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33 Things I’ve Never Told You (or, How to Re-Introduce Yourself and Kick Your Watered-Down Self in the Ass)

That’s me, riding my dog in the photo over there. I do shit like that sometimes. Maybe you didn’t know that, so let me explain.

For the past 16 months that I’ve been blogging here, I have to tell you I’ve never been fully satisfied with the “voice” I’ve created for myself. By that, I mean the personality I’ve conveyed through my words.

In writing, especially blogging, there’s something known as finding your voice. It’s about how you come across to your readers. You know, serious, funny, witty, stoic, focused, humble, demure, etc. It’s about showing depth of personality.

I’ve been reading a lot on the subject of voice and self expression lately. Also of finding your “right people,” or the people you naturally click with and would be attracted to if you met in person.

There’s a part of me that has never felt fully self-expressed here. I’m coming across in mono, not stereo. I’ve created a persona that isn’t completely me. I’ve fallen prey to the old media line of thinking that you should be “professional” and serious in public settings. Or maybe I just haven’t had the courage to share who I am fully, or the skills to do so.

C’mon bloggers, I know you know what I’m talking about. Most every writer struggles with this in some way.

How do you convey your full personality through words? It’s not an easy thing. How do you show that you’re passionate, gutsy, funny, provocative, dynamic and vibrant like your friends know you to be? How do you let people know your full values, traits and even quirks through writing?

There are two areas that keep us (or me) from fully self-expressing ourselves:

  1. The first is courage. It takes guts to do something you’ve never done before. Knowing that once you write something online it’ll be out there for good can make you question every word, every sentence, every blog post. And what if people don’t like your fully-self-expressed self? That could make a grown man cry. Or at least stop revealing himself.
  2. The second is writing ability. I’m not talking about innate writing ability, something you can only be born with. I’m referring to a learned skill here. The skill of being able to write conversationally, drawing on all of your experiences and thoughts and feelings, and to get those across in a coherent way. I think you can learn that skill. Some people come to it naturally, and other people have to work at it. Like me.

Without the courage and skills, many of us end up with a half-assed persona online. Something that sounds stiff and formal in a way that we don’t sound in person. (Side note, this doesn’t just apply to writing, either. You can create personas that you use in real life in different situations, especially in business situations).

We create these little boxes for ourselves that can sound dry or boring, and then we wonder why we’re not a break-out success like we want to be.

The benefits of being fully self-expressed are too great not to consider. Your full three-dimensional personality will really click with the people you were meant to work with or write for. You’ll become magnetic to certain people, drawing them in with your true self. You’ll form a bond with those people like you never could with a watered-down self. Those relationships will become the foundation of your success.

Plus, it’s just so much easier to be yourself.

Oh, and I’m not talking about baring all of your past indiscretions, telling every secret there is to tell about yourself, or otherwise sharing everything about your history. I’m talking about getting your personality across. That will probably require some stories about your past, but not everything. You don’t have to be fully transparent to be fully self-expressed.

Some of my favorite writers have always been the boldest, brashest, wittiest and most expressive amongst us. People like Lisa Barone, Ashley Ambirge and Johnny B. Truant always captivate me like no one else (and give me a case of the jealousies).

So, how can the rest of us become more fully self-expressed? I’m not sure it’s an immediate switch you can make. Maybe it is. I’m not the expert, remember? Maybe thinking of your blog as a performance is the answer.

In any case, I just know I don’t want to come across with a watered-down personality. I want people to know who I really am so I can really connect with the people I’m meant to connect with on a deeper level. And the people who don’t “get me” can continue searching for their right people elsewhere.

There’s a bolder side of me with more dimensions that I want to introduce you to.

To kick off this new chapter in my blogging life, I’m going to start by sharing 33 things I’ve never shared with you before. Hopefully you’ll know more about the real me after reading this. And then later, if I get back to not sounding like my full self on the blog again, you can call me on it, OK?

There’s no turning back now. Here we go:

