• Danielle Hughes

Flying Roaches Are My Darwinian Nightmare

What the Hell was that?

Those were the words out of my son's mouth the other night as we were sitting on the couch watching TV. "Something ran across my foot. And it was BIG." What followed was a comical and yet terrifying 10 minutes trying to find the, um, item he was referencing. And when we did, it was huge. Now, living in NYC, encountering bugs is par for the course. I've been fortunate to not have too many in my decades living here, but with warmer temps and building construction, pests literally come out of the woodwork. As I struggled to find and kill this disgusting insect, Owen was on the couch, feet up, crouched in the corner, as if the floor was made of lava. Picture a 50's housewife on a chair with a mouse running around. Mind you, he's almost 16-years old.


Is this what Darwin had in mind?

Like most insects, this one was fast. But all of a sudden the situation became exponentially worse when Owen uttered, "It can fly!" Yes, this was a flying roach. Something I've never seen before and never want or need to see again. There wasn't even time to fathom how this got into my apartment or why it wasn't in the kitchen like a normal bug (very off-brand). It landed on the table and sneaker in hand, SMOOSH. Gone. Dead. Bye-bye. No wonder these suckers will live on when we're all gone. They've managed to elevate how disgusting they are by becoming even more terrifying. Well played roaches. Well played.


Talking about an evolution

This incident got me thinking (and suffering from PTSD — thank god my new found love are these pre-made pressed juice cocktails from Drnxmyth — they deliver!). More and more as I see people I know become successful, it's so easy to forget that they had to evolve as well. None of us came out of the womb a success. Or even knowing what we wanted to say or do. That has taken years to shape and form. The product of nature and nurture. Our environment and our experiences. And lately, as newer creative professionals are finding my work and connecting with me, I can sense they think the same of me. She has it all together. She's killing it. She's all over LinkedIn. But the truth is never what we see on social media. Yes, I'm having my best business year ever, but of course, that didn't happen overnight. It took decades of finding my voice, honing my craft and leaning into who I am, not just what I do. People aren't responding to me for my writing skills (I mean maybe a little), they're responding to my authenticity and my personality. Everything comes down to a visceral and emotional reaction (just like Owen and the flying roach). That's what drives connection...and commerce.


Never be prospecting

In my networking meeting this morning, we talked about referrals. As many of you know, my main pipeline is introductions and referrals. I don't prospect for business. At least not in the traditional sense. I make connections, I ask questions and I create relationships. I never get on the phone and sell. I treat everyone like a friend who I'm trying to get to know. And this is what leads people to introduce me to people they know. They trust my sincerity and they genuinely feel comfortable with me. So that comfort and trust makes it easy for them to refer me. Now, no one is ever referred to me because they just need a copywriter. They're referred to me because they need help defining who they are and what they do, and then putting themselves on the page and in their message. They know that because I'm all about being me, I can help them be more them.


Platypus personality

Just like the platypus evolved to become part bird, part mammal and part reptile, you aren't just one thing. You aren't just your job or your business. You're a multidimensional human who has varying skills, passions and quirks. And that didn't happen overnight. That took years of honing and evolving. And you're not done yet. I promise you that! Some of you (myself included) might just be hitting your stride (Even my girl Precious Williams. Check her out below.). Some of you might not be there yet, but you'll get there. What's certain is when you look back, you'll get to appreciate how far you've come and look forward to where you still have to go. You have the power to become what you want. You get to tell your own story. And while you might not be here after the apocalypse (and frankly if flying roaches evolve further, I'll gladly exit stage left), you can certainly make a difference now and leave knowing that you were true to yourself. And that's an evolution I'll gladly sign up for. And as always, if you need help...