Flawsome is awesome


GailBlankeHighResPhotoGail Blanke sent out a Monday Morning Motivator email this week that stood out. She’s always good, but this one struck home with me. It was a celebration of our flawed state, in comparison with “boring perfection.” Any golfer, who can laugh off the frustrations, knows how much truth there is to this: if you really want to go for an interesting walk over 18 holes, you don’t want to be hitting the fairways.  “Flawsome,” she says. “You might be rolling your eyes, but it’s more than a cringe-worthy word, it’s a noteworthy trend. Seriously.”

Blanke cites trendwatching.com, which says consumers will embrace a flawed brand, if it’s totally honest and open about its own shortcomings. Honesty matters more than perfection. A brand that practices that kind of candor isn’t just liked: it’s beloved. To wit: Domino’s Pizza. In 2009, employees posted negative YouTube videos about the company. In reaction, the company went big with its flaws, live-streaming customer feedback in Times Square: “The pizza was awesome. The service was slow.” It worked.

People who are honest about their flaws are endearing. That doesn’t mean going the full Charlie Sheen and trying to brand a losing life strategy as “Winning!” It means simply taking responsibility for where we get off track and vowing to do better. Blanke talks about a woman she knew who was recognizes as a “perfect mother.”

Perfect Mother picked her kids up every day from school, religiously took them to drawing lessons and music lessons, read aloud to them on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum and color-coded their little outfits with their little backpacks. Perfect Mother also designed photo journals of every little stage of their lives with quotes and anecdotes and (religiously) updated them. I mean she was awesome. She had absolutely no visible flaws. But just thinking about Perfect Mother gave me a stomach ache. Not surprisingly, she wasn’t my best friend. A woman who worked full time for an ad agency and was as crazy, hysterical and “imperfect” as I was, was… And all these years later, amazingly, our kids love us. A lot. In spite of our imperfections – or maybe even because of them.

The point is simply this: You – or your brand – don’t have to be perfect. You can’t be. So don’t pretend to be. Be open. Be human. Be you. Be awesome at what you’re really, really good at: I’m totally awesome at whistling…I can get a cab from six blocks away; Domino’s makes really delicious pizza. And be honest about what you’re not: I have no idea where I am at any given time; Domino’s service is sometimes slow. And they’ll like you just fine. Hey, they may even say you’re…Flawsome.     Gail Blanke’s Lifedesigns©2013 All Rights Reserved

You can find Gail’s Monday Morning Motivators at: www.throwoutfiftythings.com