  1. I’m 33, but my friends range from early 20s to mid-60s. Just last week I met a friend in his 20s in the afternoon, and then had dinner with my wife and two friends in their late 50s. I often go surfing with a friend who is 65. Age is in your mind.
  2. I skinned my knee a few weeks ago mooning some friends from a moving car.
  3. My closest friends are funny as fuck. Seriously. Sense of humor is one of the most attractive qualities in a person to me. My wife is hilarious. I have a huge group of friends I’ve known since high school and college. When we get together, everyone is a comedian. I love it. The sad thing is, as I get older, I find it harder to find new friends who I can be funny with. Humor becomes less and less a part of new relationships. I would like to change that.
  4. I really enjoy a filthy, drunken, gambling-filled weekend in Las Vegas once in a while. My bachelor party was in Vegas.
  5. I’m a huge fan of music. I played the violin, clarinet, trumpet and guitar as a kid. Listening to music (especially live) always makes me happy in a way that few other things do. My favorite bands right now include Citizen Cope, The XX, TV on the Radio, Wilco and Rilo Kiley. One day I want to play in a band again. A blues band maybe.
  6. I’ve lived in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Mexico. Houston kinda sucked, but everywhere else was awesome. I’m from a suburb outside of Portland, OR called Vancouver. The Pacific Northwest is great, but the rain really gets to you after a while.
  7. My favorite movies include Rushmore and The Big Lebowski. I like movies that are sharp and funny and intelligent. Juno and Forgetting Sarah Marshall are pretty awesome too. I’m also a sucker for great acting and directing on the scale of Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood or Penn in Milk.
  8. I have a big ego. Not like Kanye big, but big. My wife knows what I’m talking about. I don’t know if other people know that. Hopefully it just comes across as confidence. In my writing it probably hasn’t come across much. That’s because my ego is tempered by occasionally being scared shitless that the entire life I’ve been building could come crumbling down at any time. Ego tends to get suppressed while you’re attempting something new and difficult.
  9. I like to drink. I’ll drink anything beside red wine (gives me migraines). Beer, whiskey, scotch, gin, vodka, you name it. Not that I’m an alcoholic or anything. I just like to have a good time. Oh, and I also like this drink called Fernet Branca that’s popular in San Francisco and Argentina, but virtually unknown elsewhere. Most people think it tastes like mouthwash. I think it’s delightful.
  10. In certain circles, I’m known to do the worm at parties.
  11. I’ve worked as a consultant for a lot of really big companies. Allstate, Microsoft, Kaiser, Wellpoint, Enron (yes, that Enron), Safeco and Premera. I guess it took me seven tries to figure out I don’t like working for big companies.
  12. Over the course of 5 years, I flew over half a million miles for work. That’s a hell of a crappy way to live.
  13. When I was younger, I nearly blew my hand off and killed my dog with makeshift fireworks. Thank god I’m more careful now.
  14. I worked full-time all the way through college. I grew up poor and didn’t know that getting loans and going away to college was really an option. So, I got a full time job when I was 18 working for the county Sheriff’s office as a clerk. I ended up becoming the IT guy for hundreds of cops, custody officers and administrative staff. I worked on cool projects like implementing an electronic police reporting system. I also got to shoot guns, drive cop cars and go out on duty calls. The cops I worked with were mostly great people who cared about the community. Oh and college? It took me five years to complete.
  15. A big part of me wishes I had gone through the traditional college experience. But another part of me thinks regret is a useless emotion.
  16. I’m secretly jealous of creative people, like artists, musicians and actors. Luckily I get to hang out with lots of creative people. Oh, and I guess I’m a writer now, so I should probably embrace this as my craft and stop being jealous. Or shut up and start making art, music or acting.
  17. My wife is an amazing artist. She attended a top graduate school for painting, and has shown work in San Francisco, LA, New York, Boston, London, Miami, Seattle and Portland. She’s going to be really huge one day soon.
  18. By the age of 27, I had never rented an apartment, and had bought 4 different homes/condos (and sold 3). I love real estate and architecture and really want to become more involved again.
  19. I took acting classes from a former protege of Lee Strasberg (the father of method acting, and teacher of Dustin Hoffman, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman and Al Pacino). I absolutely loved taking acting classes.
  20. Some of the people around me think I’m throwing my life away or running from something. Before blogging, I founded and ran a startup company in San Francisco. We raised nearly $3M dollars in funding but ultimately didn’t succeed. Before that, I made a ton of money as a big company consultant. Some people think I’m crazy for doing “this blogging thing.” They don’t tell me to my face, but I know.
  21. My wife and I met when she was 16 and I was 17. We’re “high school sweethearts.” I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the love of my life. I have her initials tattooed on my shoulder.
  22. I almost never read fiction. I probably read one fiction book for every 5 non-fiction books, and I only finish about 10 books a year. My wife consistently reads 2+ books every week, almost entirely fiction. We’re different in a lot of ways like that. We’re also strangely similar in others.
  23. I’m a really terrible karaoke singer. Actually, I’ve only tried like twice. One of the times, people were throwing the tokens at me that you purchase to sing a song. The song was “I wanna know what love is” by Foreigner. It turns out I only know the chorus to that one. The other time I tried was with the song “Freak Me” by Silk. Maybe I need to choose better songs.
  24. I made the entire room laugh and cry when I gave a toast at my best friend’s wedding. It wasn’t hard, I just used the story of how I bombed singing “I wanna know what love is.”
  25. I’m unapologetically liberal politically. But I think that very few issues are two-sided and that it’s a shame the media turns everything into a polarized fight.
  26. I am really enjoying eastern philosophy lately. I’m generally anti-religion. I think it does more harm in the world than good, and good morals don’t come from a book or believing in god. Eastern philosophy is interesting though, because it teaches us how to be happy, no matter the circumstance. If you’re constantly looking for the results of some external event or goal to make you happy, you’ll never really get there. Live in the moment. Happiness is a state of mind.
  27. My father had open heart surgery recently in his early 50s. That scares the shit out of me, for his future and for mine. It motivates me at the same time to stay healthy and stress-free.
  28. I think my blog/business Fizzle Co is going to blow up. In a good way, as in it’s going to become a huge success. And I don’t just think that of every project I start. I also often wonder if I should merge this project with that one.
  29. Did I mention I have a bad memory? You know those friends who always know the exact date something happened, and who are constantly reminding you of funny things that happened 10 years ago? I’m not one of those people.
  30. Earlier this year, I won the title of “perviest mustache” in a competition held in Mexico. That made me proud.
  31. I really, truly, want to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed. I choose to work with small businesses because I’m passionate about it. The world is a better place when people are doing what they love, and when power and money isn’t concentrated among so few giant entities. Yes, working for yourself isn’t as easy as getting a job, but the fulfillment and freedom and contribution you can make to the world are worth every struggle. Plus, I sincerely believe working for yourself will get easier over the coming decade.
  32. A couple of relationships in my life have gone terribly wrong. I think about them often. I would have done things differently in both cases, but you can’t hold yourself responsible for other people’s happiness.
  33. I’m surprised that it was so easy to come up with these 33 things, and pleased that I actually have a lot more to share. Maybe this self expression thing won’t be so hard after all.

Thanks for reading all the way through this experiment. If you resonate with the soul I’ve just bared, subscribe to this blog. If I’ve offended you or turned you off, thanks for reading anyway. I know that I won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s OK.

And bloggers, I challenge you to express yourself more fully. This felt really great. Try writing your own post like this. It might just be a breakthrough.

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  • diggy

    Hey Corbett,
    This is by far the most enjoyable post I’ve read from you, thanks for writing it:)

    It’s always nice to get to know a blogger on a more personal level and you’ve achieved that here.

    Best of luck with your business and keep enjoying life!

    • Corbett

      Funny, Diggy. You were the first commenter here, but it went to my spam folder and I just caught it.

      Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you liked the post. Cheers.

      • Dianne

        I’m just starting to work on building my blog… and the thing that has driven me to give it a go is my “voice.” All I can advise is to write from your head through your fingers. I write like I speak. When anybody that knows me reads my stuff, they “hear” me with ease. That is what makes it fun. This will be the first time I’m going to take time to “formally” write though, so we’ll see. But, my voice won’t be my challenge. Good luck!

    • Sheyi

      Yeah Diggy, you are right. This is far one of the best thing i will ever read from him though i am coming late here but i’ve read lotta things about Corbett before

  • Kenn

    We’re totally drinking Fernet next time you’re in Portland.

    • Corbett

      Awesome, Kenn. I’ve never tried to find it in Portland, but a friend searched 3 liquor stores in Seattle last month with no luck. Glad to hear you know where to go.

      • Carl

        Here here to Fernet Branca.

      • Pia

        Hey Corbett,

        I wonder if I should start a business exporting Fernet Branca (or Menta) to the US… honestly, it is so very common in Germany… but I didn´t know people under the age of 60 like it. It´s an old fashioned drink over here :-)

        Have you tried “Jägermeister”?

        Salute – skoll – hoch die Tassen!

  • Stephanie

    This post is great! I love all the random trivia and some of it is definitely unexpected.

    I often wonder if my voice in my blog accurately portrays my personality- particularly since I often do right about personal things. I’ve been thinking about writing a similar post to this for awhile and I might just do it now.

    • Corbett

      Hey Stephanie, good luck with that post. It really felt great to write this. Hopefully it will keep me on the right track.

  • Cody McKibben

    Rad post Corbett. Sounds like we have even more in common than I already knew. Love your projects dude, and hope we get to meet when I come out to Portland next year to visit Sean Ogle. Or in Mexico with CM?

    • Corbett

      Yeah, Cody, we have to meet up in person sometime. We’ll be in Mexico again this winter. If you’re in Portland, I’m sure I can swing a trip up there to coincide.

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot

    Beaut post! Glad the stuffy shirt is being kicked into base and look forward to more mooning, gambling and drunken shennanigans to come. It’s a relief to let it all hang out isn’t it? And you find that people love you more. I’m particularly taken with the romantic teen relationship still going strong, your wife’s art plus the mooning. I wish we’d seen it – my kids would have laughed themselves senseless:)

    • Corbett

      Haha Annabel, I can see a little more about you now just from those preferences. It’s good to know my behavior would entertain the kiddies.

