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Were you a cool kid when you were younger? Studies show that by the time we turn 23, even the most popular kids lose their coolness.
That’s because adults change—and we realize that life is more than just good looks and taking on as many dares as we can. But there’s a new way to be a cool kid—the adult way.
Joining me in this article is the Contrarian Investor, Codie Sanchez. Codie is an expert at thinking outside of the box and knows how to be a cool kid.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Cool?
A person who is cool has a magnetic energy about them and is often respected and desired to be around. Cool people are often chosen or thought about first and may land great deals with clients or have an easier time building rapport with others. Being a cool kid isn’t only for kids—adults can be cool kids as well!
Cool kids are the average of the 5 people that want to be around them.
People aren’t born cool. Being cool is like a science—if you want to know the formula, read on!
How to Be Cool
If you want to attract cool people, you should do cool things. Imagine the coolest people you know—whether it’s Tony Hawk skateboarding a huge ramp, Oprah giving an incredible speech, or Batman saving the world, these people are always doing cool stuff. But it’s not about doing over-the-top things… You can start by building cool businesses, having cool fails that you can tell people about, or even reading a cool book.
So before we dive in, ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Are you doing cool things?
- Are you reading cool things?
- Are you following cool things/people?
- Do you have a hobby or interest that you can share about? How do you share it?
Find your favorite thing
There’s a myth that to be cool, you have to be perfect. Or, you have to figure it all out. But some of the coolest stories end in failure. Even some of the most popular videos on the internet are failures!
Let’s take a look at the CEO of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk. 3 things immediately stand out that make him a certified cool kid:
- He is a niche expert. Gary is very knowledgeable on subjects he speaks about. He finds a really interesting topic and not only digests information about it, but knows how to explain it to ordinary folks in an easy way, making him a niche expert.
- He is relatable. Gary is a relatable guy—he wasn’t born successful, but put in hard work (along with some luck and skill) to achieve success.
- He has something that makes him an “every man.” Being an every man (or woman) means doing down-to-earth things like buying a Jets cap and putting it on backwards, or going to garage sales just to find a vintage treasure or save a few bucks.
If you just try to be cool, people end up eating you.
Besides being relatable and an every man, let’s focus on something you can truly work on right now: being a niche expert. This doesn’t mean being an expert in keto diets or diesel engines. Everyone is a niche expert in something, but not everyone is confident enough to share their knowledge with others.
For example, you might love the research process so much that you enjoy reading 30-page academic papers. Or, you might be a huge board game buff.
Whether you’re interested in:
- Old cars
- Cooking spices
- Zumba and yoga
- Repairing old gadgets
- Your dogs
- Virtual reality games
- Writing books
Talking about (almost) anything with confidence is a characteristic of cool people.
Action Step: Pick 1-3 things you really enjoy and have more knowledge of than the average person. In your next conversation, find a way to bring up this topic and talk about it! You might be surprised how interested the other person might be.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to talk about things you find interesting, even if you’re not a pro at them, either! Being cool really just means being magnetic, and most people are not open to sharing their curiosities because we might fear others don’t care. But even though some people might care, there are a ton of people who do. Find the right group of people and share your interests!
Be additive (& non-boring)
Cool people are additive. Observe an interaction, and most of the time, the cool kid will be additive. This means they are adding facts, stories, emotion, humor, and examples into a conversation—keeping it lively.
When you think about it, the opposite of cool is boring. You can converse with somebody and they’re like,:
- “Hey, what do you do?”
- “How’s the weather?”
- “Do you have kids? I have kids.”
Cool kids know these questions don’t have an impact. Instead, they ask cool kid questions.
Action Step: What new, unique things can you bring into a conversation? Try one of these to bring additive things to your next conversation:
- A new conversation starter
- A fun new hobby you’ve tried recently
- Brush up on your storytelling skills
- Learn to make people laugh
Master your elevator pitch
When someone asks you what do you do, what’s your response?
Don’t be a “just” person:
- “I’m just a teacher.”
- “I’m just in marketing.”
- “I’m just a therapist.”
If you add “just,” you’re saying you are boring. If you’re someone who’s not too quick to think of a hook, you can say something like, “I am X, but I am obsessed with Y.”
Action Step: Brush up on your elevator pitch skills! These skills don’t apply just to the elevator. For example, every elevator pitch should have a sparkline. This is the “wow” moment of your pitch and highlights why you’re unique. Your sparkline can be something like:
- “I’m in marketing, and I help make boring products look awesome.”
- “I’m a teacher. But I moonlight as a record producer.”
- “I’m a therapist, and I’m just as confused as everyone else.”
Want more tips? Check out the guide: 9 Steps to the Perfect Elevator Pitch
Make cool friends
Cool kids have cool friends. Makes sense, right? Let’s look at 3 ways you can make awesome friends:
- If you’re not invited to the party, throw your own
If you throw the party, you know most people. Now all of a sudden, you become a connector of people. And the secret is:
When you connect with people, they think of you.
And it doesn’t mean you have to throw a party if it’s too much for you. You can think of having a small gathering for anything interested in.
- Consult a party planner
We all have a friend that we know who is a massive party planner. They know exactly what food to bring, the best venues, and what to wear. So why not throw a party together? Use your party planner to throw the best party ever—AND be a great connector!
- Create content
If you’re not into parties (and/or are really introverted), no worries. You can also engage people through the written word (through a blog), video (via YouTube or other social media), or audio (podcasting). For example, if there’s a great meme that you found that you think your people will love, just sharing that meme through social media shows your personality.
How to Be Cool Takeaway
Remember these key takeaways:
- Become someone who talks about their favorite things! Share your knowledge with others, and they will be interested as well.
- Be additive. Add humor, stories, and positive emotions to a conversation.
- Have a great elevator pitch and say it with confidence.
- Make cool friends to add value and have others vouch for your coolness.
And remember, cool kids don’t live for themselves—they make others feel uplifted. But they also aren’t people-pleasers, either. If you feel like you might be prioritizing others over your own needs, we got your back: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You