top of page
  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

When reality trumps imagination: the unbelievable true story will leave you speechless

And it reveals a lot about our strange human nature

Strolling Duval Street in Key West with my bestie Mags, we're arguing about one word.

But the impact of that one word is huge.

We'd met a guy the night before, and I thought he said, "I eat lunch every day at a 'Tikki' bar."

Mags was sure he said, another kind of bar, and I was like, "No way did he say that!"

I'm no prude. I say all the words, but I hate that term. Maybe that's why I heard "Tikki Bar" - plus, it was Key West, so it made sense.

"Yes, that's what he said," She snapped back.

We're deep in an argument about Tikki vs. ti🍒 bar when a twenty-something guy comes running by at a "I'm late-to-meet-a-friend" pace.

Mags and I are walking slowly, so the guy pivots onto the street to get around us. As he sidesteps us, a magazine drops out of his back pocket.

Sidebar: I'm in deep karmic debt from picking on at least one kid in grade school, so I'm always looking for ways to claw back a little good karma.

That's probably why the second the magazine falls, I instinctively reach for it and yell to the guy who has no idea he's dropped it.

"Hey! Sir! You dropped your ..."

At that exact moment, the magazine hits the pavement and falls open to a graphic

p🥹rno spread. (I'm using emojis to dodge the filters and keep us both out of trouble.)

I'm no p-onnoisseur, but this was so extreme a less hardened person might've fainted.

After a shock-induced pause, Mags and I look at each other and burst out laughing.

The guy was long gone, but I had questions.

Had he seen something in the magazine and was running to show his friend? "Hank! look at this ...kneecap!"

Had he borrowed the mag and was running to return it, and now he'd have to explain its disappearance?

"Dude! I swear! It was right here!" emphatically motioning to the back pocket of his cargo shorts.

I'm telling you about this because it illustrates two truths.

#1 - Pictures make all the difference

Your masthead is the p🍈rn of your profile. If that guy had dropped an Atlantic Monthly, I doubt I'd be telling you about it.

Lots of folks stay with the bland panel LinkedIn gives you.

You see this box, and right away, you hit the snooze button because it's a snore Is it a criminal offense? No. Does it make your job harder? Yes. Is your career hard enough already? Double yes!

Truth #2 - Your attention and mood can change in an instant

You have expectations you don't even realize until the UN-expected happens. Cue the

p🌽rn mag. We went from fighting to laughing in seconds. When you know how to craft the unexpected into your profile, people will run to it and pounce on it.

Some of my favorite profiles break the rules and defy expectations - the rules I'll harp on in my updated mini-course LinkedIn Boost - rules like...

-- Never use your job title as your headline. This is always a "Hell no!" Except when it's not. As a rule, this flatlines. Or -- NEVER USE ALL CAPS LIKE THIS TO EMPHASIZE THINGS. [Cringe.] Or -- The dreaded back slant shows up/appears.

And yes, some people get away with it because they're masters of LinkedIn and marketing. They have 3 million followers from their newspaper column, their TV show, or they've been on the Internet since 1994. When you master the principles, you can break some rules, too.

Learn the principles so you're free to make informed choices about which rules to break. When you know how you can craft a profile as shock-inducing as unexpected

p🥨rn or as fun as a Tikki bar in the Keys.

How to give great masthead:

  1. Use the words you want to be associated with - Social Media Svengali, WordPress Wizard, Career Consigliere.

  2. Answer, "What can you do for me? "I Demystify Facebook ads! or "Taking You to the Cloud the Right Way." Or my favorite - "I Put the Elation in Public Relations!"

  3. Always check how your masthead looks on both the mobile app and the desktop. Would you click it or skip it?

If it's click-worthy, you're good to go. There are other things to know, too. I'll give you a whole checklist LinkedIn Profile Payday.

Get the insider tips and do this-not that you won't get anywhere else.

Courtney PS - And just so you know, I had to look up the 🍒 emoji because while I knew "the kids" used fruit for certain things, I didn't know which fruit cause I'm so old I remember ☎️

PPS - The photo? Why did you click? One of the six types of photo that people respond to is old photos and photos that inspire nostalgia. "Old" photos attract people's attention.


Want to read more? Subscribe to some of the most-read emails ever 👉 right here.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page