  • Jade Craven

    Thanks for this post :-)

    I’m so lucky in that I had a nervous breakdown and I hopped on social media very early in my recovery. This meant that I couldn’t pretend and people actually watched me get my life together. This gives me such freedom to just be myself.

    It sucks though because I feel like I have to hide my wicked, dirty sense of humour. I may have a new goal now but first, I need a moving car….

    • Corbett

      It’s like a big ol’ global safety net, isn’t it? Your story is really unique and inspiring, Jade.

      Be careful with what you try to do from a moving car. It’s harder than it seems. Seriously, my knee was scabbed over for a couple of weeks.

  • TimB

    Hi Corbett,

    Great post there mate. I’m a recent convert to a whole bunch of sites like yours and I love that they’re all so well written and seem to give a good insight into the blogger’s life. This is why they are so inspriational and thought provoking, cause they’re keeping it real (man)!.

    But you’re right, writing in a natural voice is really difficult sometimes. I recently started blogging and published around 15 posts on my site but just recently canned the lot as I really wasn’t happy in hindsight – what I’d written just didn’t sound like me…

    Right now, I’m considering how I’m going to re-launch. This stuff has to flow and it all felt too forced before. I guess it all comes with practice…



    • Corbett

      There are so many great writers out there, and thank god. Business and marketing and other topics can be so boring, it’s the writers who make it all bearable sometimes.

      It does all come with practice, Tim. I still feel like what I write doesn’t sound like me all the time, and I’ve been at it for 16 months now. You’ll get there, just strap yourself in for a long ride.

  • Jerret

    Don’t worry. We’ve ALL had relationships that have gone terribly wrong.Thanks for the great post.

    • Corbett

      Thanks, Jerret. I know it happens to most people, I just never thought it would happen to me, you know?

  • Greg Rollett

    I got married to my high school sweetheart as well. Lots of similarities on the list. It’s good to get to know things about people that you may have preconceived ideas about. Good share bro.

    • Corbett

      Oh cool, Greg. It’s a funny thing, at least where I live. When I tell someone we’ve been married for 9 years already, they look at me like I’m from the country or something. No, we just got married a little young because we’d already been dating for 7 years before that.

  • Nate

    Thank you for doing this! I’m such a fan of this type of post. I need to do one soon.

    Your victory in the “perviest mustache” contest is definitely something to be very proud of.

    And I totally agree that ThinkTraffic is going to blow up. I really like what you’ve done so far there.

    • Corbett

      Thanks Nate. Have you ever tried to grow a mustache? It’s not as easy as Tom Selleck makes it look.

      • Doug

        Nate the voting was rigged, I should of had that title ;-)

        • Corbett

          Yeah Doug, but you had home court advantage ;)

  • Matthew Hooper

    Awesome post! There are SO many things that you mentioned in this post that I can relate to.

    I also struggle with finding my voice. I have an engineering background so all the writing classes that I took were designed to remove my voice.

    • Corbett

      Exactly! Most of my writing started in the business environment, where self and expression are frowned upon. It’s really hard to undo all of that conditioning. Good luck, engineering is even stiffer.

      • Daniel

        It’s hard trying to keep two voices too. I work online whilst studying at university where they do their best to crush any personality from your writing at cost of death! Any ideas?

        • Corbett

          Hey Daniel! Learn everything you can while at university. There can be a lot of value in what they teach, even if it doesn’t perfectly prepare you for today’s workforce realities. Make the most of it while you there, but try to keep another foot planted firmly in the real world that exists outside of classes, both online and off.

  • Amber

    Love it Corbett. It is really nice to get to know you better. Something all of us bloggers and writers definitely need to experiment with more. Did I mention I live in SF? You should come to yoga with me and Everett :D. Hope all is well in the East Bay.

    • Corbett

      Hey Amber, I’ve actually never done yoga. My wife goes a couple times a week. It’s on my list to try sometime.

      I live in SF, actually, in the Mission ‘hood. Everett mentioned he does yoga over here. I doubt I could keep up with you though. Hopefully there are special steps for beginners?

  • Fitz

    Wow, inspiring stuff Corbett. I feel like I know you now, which is something I’m sure you were going for.

    It’s just too bad you don’t like red wine :)

    • Corbett

      It’s not that I don’t like red wine. I actually wish I could drink it, so all you wine snobs would stop giving me such a hard time ;)

  • Trever Clark

    I think I just decided that you are MY right people. This my be the best post that I’ve seen on Free Pursuits so far. As I’m working on writing some launch material for my own blog, I struggle immensely with writing authentically and being myself. It’s like you say – putting something out there online means that it’s there for good, which leads to second-guessing every sentence and self-censoring. Hopefully it gets easier with time. Maybe I should launch with my own post in this vein.

    Anyway, big props for “coming out” as a political liberal. Politics are touchy, and it seems that as opinionated as the blogosphere can be, no one wants to own up to their beliefs unless they’re writing a political blog. I’m extremely liberal myself, and I have a feeling that a lot of people in our little corner of the web are as well – they’re just too afraid of alienating people to admit it.

    And finally – ROFL about the mustache. Let’s see some pics!

    • Corbett

      At some point after writing for a while, I think you just start to feel like “f*ck it, this is who I am.” And then you start writing more authentically, which is nice, because all that self-censoring stuff is painful.

      Politics have been such a huge turn-off lately. It’s a bunch of tired old arguments that never get anywhere. I don’t plan to talk about politics much specifically here, but thought I share a little of my thoughts just to round out your understanding of who I am.

      There are pics of the ‘stache out there somewhere. I’m sure they’ll surface when I run for office.

  • Rob

    Great to peer a little more into Corbett land. I totally “get” your message here, I certainly can learn to infuse a little more personality in the places I hang out online and my business. I’m so aware that everything online lingers forever and can be dug up at a moments notice…but that’s no excuse not to be who you are…just don’t be stupid. Awesome challenge! Moon you later.

    • Corbett

      Yeah, it’s scary. But like I mentioned, it’s not about sharing every detail of your life. Sharing a richer, more multi-dimensional personality is about finding the courage to say what you want to say in a way that jives with who you really are. Not that I’m an expert after this single post ;)

  • Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things

    Thanks for sharing Corbett. It’s always cool to see a new side of a blogger you’ve been following for a while.!

    • Corbett

      Cheers Joel.

  • danielle lazier

    I found your blog while day-dreaming about a mini-sabbatical. You are getting great SEO, btw!

    It’s funny because when I was in school, my teachers usually asked me to be less “conversational” in my writing. But then, they also complemented me on my “voice.” Somehow I know even back then that being able to write in a way that makes folks think you are talking to them would be beneficial in the future…

    I started the first version of SFHotlist in 2002 but didn’t know it was a blog. Turns out, it was! I’m not really a techie. I just like to write and finding clients online came naturally.

    Now, it’s time to improve both my own skills and leverage the site (and others on my mind) through some people power.

    Glad to have found your site. Good stuff. And yes, your voice is shining through. :)

    • Corbett

      Hey Danielle, I just saw your most recent post about Mission Dolores. I live about two blocks from there. Small world.

      It’s funny you mention school. I barely remember writing when in school, what it felt like, how I did it, what the response was, but now I write thousands of words every week and essentially base my living on it. I’m glad school taught me the fundamentals, but I wish I had figured out then that I enjoy writing so much.

      Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck with the SF Hotlist.

  • Edwin

    Sweet, very interesting. Its funny that red wine gives you migraines and the whole mustache contest.

    • Corbett

      Yeah, the red wine thing sucks a little, but at least I have an award-winning ‘stache.

  • Simon

    Crazy serendipity that I get referred here by Adam Baker on the day where I publish the first post where I’m all ‘yeah, that’s pretty close to my real voice’.

    Turns out my real voice doesn’t take anything seriously.

    Interestingly, it’s also been our most popular so far. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

    Also, Tom Selleck is the Master of the Mustaches. All mustach’d men must bow before his bodacious brush.

    • Corbett

      Awesome post, Simon. The humor comes across from you very well (although I wish I knew who this asshole Michael Bay was). Thanks for stopping by. Oh, nice hat in your photo BTW.

  • Sylvie

    I really like your blog and guess your voice is probably one thing making feel like that. This new post gives a lot of humanity behind the screen… As a very very new blogger, I think you are for me one of the most inspiring.
    thanks for that !

    • Corbett

      Awesome, Sylvie! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • kim hayes

    Way to put yourself out there Corb! I dig it! It’s hard to be yourself while writing, especially when you think you need to stay “professional.” I’ve found my blog writing pretty boring as of late, but thanks to you I may step up my game. boo yah! (ps- I’ve seen the worm- and it’s spectacular!)

    • Corbett

      Hey Kim! I was wondering what someone who knows the “me” behind the blog would think of this post. Thanks for the kind words about my worm. Wait, that came out wrong. Anyway, good luck with stepping up the game. It feels good (and has business benefits too). What’s to lose?

  • Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist

    Yay, the “perviest mustache” sounds like quite an accomplishment. Also, I find it great that you decided to let big business be big business and take your knowledge to us mere mortal micro entrepreneurs. Just for that I’d totally get you a Fernet, as long as I may clink glasses with some other drink… ;)

    • Corbett

      Clink with whatever you want, Fabian. I don’t discriminate. Well, sometimes I might poke fun if you’re drinking something with Midori in it, but otherwise you’ll be safe.

      • Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist

        Midori… *shivers*… There’ll surely be something better on the menu, and if not, I’ll just bring my own bottle of rum. :)

  • Tony Ruiz

    We’re grabbing a beer one day dude – social drinks a good for the body

    • Tony Ruiz

      *are good for the body…I didn’t have a drink yet, I share ha ha

      • Tony Ruiz

        *swear…Wow, I’m just a typo machine over here…ha ha. Sorry for the triple comments buddy. Feel free to delete

      • Corbett

        Too late, you already revealed yourself ;)

  • Colin Wright

    Corbett, this is my favorite post of yours in a long time (and that’s saying something!).

    Really looking forward to seeing what comes of this!

    • Corbett

      Now I’m starting to feel a little pressure to perform. Maybe that’ll keep me from slipping back into “business Corbett.”

  • Betsy Talbot

    OMG, you said “fuck.” That makes me feel so much better. I was beginning to think you were all work and professionalism (weird for a guy who spends part of his life on the beach), and I’m happy to see that you like to let loose with fun people and have a lot in common with me. I feel much more a part of your tribe today than I did yesterday, so thanks for that. Nice to meet a kindred spirit.

    It is hard to move into your own personality online after working in corporate America for so long, or at least it is for me. I keep thinking of trying to attract keep *all* customers/readers instead of the *right* ones. Big mistake, and one I fight against every day.

    You’ve inspired me to do the same type of post on my blog. Thanks, Corbett.

    • Corbett

      Haha, yeah, I do let the f-bombs fly on occasion. Not that you have to write like that, but it’s definitely an attention grabber.

      I hear you about how your corporate self can continue to influence you for a long time. Have you heard the tale of the old man, boy and donkey? This might help:

      “An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

      Later, they passed some people that remarked: “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.” They then decided they both would walk!

      Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

      Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

      The moral of the story? In Marketing, if you try to please everyone, you might as well… Kiss your ass good-bye.

      I read that in Michael Port’s excellent Book Yourself Solid.

      • Betsy Talbot

        I can’t believe I’m almost 40 and still trying to learn the same lessons. Thanks for the story. I’m going to go beat the damn donkey now. :)

        (actually, I’ve already started writing my post, Obi Wan)

  • Lisa Sonora Beam

    Corbett: I’m hugely inspired by this post, and think I’ll take your advice and copy you!

    Finding one’s blog voice has been challenging for me, too. I think I haven’t totally found it, and that’s why writing posts has been so hard for me. And I don’t struggle with anything else creative that way…so it’s got me thinking…

    Mostly I struggle a lot with being highly introverted and very private…I’ve never liked putting myself “out there”. I love to do my work…it’s hard to talk about it. But I love the connection that blogging makes with my “right people”…so I keep working at it.

    I love knowing that you envy creative folks, I had no idea! It’s high time we get together for a strong drink somewhere in the Mission…my old neighborhood. I’d love to meet your wife and see her paintings, too.


    • Corbett

      Hey Lisa, I just emailed you. We should definitely meet up in SF.

      It’s good to hear from someone coming from the “creative” side (as opposed to the “business” side of things) that this whole voice issue is difficult for you too. Courage doesn’t come easy, no matter your background I suppose. In fact, I find that artists tend to love doing the work, but not necessarily talking about it (and especially not “marketing” it). There’s a huge opportunity for someone with creative street cred to teach artists simpl,e non-sales-y marketing.

      I can’t wait to read your post. Definitely let me know when it’s ready.

  • Kathy Jerzak

    Love this post. There are a lot of things here that I can relate to.

    • Corbett

      Thanks Kathy!

  • Ash

    That’s it; bring on the Fernet Branca!!!!!!!!! San Fran here we come!

    I like you more already. :)

    • Corbett

      I had a feeling a little talk of debauchery might get you fired up. Can’t wait your infamous band of road trippers in person.

  • Chris Dame

    Transparency can be one of the hardest things to providing, until you start doing it. Each article I write, I try to provide little glimpses into my life, regardless of how professional the topic.

    I think it says something that one of my most popular posts to date is about how everything went completely wrong for me.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Corbett

      Hey Chris! At the end of the day, business is about relationships. People want to work with other people who are like themselves, and who are likable (and competent, of course). When you reveal a little about yourself and your personality, it makes it easier for your potential readers/customers to connect. It’s no surprise that your most revealing post is also your most popular one.

  • Andy Fogarty

    I never been much of a writer. Well, not in the normal everyday reading sense anyway. I didn’t start “blogging” until a little over a year ago and I never used my full personality. I would take bits and pieces and magnify them 20x to get the sites voice.

    Funny thing is now that I’m actually putting all my efforts into “my” site, I’m having the same trouble. It’s hard to get those little quirks and emotions across with a few words.

