Harvesting Failure- Rich Pickings

Not whinging but waving.

How do I fascinate?
Let me count the ways….

In the past week I have been introduced to a fascinating book, called Fascinate. Written by Sally Hogshead who certainly owns her brand ( There are 50 gallons in a Hogshead. What’s in your name smart ass?) and she no longer wants to marry a man called Jones.



Not only does she set out to fascinate but offers to tell you (after you answer 28 questions) exactly how you fascinate. It’s called the Fascination Assessment and it measures not what you are but how you are perceived by others. Armed with this insight she recommends you embrace (own) it and do more of whatever it is. There are 49 options based on your core two Advantages which is probably where other people’s perceptions intersect with something intrinsic in you.  The essence of this is to encourage you to step up to your billing, because it’s where you fascinate. No hiding lights under bushels anymore.

Guess what?  I come out clean as….no not the Catalyst I thought I was, nor the Maverick leader, not the Authentic but (wait for it) the Rockstar!  Before you imagine that I am pleased to be a Rockstar let me disabuse you. Exhibitionistic flash I abhor, shouting too loud not my thing, taking the stand with a microphone? No. Yet the purpose of the exercise is to ‘do more of whatever it is, and do it better.’

Rockstar Johnny_Christ_at_Rockstar_Uproar

But this assessment is a measure of OTHER PEOPLE’S ideas about you. Now I accept this Rockstar appellation as accurate because it is about other people, not me. In that it is plumb centre. It makes all my life fall neatly into place. Rockstars work alone, they use what instruments come to hand, they soldier through the performance until the end, and they accept any gig going. In that sense I accept some truth in it, because what life threw at me necessitated mammoth undertakings. I did not seek them, they found me, as easily as a steamroller finds a slope. Like homelessness had to build our house out of reclamation, the birth of a musician and needing to educate her without money. ( Plant sycamore and wait? Knit your own violin? No. Build concert hall.) What it also explains is why those undertakings brought such calumny from other people, such competitive and snide under-mining such determination to cut me down to size. And get others on side to help.

‘Now when the music starts bang the pots together. Ready?’

I begin to detect, for the first time, why even my failures have been of Rockstar proportions. Why my concert posters were torn down, why my reclamation built home was then desired by the rich neighbour and fought for until he lost at the door of the Court, why my orchestra was expropriated by the conductor I invited to conduct it. Why my concerts were boycotted. Why my frivolously rewritten Evolution is lumbered with Erudite and Magnum opus and sinks to the bottom of the pond.

It is the ‘solitary’ nature of the Rockstar. You can: You do: You are too BIG for Boots.

So how do you own your brand as a Rockstar and do it better? How much hissing do you want to invite? So I undertake a programme to understand failure and I do now understand it with Rockstar knobs on. I have certainly been helped to understand the past. The future looks less clear, and it was a future I was hoping to re-shape.

Any and all suggestions warmly invited.

Photo:By Hooterhouse (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons