I mentioned Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco before when talking about personal branding. The most recent step he took actually were multiple steps: He takes part in US TV show “Dancing with the Stars”. Sounds a bit weird to imagine a football player dancing, but he did quite well in the first show. Really.
However, what I found most interesting wasn’t his dancing, it was something he said to his partner, dancer Cheryl Burke, during their first training session:
When Burke asked him “Are you gonna talk thrash to all your fellow competitors on the show?”, Chad answered the following: “You know what I think? The thrash talk is gonna come in once I get comfortable. You can’t talk unless your foundation is right.”
I think these are wise words. Trash talk or any form of provocation make no sense, when you are not comfortable with your position and with what you are doing.
Provocation can intimidate or weaken your opposition, but when they realize you have no real clue what you talk about (i.e. a sound basis) and only provoke them to hide that you feel insecure, they can use it easily against you. And they will.
Provocation can also produce creativity (if you want to learn more about it, please refer to my post about scoring own goals), but that only works if you know what basis you start from.
Provoking just for the sake of being provocative is pointless. A lot of people do it anyway – trying to stand out. It won’t work, at least not in a positive way.
Chad Ochocinco does stand out and he definitely knows how to market himself, but he also knows that if you want to provoke you need a sound basis, you need to feel comfortable.
Meanwhile I still wonder what is more surprising: A football player as a dancer or as a philosopher…