Dave Kerpen, is the founder and chairman of Likeable Local. He hosted A.J. Jacobs in the Likeable Business Club on Clubhouse as part of the club’s interview series with celebrity entrepreneurs and/or personalities on Sunday evenings at 8pm EST.

According to his Twitter profile, A.J. is a bestselling author, journalist, TED talker, human guinea pig, overthanker, and your cousin. Now writing a book about solving the hardest puzzles in the world.

Being Weird

AJ is “weird” and he acknowledges this and wears it as a badge of honor.

I asked him, for those business owners who are not on the edge, not fun, not weird, not willing to take risks, what can they do?

How can they bring out the “A.J.’ inside of them?

AJ offered a few words of advice.

  1. It’s important to be vulnerable  – don’t take yourself so seriously.
  2. Recognize that what you’re doing just might fail. This advice echoes Seth Godin as well.

For example, the next time you pitch your company to an investor, tell them right up front everything that’s wrong, or not perfect.

YOU set the stage for the conversation or their view of the opportunity you’re giving them.

As you start to be more vulnerable and start to share your faults and failure you get more confidence.

There are very few people, if anyone, who has succeeded in life who have not first tasted failure and probably continue to have some measure of it.

The Oprah Moment

AJ was on Oprah, I assume talking about one of his several books.

The interview wasn’t going that well, AJ thought.

Oprah was distracted and AJ just felt that overall the energy wasn’t there.

Someone in the audience asked Oprah if she’s ever farted or “passed gas” on stage, during an interview.

Oprah said yes.

She said when she needs to do that, she hums a little tune.

Sometime after this answer, Oprah started humming and AJ said to Oprah, “oohh Oprha…wow….”.

After a pause, Oprah laughed with AJ and kept him on for several more segments!

If AJ can be a bit “weird” with Oprah, think about how much more successful you would be if you were a bit “weird” at your next client meeting.

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