    This is my first time here so I guess I have some serious back reading to do :-)

    • Corbett

      Hey Andy, enjoy the back reading. Hopefully there’s something in there that will help you express yourself better. Good luck with “The Entrepreneurial Daddy.” I’m sure lots of people can identify with what you’re trying to do over there. Check out Adam Baker’s stuff (Man vs. Debt) if you haven’t already. He’s doing the family / business thing too.

  • lindsey

    i’m scared to tell my readers i like snow patrol.

    • Corbett

      It’s OK, I like ‘em too. Just don’t tell people you like Coldplay ;)

  • IamDavid

    Brilliant post, I went through something similar. I blogged on a url that went no where. I started the site for all the wrong reasons. After realizing my mistake I have hit the reset button with a new url, a new design, and new inspiration. Creativly I can really be myself now and write the way I want.

    Anyways enough about me, looking forward to seeing what is next from you.

    • Corbett

      Cheers David, thanks. Congrats on the new site.

  • Clayton

    Wow! You used to live in Cristalla? I used to work for the architecture firm that designed that building before I left that profession. That feels like a lifetime ago.

    Small world…


    • Corbett

      See, this self expression thing uncovers so many connection points we never would have known about. It does seem like a small world that you know the name of the building I lived in, just from some photos. Weird. I loved that building. Nice work.

  • Vanessa

    Dude. Found ya through The Middle Finger Project…awesome. I totally resonate with the challenge of expressing my voice/personality on my blog. It’s friggin tough for me. I’m still working on it…but I think I’m getting there. It’s all about pointless fear, as you said. But you’ve encouraged me to keep working at it. And maybe a list shall come of it too…

    Also, I think I did everything…subscribed, shared, friended lol Great blog. Very inspiring :)

    • Corbett

      Hey Vanessa, I’m glad you wandered this way via TMFP. Pointless fear is surprisingly hard to get past, isn’t it? Let me know if you end up doing a list like this.

      Oh, and thanks for committing to the full “trifecta” of subscribing ;) I’ll be checking out Green and Free for sure.

  • Regan

    your old friends still have awesome memories of what a great friend you are to others. you can put that on your list, too.

    i remember when you pretended to be my bf for a few days in middle school to save me from anthother suitor. aawwww! thank you, corb!

    • Corbett

      Whew, I was afraid you were going to shatter my moment with some embarrassing recount of a pantsing incident or something ;) Thanks for the kind words instead.

      Glad I could help fend off the weirdos for you back in the day Regan. You’ll have to remind me privately who we were dodging sometime. Poor guy.

  • Tiani

    I knew you in middle school and high school, but I feel like I just met you because I learned so many new things here. [and I am so grateful I never witnessed the worm, so grateful. That is, unless I am blocking it out.] :-)

    If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about your voice that much. If you write about what you know and care about … it naturally comes from the heart and sends the message it is supposed to send, whether you are a skillful writer or not (not to downplay the importance of honing one’s writing skills). I don’t know that one has to convey a lot of themself to succeed (to answer your question). If you want/need to express who you are, be honest. If you don’t want/need to do so, don’t. Whatever you put on ‘paper’ should come from your heart. No one else will care about what you are saying if you don’t even believe it. That supersedes any studies in literature and composition.

    My 2 cents …. heh heh

    Keep doing what you are doing!

    • Corbett

      Hey Tiani, the worm isn’t all that bad I’m told. Now the running man, that’s a different story. I wonder if you’re the one who taught me that move?

      Anyway, I totally hear your perspective on writing what you care about. Sincerity is a big part of being a successful writer. I think you can get your personality across without revealing too much about yourself, but I haven’t made that happen as much as I’d like. So, this little experiment will hopefully lead to a breakthrough. I’ll be discussing this very topic tomorrow at my other blog, Think Traffic. Thanks for getting me thinking about the other side already.

      • Tiani

        I am sure I taught you the running man. It had to be me since that was one of my signature moves with even a backwards and sidewards variations.

        I really like your experiment! Pushing your boundaries and stretching yourself and making adjustments and changes can only lead to more growth and discovery … and that is success in my opinion. Stay up!

    • Doug

      As an observer (with a photo), his worm is flawless. And, he did it on a tile floor.

  • Jeanie

    I’m not as intimidated anymore. You look like this suave, cool motherfucker living the dream in your standard photo…

    Talk politely but with no passion…

    And it turns out you’re Rob Dyrdek!

    Your praise for your wife is deeply touching to me.
    I felt like I was emailing this ”big dude” but you responded and seemed to care a little. How encouraging to have a real human talk back!!
    Did you know you can make peppered vodka?
    And, how far are you from Golden Gate park? I love watching fencing matches there :)

    I think I like you. I’ll decide when I meander back there & meet y’all for dinner.

    • Corbett

      Haha, Jeanie. I had to look up who Rob Dyrdek was, then I remembered “Rob and Big” vaguely. He’s the guy who kept a mini horse as an indoor pet, right? I’ll take the comparison as a compliment! That guy seems pretty rad.

      I have had peppered vodka, but haven’t tried to make it. We’ve had great luck with strawberry infused vodka though.

      Thanks for the comments. Good to know I look like a cool mutherfucker, but I think my wife and friends would laugh at that description.

      I’m about a mile and a half from Golden Gate Park. It’s walkable for fencing matches or the occasional M.C. Hammer concert in the afternoon (yes, I saw him there live last year for my birthday). It was as awesome as it sounds.

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  • Aria

    Hey Corbett,
    I’ve recently found myself reading Think Traffic more and more, so I was quite interested to come across your latest article, and this epic, as you say, blog post – it’s like your own little strip show, where with each point you reveal a little more! Paris would say, it’s hot.

    I’m a young, and very new blogger, myself, but I have found that my voice seems to be best expressed when dealing with those moments of courage and self-revelation. (

    It’s precisely about being brave and bold, and yet you raise a really interesting challenge? I’m still trying to remain PG-rated and professional, as appropriate for parents and future employers, as my Gen-Y friends. How to truly be yourself and convey those dirty, naughty, stupid things that make us all human as you have done, without losing that clean, professional slate?

    Perhaps it is all in the writing style/skill. Or perhaps, it takes just as much balls for the reader to accept that is how we all are, as it does for the writer to say it…

    • Corbett

      Hey Aria, yes, it felt a little like a strip show, but lucky for all of you there was no actual skin revealed. Just heart and soul.

      So, you bring up a good point which is that how much you bear also depends on what you plan to do with your life. If you want to be a senator or priest or something, there are probably some off-limits topics. Your future choice of employers might also influence that decision.

      Personally, I’m not looking for traditional employment in my future, but I do still have to find clients and customers. You’ll be surprised though, that baring your self can appeal to the right employers/clients/customers just as much as it can to your friends and online acquaintances.

  • Steve

    That’s a pretty cool list of 33 things. We have several of them in common. I know what you mean about being authentic. It seems so hard at times. It is so easy to fall into the whole “I”m a professional blogger and must sound like it,” mode. the funny thing is that the most successful bloggers seem to be the ones who can remain authentic!

    You are absolutely right about your wife being a great artist. I love here stuff!

    • Corbett

      Authenticity is definitely a key, regardless of how many personal details you reveal.

      Thanks for the compliments on Jessalyn’s art! I’ll let her know.

