When I first ventured out on my own (entrepreneur), I scratched around looking for the recipe to be wildly successful.  Already a hard-wired optimist, I read countless self-help books, watched YouTube videos from all the gurus and talked to every man, woman and even child who might share the secrets to being a successful entrepreneur.   In many ways, I felt like Ponce de Leon trying to find the fountain of youth.  In the interim, everyone I spoke with kept telling me to just “think big” and a bunch of other positive affirmations.   Could it be that easy?  I was doubtful.  Keep in mind; I was as positive as one might be but still thoroughly perplexed as to what was required to build my brand.  I was lucky though because I did understand both the “what” and the “why” for a bullet-proof brand but was clueless as to the “how”.

At wit’s end, I attended a local National Speakers Association meeting hoping that one phrase, one word, or even one encounter might shed some light on my situation.  Truth be told, it was a combination of all three that sent me on my way down the yellow brick road with new-found clarity.  I concluded two things when the meeting was over.  First, there was no secret or “that one thing” that an entrepreneur can do to ensure success.  Second, I realized that what wins is what spreads and only “awesome spreads” virally in the digital age.   What I had been looking for was right in front of me the whole time.   Now realizing that there is no secret to success, I focused my time and energy on the “awesome spreads” piece.  What are you talking about Devin?  What is with this “awesome spreads” stuff?

The primary ingredient for me to create the success I so desired was to create:

  • awesome blog posts (content)
  • awesome tweets
  • awesome YouTube videos
  • connect with awesome people (LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook)
  • share awesome content
  • create an awesome experience

If I could do some of the above consistently, then my brand would grow and spread like a new-born child.  Do you think I am nuts?  Step back and think about who you like, who you follow and why.  There are countless examples like Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan and a host of others.  Are they smarter than the rest of us?  Do they have extra neurons firing in their heads?  I am not a neurologist but I think not.  The common denominator is that they live out on the edge where “awesomeness” occurs and it spreads and spreads.   Do yourself a favor in 2012, get your arms around your “awesome” and share it.  The world needs a few more authentic voices willing to reject the status quo.  By the way, average is over-rated!


Devin C. Hughes, The Chief Inspiration Officer is a former college basketball player, professional speaker, leadership and personal branding aficionado, and frequent eclectic thinker.  He works with a variety of organizations, providing real-world strategies for real-world challenges.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations as a catalyst for meaningful personal and organizational change.  He is a graduate of Colgate University; he lives in Southern California with his wife and four daughters.  His website is http://www.devinchughes.com/  He is available upon request for consultation.