Turn people off. It works, believe me.

Have you ever heard the old adage: “if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one?”

I believe it’s true.PALERMOPHOTO-58

I mean, some guys like big boobs. And they tell me some guys like small boobs. But news flash: no one can have both. Well, not a matching pair anyway. And I bet some people are into that, too.

Mind blown.

That’s why having boobs that everyone likes is literally impossible. (This analogy works on paper so just follow me here, people.)

But the biggest problem with ‘trying to please everyone’ isn’t just that it’s impossible.

The real issue is the trying part. Every girl knows that you can’t successfully grow real, perfect boobs by ‘trying’. You’ve just got to embrace what you were given. Or, get the fake ones that you think are the greatest – that’s fine, too.

Whatever you do, own it.

Sure, being real means that some people won’t like it. But the people who do like it – well, they’ll do you one better. They’ll love it.  

And that’s why turning some people off is a good thing – a really good thing.

Every time I attend a big race, one where the crowd is really electric like at the Dirt Classic, I am completely delighted when someone starts booing a car.

Booing? YES!

You hate that car? They must have really done something to earn your obnoxious boos.

And doing something, anything interesting enough to earn some vocal hate, will also earn you some love from another fan. For the exact same reasons.

But doing nothing – walking the middle ground – so that you don’t upset anyone, ever, will get you exactly zero rabid fans.

Case in point: one of my favorite sprint car drivers growing up was Jac Haudenschild. That man does fast and out of control like nobody’s business. And I love it. Because that’s who he is and he doesn’t apologize for it. Wreckers or checkers…and he (mostly) gets it done.

But there are a lot of people who hate that about him. There are plenty of boos when he successfully pulls a slide job or unsuccessfully slingshots himself directly into the wrong spot.

Can you imagine if he dialed it back to get more fans to like him? Maybe took it down a notch and accepted second instead of making a bonsai move and risking the complete obliteration of his equipment (and that of a few cars behind him)?

Lame, I say.

That’s not who he is, and we know it. WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE, JAC.

Being more conservative might make him better on paper, but not in my heart.

Listen: you don’t have to drive a race car like a crazy person to be like-able or hate-able. You just have to stop trying to be everything to everyone and do things your way.

Let go of the idea that you have to be everything to everyone. Choose your line and pursue it without apology, whether that’s saying ‘no’ to certain types of marketing partners or ‘yes’ to a set of promotions at your race track.

If you’re not turning some people off with your brand, you’re probably not doing it right.

Because for every person that hates your choices, there’s another fan that will support you to the end of the earth.

And that’s way more valuable than a bunch of middle-of-the-road semi-fans who will forget you existed a year after you close up shop.

So here’s to the haters (and the boobs),


P.S. How do you turn people off? Comments welcome.

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.