  • LobotoME

    Awesome list! Love that you are keeping it real! Cheers, Jenny

  • James Fowlkes

    Dangit! Why can’t I get my shit together and be more like you, dude!
    Mexico in the Winter,… that is my dream.
    Kudos to you for living life YOUR way!

    p.s. that apartment/condo is amazing. Is that Portland?

    • Corbett

      Hey James, honestly just two years ago I never thought I’d be wintering in Mexico or working so independently. You know, the whole career/mortgage/reality issue.

      But then I thought, why not? What is really holding me back from living the life I want? It turns out mostly it was beliefs and self-imposed limitations, not reality. Always question your assumptions.

      That condo is in Seattle, in Belltown. Portland has some pretty amazing places as well though. We used to live there about 8 years ago.

  • Ross

    Hey Corbett –
    This is Derek’s friend from the little bar gathering a few months back…
    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your stuff lately, and though I rarely comment, I thought this was great.
    Keep on keepin’ on man… I’ll be back.

    • Corbett

      Hey Ross! Great to hear from you again. How is San Francisco treating you? Thanks for commenting. I love when a post gets people out of the woodwork to say something.

  • Asatar Bair

    I think this had the desired effect, Corbett. (Do you usually get 88+ comments?) You seem like a cool guy that I would enjoy hanging out with. In the couple of conversations we had over the phone, I didn’t hear you make a single joke, so I appreciate knowing that side of you. I also appreciate your professionalism. Tough to balance those, I guess.
    Your wife’s paintings are amazing! I wish I had known you when my wife and I lived in SF. Come and visit us in Tucson sometime!

    • Corbett

      Hey Asatar! You’ve illustrated my point well. “Voice” isn’t just something that applies to writing. In life, it’s also hard to balance personality vs. professionalism. Personality should probably come first if you really want to connect with people, but professionalism always seems to take the driver’s seat for me.

      We’ve only been to Tucson once. Given the photo you posted on Facebook of the weather there this week, I’m guessing Winter is a better time to visit.

  • Jon Foil

    Well done Corb. I’m proud to be one of your friends and I’m excited to see you doing something that makes you so happy. And don’t forget, I have a picture to go along with your scraped knee. XO, Bosac

    • Corbett

      Hey Jon! Yes, and I suppose you have another half to the story. There are so many people in this world that I can’t afford to piss off for fear of leaked photos ;)

  • gina

    Nice job corbett!

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  • Caleb

    THIS ROCKS BRO! Love the honesty and authenticity.

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  • Fariza

    Hi Corbett,

    You said: “Yes, working for yourself isn’t as easy as getting a job, but the fulfillment and freedom and contribution you can make to the world are worth every struggle.”

    I can’t agree more. I quit my job and turned a freelancer early this year. Have always wanted to have my own company. My journey begins right now and I am so excited!

    Nice post by the way. Maybe i should come up with my own 23-things list come my birthday next week. =)

    • Corbett

      Hey Fariza, thanks for commenting. Congrats on turning freelancer. It will probably require a lot of work up front, but, well, you already mentioned how I feel about it. Working for yourself isn’t for everyone, but some people wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Happy early birthday. Good luck with the post if you run with it. Cheers.

  • Gina

    I loved all of this. I totally agree with #25….one of my biggest annoyances with the media in the U.S.

  • Michel J. Gagnon

    I really like that. I also got caught in the “professional” debate a while ago. It took me a considerable amount of time and courage (and especially an amazing wife) to get my blog set up and hit the publish button. I was afraid that it would damage my “professional” image.

    What I realized is that there’s a big difference between being professional and being boring.

    It’s a pleasure meeting you New Corbett! :)

    • Corbett

      Thanks, Michel. It’s funny because we also think other people want us to act “professionally” a lot more than they really do. After writing this article, I actually had some amazing conversations with clients who felt closer to me now. It’s really been great.

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  • Adam Beckett

    Holy shit – what a post!

    Absolutely awesome Corbett…

    This has really encouraged me in a Big Way; I’ve been blogging for around the same time as you; lots of people close to me secretly tell me it’s stupid, in some ways my blog is pretty amateur, I’ll admit it’s a little unfocused sometimes but there’s no lack of passion – it’s just I’m not really being ME.

    Frankly I wondered if people gave a damn about me, so I was shy about delivering the full-on Adam.

    That’s just about to change, like now.

    Well Corbett you’ve certainly given us a true flavour of what you’re about, and I guess like many of your other readers, we like it a lot.

    I come across so many professional profiles on LinkedIn that are just so mind numbingly conformist, so many corporate websites that suck.

    Thank you so much for having the guts to be honest.

    “Only One” Adam

    • Corbett

      Awesome Adam! I’m glad to inspire you. Let’s see the full-on Adam. Hopefully you’re only talking about personality ;)

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  • http://whichone? Jim

    Hi Corbett, I just stumbled onto your site, and this post really hit home.

    I write two pretty bipolar blogs. One is focused on business stuff, and has my name attached to it. The other one is pretty much random musings, rants, filthy stories, depressed thoughts, happy thoughts, drunk writing, etc. You know, the deeper depths of personality everyone has but doesn’t show in public.

    With you though it seems, you’re trying to merge the two worlds a little bit, which is awesome.

    But years ago, or whenever you started your working life or making money online, would you be in the position you are today if you expressed your “true” voice online? Right now you’re in a position, monetarily and influence-wise, where you can show a little more personality. You’ve got credentials, you’ve made lots of money buying real estate and consulting for big companies. Your web business is profitable and growing.

    But if you started off talking about your love for mooning and alcohol would you be in this position today? If your investors in silicon valley Googled you and found some filthy Vegas stories on your blog would they have given you 3 million bucks?

    The way I see it you need to reach a certain point of success to say “fuck you” and show some real personality, unless of course your business model is akin to and That’s my goal at least, to start and grow a successful business, and then be at the point where I can say “I’m actually a normal guy who parties and does stupid shit sometimes not some business robot.” But until then I don’t know if its wise for those worlds to collide.

    • Corbett

      Hey Jim, thanks for the though-provoking comment!

      I see where you’re coming from, but I think you might be looking at it the wrong way. In no way am I trying to say “fuck you” to anyone. I’m just expressing who I am. Some people will like that more than my “business self,” and some people will like it less. In the end, I’d rather work with the people who like me for who I am.

      I think the stiffness and “professionalism” that businesses operate with is what’s wrong with big business in general. There’s nothing wrong with being polite, but trying to appeal to everyone really leaves you appealing to no one.

      Again, I’m not saying you have to be completely transparent to be fully self-expressed. Believe me, there are plenty of stories I’m not sharing with the world. But if I have to act like someone I’m not just to earn some business, I’d rather be in a different business.

      I’ve always tried to be myself in every situation, but found it difficult to nail down a voice that suited me when I started blogging. It’s not as if I achieve some level of success and now am using some position of power to tell everyone how it is. I’m just coming to terms with how to convey my personality through writing.

      Does that make sense?

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  • Jim

    Hey Corbett,

    Thanks for the response!

    Yeah, I understand what you’re saying, and I didn’t really mean it in a “fuck you” kind of way, but more of a “I’m in a position now where I can show real personality without as much risk of ruining my reputation and livelyhood as before.”

