1 Trait Almost All Icons Embody

by Ryan Biddulph

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I am watching a fabulous documentary of Frank Sinatra on Netflix now.

I can hear him singing the words, “New York, New York” as I type these words and pay homage via the NYC featured image.

My Grandma Biddulph watched Ol' Blue Eyes movies whenever I stopped by her home growing up. My mom played Sinatra on the living room stereo.

I knew him as an iconic singer, the Chairmen of the Board and yes, as a guy who kept company with the mob, from time to time.

Anyway, Sinatra sang the popular “My Way” song written by Paul Anka with Frank in mind. Curiously enough, Sinatra came to hate the song because even though it became perhaps his signature song, he saw it too self-indulgent.

But he DID do things HIS way. Nobody could – nor ever will – touch him in terms of his voice, style and, toss in his acting career, and the man will never be replicated. He struggled horribly after succeeding then resurrected himself. All because he did it his way.

He perfectly embodies one trait of virtually all icons: he did it his way, even if he became highly unpopular or terribly criticized, for stretches of his career. Doing it his way is the specific reason why he stood out; most everybody else does it like other people.

Doing It Their Way

Icons like Michael Jordan, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates genuinely did it their way. Ditto for fellow icons Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Warren Buffet. Toss in more iconic stars like Elvis, James Brown, Cher and Ray Charles and you have a collection of super stars who did it their way.

Each person became wildly successful because they did not follow anyone. They innovated. They thought and acted differently than anybody else in their fields, even if doing so forced them to face stiff obstacles along the way.

Icons cannot become icons unless some people label them

  • stubborn or
  • pig-headed or
  • arrogant or
  • obsessed

Every icon above experienced some great heartache, massive failure and struggles specifically BECAUSE they stuck to their vision and did it their way, even if critics warned them of their obsessive, single-minded, ways.

People told Arnold Schwarzenegger to lose the accent or else he'd never be a star. He did it his way. He became a house hold name. Cindy Crawford needed to remove her mole to be a successful model, they said. She made it her iconic beauty mark. Every icon stands out by making bold, confident decisions, even if humanity seems to be against them at times.

How Quickly Do You Fold?

How quickly do you fold like a house of cards if someone rattles your cage with criticism, questioning your way of doing things?

Do it your way. Even if you struggle for a bit, your individual streak, your gut instinct and your intuition know that doing things your way is the exact factor that will help you go farthest in life.

Fun, freedom and worldly success finds free spirits who chart their own course, not sheeple who follow the herd the moment someone questions your choices.

I had to REALLY do things my way blogging-wise and life-wise to get clear and confident on doing things….my way.

I intuitively:

  • do not actively build a list
  • do not optimize posts for SEO
  • do not check my blog metrics
  • wrote and self-published 120 plus bite-sized eBooks
  • plaster my Blogging From Paradise brand logo and travel images on each eBook cover
  • plaster travel photos on every one of my blogging tips themed blog posts
  • took my first flight from NYC to Bali, spanning 23 hours in total

Every decision to do things my way triggered people to call me:

  • stubborn
  • selfish
  • closed-minded
  • obsessed

but here I am, circling the globe as a pro blogger for a decade, empowering people to retire to a life of pro blogging through smart blogging.

Perhaps the only thing Frank Sinatra and I have in common is that we both hail from New Jersey – and that I met my wife Kelli in his native Hoboken (not too far from where someone snapped the featured image for this blog post) – but as I type these words at 1 AM on a Saturday morning, publishing my 10th blog post of the day, I can live with peace of mind in knowing that however this blogging bit goes for me, I did it my way.

About the Author 

Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph helps you learn how to blog at Blogging From Paradise.

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