Les & ErikaMeet Erika Napoletano

This week’s posts are a series of articles about three books that I’m giving away because they made such a difference for me, and I want you to know about them. Here’s how it works: First I tell you about the books, and then I tell you about the winners. All three of the books I’m giving away have made a huge difference for me in the past few years as I’ve been figuring out what I want to do to make a difference for people like you. As I said yesterday, “All three books embody what I mean by the words ‘Show Up.’”

Yesterday it was a post about Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, a book that taught me about showing up, connecting, and creating experiences. Today it’s The Power of Unpopular, a remarkable book by a remarkable woman, Erika Napoletano.

The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and Why No One Else Matters)

“You’re the only one holding your brand back – and maybe, kinda like I did, you’re holding it back from the people who want it most.”

Who are you? Really, that is. Not the bullshit mask that you put on in the morning to get through the day. The one you where when you’re trying really, really hard to be liked by everyone? To be all things to all people?

Do you get up in the morning and put on that mask? How’s that working out for you?

Yeah, I thought so.

It didn’t work for me either, and I got really, really miserable. So miserable that I found myself doing this crazy, desperate, utterly insane thing. I started telling the truth, about who I am, and what I want.

The thing is that when you start telling the truth, things start happening that you can’t predict. There are people who love you, really love you, and they love you all the more because now you’re becoming what they’ve always seen in you. There are people who you thought at least liked you, and they start to cross the street when they see you coming, or make sure not to be standing next too close to you at the office, lest they be struck by the same bolt of lightning they’re sure is going to strike you down. There are people you thought liked you but who only tolerated you, and now they don’t. But then there are people who suddenly start to build their fires near yours because they’re attracted to the warmth and the light from yours.

For me, the Year of Thinking Dangerously became the Year of Living Boldly (and oh boy did it!), I left a corporate career to strike out on my own, ended up transforming my marriage into something no one expected or planned, and launched this new brand around the crazy idea that what I really wanted to do was to focus on a male perspective on life, love, and work.

And it’s all Erika’s fault.

Not really, but that was really fun to say.

What I learned from The Power of Unpopular

… is that once I found out who I am and what I want to be about, I had to be all in if I was to have a chance at succeeding.

“Unpopular brands don’t have a backup plan … Unpopular thinkers work without a net and invest everything you have into what you love.”

I learned that failure isn’t the worst thing that can happen, just so long as you don’t fail the same way twice.

I learned that when I am authentic, and trustworthy, and welcoming, amazing things can start to happen.

But don’t get the idea that The Power of Unpopular is only about finding yourself. That’s where to start, but it’s also full of practical tools to help you figure out your particular brand, get real about it, put it out there, refine it, and make it a successful venture.

“Acknowledging that your brand is unpopular isn’t about being disliked – it’s about knowing who will best be served by what you want to build.”

And for what I want to build, I think that just might be you.

Dr. Les Kertay

Disclaimer: I admit it, I’m all fan-girl about Erika. I’ve read her book, I’ve worked with her individually, I participated in her Mastermind program. Maddie has worked with her. She’s become a friend, and I’d walk to Chicago on my knees to help her if she needed it. Hell, we asked her to perform the handfasting when Maddie and Flaun and I formally linked our lives together (and she said yes, how cool is that?)  But you should know that I’m not recommending her book and the ideas in it because she’s important to me, which she is. I’m recommending The Power of Unpopular because I think it can make a difference in your life. 


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