    My main question was really more this;
    if you started off showing more personality with your business and blog when you first started do you think you’d you be in the same position you are today? You’ve built up a success story, so what you did must have worked, would it have worked better if you didn’t “water-down” your personality? I don’t know. I just meant that you’ve got the credentials now that you can afford to show more personality.

    And I COMPLETELY agree with your statement about businesses being way too stiff and professional. I’m in business school right now and I can’t believe some people think they’re Gods because they make 100 k a year as accountants. I think that’s slowly changing, and I sure hope so. Businessmen aren’t robots.

    This is probably my favorite example of a web business that isn’t trying to be more professional, but is 100% real, and profitable because of it. I wish more businesses were like that, and wrote such compelling copy.

    Really enjoying the rest of your site, keep up the good work!

    • Corbett

      Awesome, Jim. Thanks again for the questions. They’re great.

      Anyway, I have no way of knowing how things would have turned out had I been more “myself” in every situation. I honestly believe though that when your personality shines through, you are much happier and that the transparency and obvious fulfillment + comfort with “who you are” creates more opportunities and stronger relationships.

      Thanks for the link to the Saddleback Leather Co. That’s really a great example.

  • Melissa horn

    Hi Corbett!

    Great article. I love asking my friends to tell me something about themselves that they think I don’t know. I always learn new facts even from people I’ve known for awhile.

    I do take exception, however, with your comment about Houston. Born, raised and living there now. It may not be the most beautiful city, but as the 4th largest city in US, it has a lot to offer! :)


    • Corbett

      Haha, sorry ’bout the Houston comment. It was surely more my situation than the city that left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • delia

    these 33 things were a lot more interesting than hearing you sell marketing strategies, and because it makes you seem real, it actually makes me want to read about the marketing stuff.

    • Corbett

      Awesome Delia, I suppose that is the point. Thanks for reading.

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  • Charlie

    Glad to have read through these. I specifically take to heart what you mean by “baring all of your past indiscretions.” I’ve never really had a problem opening up and telling people all the stupid, ridiculous things I’ve done over the years. Yet, even getting those on the table I still feel I don’t give people the opportunity to see me as I see me.

    But then I also have those moments as Ms Jenny Lewis puts it, “when you’re on, you’re really fucking on. And your friends all sing along and they love you!” I never seem to be able to fully retrace the moments that get me there so that I might be able to share that part of me with others more often. I just know it comes out at certain moments.

    I’ll be in San Francisco in the middle of October. I will be looking to try out this Fernet Branca. There are very few alcohols I haven’t taken to, so I’m willing to give it a try.

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  • FemmeFairyGodmother

    I found your site today, through a FB friend’s link. Great post. I write a blog that isn’t really all that professional to begin with – it’s very personal- and STILL I find that sometimes, I sound like a writer and not Barbara. So, I’m going to write one of these posts myself. I don’t know that I’ll reveal any deep, dark secrets, but maybe something new. And MAYBE That will get me out of my not-writing rut!

    • Corbett

      Cool, Barbara. Thanks for the note. A few blogger friends have written these types of posts recently, and everyone has found them to be really helpful. Best of luck with yours! Let me know how it turns out.

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  • Jordan Luke

    What’s “the Worm”?

    How would I recognize if someone was doing it in a party??

    No shit! I really don’t know what it is.. btw I think Think Traffic is a very clever blog and I wouldn’t merge it. And I’m not sure if I believe you about the mustache contest in Mexico, I’ve seen some VERY pervy ones over there ;)

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  • Jackie Lee

    Hi Corbett,
    I read this post a few days ago, and it’s really stuck with me. I’ve been going through a business metamorphosis recently and you have a lot to do with it. I just wanted to share a comment (or part of one) I got on my blog after a post I wrote yesterday. (While it wasn’t a 33 things you don’t know post, it was inspired by the idea)

    “I think today really does mark a change for you – the style of your writing reflects a new willingness to let your readers really know who you are.”

    Thanks Corbett!

    • Corbett

      Hey Jackie, that’s a really great quote. Congrats on the metamorphosis, and here’s to constant momentum for as long as you need it!

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  • Tia Sparkles Singh

    Yes, I do know what you’re talking about with the voice & courage :) You’re from Vancouver? Lmk the next time you’re here! Love hearing about high school romances, that is awesome.

    This was a great getting to know you post, except for the pervy mushtache, I cldv’e rested easy not knowing. LOL!

    Anyhoo just wanted to say hi as this is my 2nd or 3rd time seeing your blog but I already know you’re da bomb diggity. Cheers! Tia

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  • Financial Samurai

    Howdy Corbett!

    Good to read more about you. During your time as a consultant, did you work for one particular consultant and then work on particular client sites of the consultant firm? Or did you work for the companies you mentioned? Can you give us an idea of what “a ton of money is”?



  • Devin Elder

    Corbett, kudos on not giving an f regarding #20 – or at least acting despite it.

    You rule man

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  • Ryan

    I liked your Moustache award! I half expected to see Tyler Tervooren commenting on this post challenging your moustache :P

  • Santi

    Great post. When you come to Argentina, I’ll take you to drink some really good fernet

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  • Avery

    Yeah man thats the hardest part for me. I just started blogging about a month ago and I catch myself always questioning myself. I have to literally remind myself that its ok to be taken out of my comfort zone online as well as in life…

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  • baobabs

    thanks!!! this is really helpful and so true!! I exercise alot of restrain blogging and disappointingly lose any sense of humour while doing so!

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  • Dan

    This is the first post I’ve ever read from you and I read all the way to the bottom. I guess that shows that I’m interested in the person as much as I might be interested in the ideas.

    I’m currently in the first blush of my own blog and I’m watching my voice wander a bit, but accepting that focus will come.

    Great post. I’ll be looking for more.

  • Jim

    I landed here from page 40 of 18 Months, 2 blogs,6 figures and am going back to the book. This is the first stuff I’ve read from you and I am thrilled. I’ll use some of this to remind myself that I like who I am and that those poor bastards who don’t get my sense of humor are the ones who are losing out.

    • Corbett

      Yeah, those poor bastards ;)

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  • Gia Dimarco

    Thanks for the great advice. New years is a great time to refocus and come up with some new goals for any small business. Look over last years profits and this year, reach a little higher. Thanks.

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  • Chris Green

    The worm? What is the worm?

    I’m assuming it’s some kind of dance?

    • Corbett

      Oh yeah, it’s a dance alright. An awesome dance.

  • Chelsea Frank

    Thanks for the great advise. Trying to build a business and be yourself through it all in writing, converstations and meetings can be hard. You have inspired me.

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  • Edgardo Tamarit

    I’m a blogger from Argentina and live in the place that created the Fernet Branca. The city called Cordoba and this drink is of Italian origin.

    Here is the drink that most people drink, and is usually mixed with Coca Cola ( Coke ).

    I try to make this my main profession full time, but it is very difficult in Argentina managed. People do not go to the blogs and the Internet as a business to be exploited.

    Very good what you write!

