Up the Ante on Boldness

by Karrie Kohlhaas on April 12, 2007

in Cultural Commentary,Marketing,Taking Risks

vonnegutKurt Vonnegut died last night. He was a great example of someone doing his own thing and being successful with all of his quirks and eccentricities. Vonnegut found a style he could own because it was genuine and a true reflection of his personality.

If you do your thing like everyone else does it, you’ll simply blend in and people will forget about you. But when you really stick your neck out and be so fully yourself that it scares some people, offends others, it will attract the people who will resonate with the real you and in turn, the authentic personality of your business–not the one you “create” but the one you integrate.

I have to say I have a soft spot for Vonnegut since he studied anthropology at my alma mater, University of Chicago. They rejected his thesis. U of C later gave him an honorary degree. Had Vonnegut contorted his message to please his professors, maybe we would have missed out on the voice he was developing.

So what voice are you developing? What you perpetuate you will become fluent in, known for and people will expect more of it. Are you developing your business personality, your marketing, and client/customer relationships from a genuine place?

In honor of Kurt Vonnegut: go ahead, step out there boldly and let us see what you’ve really got. I’ll do the same. It’s time to up the ante on boldness. I can feel where I’ve been holding back too. Imagine if we were all living our bold selves, manifesting our authentic businesses? I think that would be the kind of world Vonnegut and many others could smile down on.

© 2007 – 2011, Karrie Kohlhaas. All rights reserved.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel riser April 16, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Vonnegut was one of the great writers of our time, and unlike some in our past, Kurt got his due long before he died…



Michael Max May 5, 2007 at 3:29 am

“What you perpetuate you will become fluent in”
I love that! It is true too. Just like learning a language. It is not that learning a language is difficult, it just takes….time. Some sustained effort, more than a little patience, and a lack of aversion to constant correction and change.


Karrie Kohlhaas May 5, 2007 at 10:28 am

Mel, yes, it is satisfying when someone can be acknowledged before they leave this place. Someone just said to me the other day that we should all have a wake at age 50. Imagine if everyone had a chance to hear what friends and family would say at their funeral. In general I believe people don’t feel acknowledged, heard, understood or appreciated as much as we need it. One reason I love small businesses is the personal relationships that are formed and the sense of connectedness and appreciation that can happen on a very intimate level between business owner and customer/client.

Michael, what is so powerful about that principle is that it’s true for anything, whether it is something you like to do or not. I often tell clients “don’t become good at something you don’t want to keep doing.” I like what you said about the importance of being coachable (“a lack of aversion to constant correction…”). Absolutely right on.

Good to hear from you both!


Mel June 11, 2007 at 7:50 pm

it’s a shame that by the time the sleeper has awakened, we have let so much water flow under the bridge that was WASTED.

so much talent in this world, so many people lost in material distractions.

We all need to focus on being MORE REAL.

here’s to ya Karrie!



Karrie Kohlhaas June 11, 2007 at 8:15 pm

To be fair, Mel, some of that “wasted” time brings great lessons. It’s hard to be awake all the time and it does seem everyone is on their own clock with this sort of development. I do find that the more I free myself in my life, the more I am emboldened to be myself in my business and vice versa. We are here for a short visit and it is much more enjoyable and satisfying to be authentic and unabashedly ourselves in business and personal life. Just think of how much more fun it is to be around people who are so free and completely themselves.

I find that some small business owners let themselves become so busy and bogged down with their business that they don’t spend a lot of time with themselves, getting to know their own needs and wants. I always encourage business owners to take more time for themselves, to throw off the shackles of their business on a regular basis and play. This is one of the best things you can do for your business and one of the best things you can do for personal growth.

Thanks for the note, Mel. From what I’ve read about you, sounds like you are not wasting any time and are having a lot of fun being authentic with your music. It’s refreshing!


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