you. Exuding is cool. Especially, if what you are exuding is success.
But, you ask, how can I exude success when I am by any standards — how shall I put it? — a colossal flop? The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind. It’s blowing in the pages of Askmen.com, a high-achiever, high-testosterone website where you will find an article by Roberto Rocha titled, “11 Habits That Exude Success.”
As Rocha so sagely points out, “you can polish your mind with knowledge until it is a blinding shrine, but if you don’t externalize it, no one will recognize it.” True that! Your own blinding shrine of a mind has gone completely un-noticed for decades now, even as you continue to polish it down a nubbin of soggy synapses and neurotic neurons.
Fortunately, exuding success seems to be a matter of style over substance, so that, given the proper counseling, even a person of marginal substance, like yourself, can “televise your qualities to the world.”
One of my favorite habits is to “Brag Discreetly.” Apparently, no one is very impressed when you show up in a fancy sports car, or even a fancy sports bra. “You want people to know that you’re making it without coming off as a boaster,” Rocha writes. “Slip things into conversation casually.”
According to the article, an example of the proper execution of this habit is “I went to New Zealand on vacation. I had some extra money from the bonus I got for increasing our sales one year.” If you haven’t had a vacation — or an accomplishment — of this magnitude, you can still develop the habit. “Just got back from the unemployment office,” you might discreetly brag. “I’ve been fired so often, it’s like a second home to me.”
“Exit Graciously” is another exuding habit to develop. “A successful person knows how to steer conversation with class, and can end one just as graciously,” opines Rocha. Forget mumbling feeble excuses, like “sorry to run off; I drank way too much and I’m afraid I’m going to yak on your shoes.” If you’re a successful person, you “don’t make excuses for your departure, because you don’t have to.”
Your exit strategy couldn’t be more clear. Before you get away, yak away. Stride purposefully towards the door, and pay no attention to rage, disgust and gagging from those unsuccessful drones you leave behind.
“Know About Life’s Finer Things” is another habit to adopt. “Your knowledge of the finer things shows class and culture,” Rocha advises. “Familiarize yourself with food, wine, cigars, art and literature.”
Knowing you as I do, this is a tall order, unless by “food” the author means tacos; by wine, Night Train; and by art, those nude photos of Hollywood stars you’ve downloaded to your iPhone. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t smoke cigars. Even people who hate cigarette smoke love a good cigar, especially when you’re jammed together in a cramped space with limited ventilation. And if you get thrown out on your ear, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to practice your gracious exit. Not easy to do when people are throwing bottles at your head, but good practice, all the same.
“Be Worldly” is another success habit. The advice is to “get smart.” Specifically, “pick up a newspaper and take in the world.” Clearly, this is not going to work for you. Picking up a newspaper you can do, possibly, but actually reading — I don’t think so. But, really, who cares if you can’t talk knowledgeably about the Middle East or Afghanistan? You can certainly sprout endlessly about Middle Earth and Gotham City. [Who knows if Afghanistan even exists? But Gotham City is real — you’ve seen it in every "Batman” movie!]
I agree with the author that “Dress Well” is a “no brainer.” With those extra 20 or 50 pounds you carry around, your designer duds from the JCPenney “Fresno By Night” collection really get maximum exposure. But the suggestion that you emulate successful people and “Smell Nice” may be too subtle. Go ahead and douse yourself in Axe if you want to conform to pedestrian concepts of nice smell, but to really stand out, make yourself a sardine and garlic sandwich, switch from mouthwash to onion dip, and fill your pockets with blue cheese.
That’s a success habit that not only exudes, it reeks.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.