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  • Matt

    I could really feel the genuine person behind the words. I guess that’s an extremely important point to bring up.

    Cheers for sharing so much about yourself.

  • Ariel Frailich

    The classic book on writing genuinely: “If you want to write”, by Brenda Ueland.

    • Corbett

      Hey Ariel, thanks for the recommendation. I hadn’t heard of that book before. It looks popular and useful. Thanks!

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  • Nickolas Belke

    How much would you charge for webdesign (not professional)?

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  • Dane

    hey i like to drink too. let’s have a couple sometime. tell your wife to bring her sister?

  • Loz James

    Great post Corbett, I really enjoyed reading this – probably more than most other posts I’ve read (and I like to read Smart Passive Income, Entrepreneurs Journey and Make Money On The Internet). It takes guts to spill them and this post definitely connects on an entertaining and more personal level. Nice to know you enjoy a drink just like I do after work! Great job with Think Traffic too :-)

    • Corbett

      Cheers Loz, thanks for stopping by!

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  • Gaston

    Hey Corbett, I must say that you got my attention with this post. I did signed up to your blog as well… I got into here from a podcast that I listened last week, don’t ask me who was the host because I don’t know, I have a few going on in my phone.
    it’s weird to hear that “Fernet Branca” is also popular in SF… I’m from Argentina, and yes, people drink a lot of it… I left my country about 3 years ago. I’m actually living in Sydney AUS… btw I stopped drinking alcohol about 2 years ago, so Fernet is no longer part of my life anymore :)
    Keep going with this awesome blog



  • Alto

    yummmm definitely loved the post :)
    I wonder if I will ever do this kind of post in my blog but this one was great and I really enjoyed reading ;)

  • Sueann

    Hey. I have never been to your site before, and this is the first post of yours I’ve ever read. It made me laugh! It also reminded me that I should be more of ‘myself’ on my site – although I am generally speaking my mind and in my own voice, I think we bloggers still have a tendency to ‘sound’ more proper than we usually are in person. And that kills the fun and real-ness in our writing. So, thank you for this post. I should post up a ’23 things I have never told you’ too.

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  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Corbett,

    Man, I thought you only did three cool things: create awesome blogs, sell IT companies and surf.

    I’m so glad I stumbled into this post of yours, turns out you’re waaay more fun than I thought you were (my bad).

    I think we all should have a liberating post like this one on our blogs so thank you for the encouragement words man.


    PS. I also suck at karaoke but I’m from another planet when it comes to playing guitar (just in case that actually counts).

  • Ron

    It’s like I just read an ad for a friendship dating site.
    But this is awesome because now your point of view has a lot more height.

    Also I’m from Oregon so just hearing that oddly makes me feel more connected to what you write.

    Well nice to meet you (or you 2 year ago)

    • Corbett

      Nice to meet you as well. I haven’t changed much :)

      It’s funny how you can feel more connected to people because they grew up in the same general area, isn’t it?

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  • Neil

    As I was reading number five I was listening to Citizen Cope. Just a random iPod shuffle pick. Freaky! Citizen Cope is one of my favorite newer artists as well.

    Although my blog is about small business, I just interviewed another one of my favorite new artists, Anthony Snape, for my podcast. It’s fun to live my musical dreams through others.

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  • Karen Batchelor

    Absolutely brilliant!! Thanks for sharing who you really are. Years ago I did a blog post on 50 things about being 50 yrs old. It was liberating to introduce – and claim who I was at that point in life.

    Now I’m a How to Start a Blog That Matters student and am working your program to launch my new blog about drastically downsizing my lifestyle at 61. Hmm…Can I come up with 61 things that show the real me?

    After reading your post, I’m up for the challenge. Thanks for all you do, Corbett. I’ve learned so much from you:)

  • Fernando Rivas

    Dude! how can you drink Fernet? haha your friends are right about it!

    Lovely post! realy like how you write! and gonna take your example! it was so enterteinable

    Greets from Paraguay

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  • Jackee

    Hi Corbett

    Your posts really made me laugh out loud. I just wrote 11 things you might not know about me and it was all a bit serious. Your list bought me down to earth and I am still laughing ( AT MYSELF) as I type.

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  • suree

    so true on no.3, we all Russell Peter when me and my friends hang out together.

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  • Kelly

    I came across your blog via an internet search about introducing myself in my blog, and felt compelled to tell you I read the entire thing and thought it was awesome. It’s hard to find your voice. As a new blogger, I’m struggling with that too. I want the readers to be able to imagine my smile, humor, and personality through my writing, which is so hard to do! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • William-James

    Hi Corbett,

    My name is William-James and I would like to post a word of thanks for your resources and commentary. I really don’t do this as I see most blogs choked with ‘Me too’ guest posts or exclusive offers to take part in mindless clicking on cloaked link bait CPA’s.

    As an aside; The video where you wear the hat and jacket was very intriguing as I was not sure if it was part of a message you were trying to get across or you were wearing a housecoat/lounge wear to emphasize ‘working from home’.

    I absorbed all of your traffic toolbox offerings and in particular read your post

    In my current situation working from one dotcom possibility only to have it bait-switched or the next half-baked invention but getting lost in the technical details. I finally found my confidence to write a similar style using your theme as a guide and giving my own personal answers. I’ve worked in magazines and media all my life and interviewed many differing types of people, but to actually interview yourself via the 33 questions was a real revelation and I look forward to continuing my ‘bona fide’ personality rather than ‘best demographic match’ writing skills.

    I honestly do not know who or what will turn out for me but thanks anyway for giving me that spark to get my first post published and on it’s way.

    PS: Please don’t be offended by the comment regarding hat and coat, I’m just a bit ADD

  • Mike Q

    Hi Corbett,

    I need to thank you for writing this post!

    It’s inspiring and insightful.

    It seems so many of us have 2 personalities.

    Why do we do that to ourselves?

    Thank you again.


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  • Joseph Botelho

    Interesting article, enjoyed how you expressed your feelings and just talked about what your passions are and what made you who you are today..

    It took me down memory lane on some of your points of view…

    I have learned a lot from your writing and the benefits time will only tell..

    all the best,

    Joseph F. Botelho

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  • Seth Overly

    Wow, this was like a punch to the gut in the best way possible.
    It makes me even more psyched to be a part of Fizzle.
    Thank you.

    • Corbett Barr

      You’re welcome Seth, happy to punch you in the gut, as long as it’s helpful :)

  • Ann-Marie Brown

    Wow! Very profound and enlightening! May I ask how you came to decide on the number of 33 items to share?

    • Corbett

      I was 33 at the time :)

      • Ann-Marie Brown

        Ahhhh :D

  • Kristine

    I loved this post — Please continue to share, Corbett – To quote Rod Stewart, “You Wear It Well” ~Kristine
    Boston, MA

  • Corbett Barr

    The biggest two other factors:

    1) connecting with as many other bloggers and online friends as I could
    2) focusing more on my audience and less on myself

    Cheers Dustin, glad you found me :)

  • Rebecca Forstadt-Olkowski

    Thank you for giving us the link to this post today and for being on our mastermind session today. I love this! This is something I definitely need to do. There’s nothing worse than being watered down and you certainly are not.

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