To Succeed, You Need To “Flaunt Your Weaknesses”
David Rendall stands before a hall of conference-goers on a cool Philadelphia evening. This isn’t your standard-issue conference; Rendall works the crowd with the dexterity of a comedian, and all formality dissolves. A pink T-rex peeks beneath his sport coat, a nod to the irreverence so central to his message:
Flaunt your weaknesses.
With this proposition, Rendall hopes to impel at least a few earnestly-raised eyebrows – in fact, he counts on it. In his book, The Freak Factor, published by Advantage|ForbesBooks, Rendall has established himself as the Authority on the notion of reclaiming weakness. He scrutinizes the preconceived notions by which we’ve come to denounce it.
By reworking our understanding of stigmatized traits, Rendall contends, we stand to open the floodgates of untapped and misunderstood potential – ultimately giving way to extraordinary success.
Having won the audience on the strength of his comedy, Rendall fluently ferries them to the premise of his book. He uses his 6’6 stature as an immediate and available example – his height, despite being a favorable trait, comes with a slew of disadvantages he must inevitably accept. “When asked is it good or bad to be tall, the answer is yes.” he opines. This ‘contradiction’ doesn’t undermine or eliminate the value of being tall.
Every unique trait, Rendall believes, exists concurrently as both ‘strength’ and ‘weakness.’ Too often, we are predisposed to finding the negative aspects of a given trait – failing to recognize and nourish the swaths of potential inherent in it. In Freak Factor, the totems of societal thought that promote homogeny and compliance are razed to the ground.
“In school,” Rendall recounts for the crowd, “I was always in trouble because I couldn’t sit still, be quiet and do what I was told,”
His tone becomes austere. “I now get paid to do three things. I get paid to stand up, not sit down. I get paid to talk, not to be quiet. I get paid to run my own business – not do what other people tell me to do.”
Because it flew in the face of conformity, many were told in school that “their brilliance, their talent, their creativity was the worst thing about them,” Rendall explains. This is not the case, and it is a dangerous way to think. His aim is to help those who were stifled by this misconception, to realize the value of their talents that were branded weaknesses – to reappropriate the word ‘freak’ and imbue it with positive meaning.
According to Rendall, the very rhetoric surrounding the word “weakness” is distorted by supposition, ignorance, and a general unwillingness to evaluate the trait in question – except for the purpose of suppressing it. Why do we not probe that “weakness” for potential merit?
“Ultimately, the word ‘weakness’ is society’s stylization of the word ‘nonconformity.’”
Instead, the goal becomes rectification, remedy, revision. As though we as are machines in need of debugging. The 10-billion dollar self-help industry operates in the assumption that you can take what is ‘wrong’ with you and ‘fix’ it, to drum out your flaws as though excising a foreign body from your person. Rendall’s argument has unwittingly become the antithesis of the self-help industry; he prompts his readers to reevaluate this disassociated relationship with their ‘flaws,’ suggesting that they not only reclaim their flaws, but flaunt them. In doing so, they can begin to mine these traits for the dormant potential that lay within them.
Ultimately, the word ‘weakness’ is society’s stylization of the word ‘nonconformity’ – staining the term in a pool of negativity, until it is irreversibly tinged with stigma. Many times, weakness is a misnomer for talent. One of the key principles of Rendalls platform is creating the essence of appreciation toward our weaknesses. “What makes us weird also makes us wonderful,” he glowingly asserts.
“Don’t iron out your flaws and shortcomings – instead, highlight, feature, and stress them. They are the single greatest tool for your success.”
Although the ethos of Freak Factor is geared toward adults, childhood is, undeniably, a critical moment for the application of his argument. Nonconforming children are either considered troublesome and their traits branded as weaknesses. Or, if they’re very lucky, the child becomes an awe-inducing virtuoso, hailed as a wunderkind and prodigy. Rendall’s argument that eccentric, odd, or nonconforming traits are our greatest strength – seems to serve as the underpinning of every ‘prodigy story.’ Mozart, composing minuets at age 5, may have never risen to prominence had his parents told him to settle down, step away from the harpsichord, and focus on his history and language lessons. Rendall’s books occupy this crucial moment between dismissal and recognition. How many other Mozarts have lived in anonymity, because they couldn’t prove their worth by succeeding in other, conventional areas?
Rendall implores his readers and listeners to invert the narrative of their weaknesses and flaws. Not to iron out all that which makes them unique – but to highlight it, to feature, stress and bring attention to anything they have seen as a personal weakness, placing it in a figurative toolbox.
At best, societal values are a tangle of contradictions. “Be yourself, but sit still and be quiet.” We’re urged to challenge existing notions… from the shackles of forced conformity? Rendall’s voice emerges loud, clear and above all, authoritative, amid the rumble. You come away from one of Rendall’s speeches with a radical new disposition toward the meaning of ‘freak’ and a newfound appreciation for your own flaws. The reimagined designation of freak may even stick. After all, “fantastic” was once a derisive word; it implied something was ‘all in your head.’ May we now use both terms to mean that something is ‘truly incredible.’
By teaming with Advantage Media and penning The Freak Factor, Rendall was able to establish himself as the authority on the values and viewpoints espoused in his book. Buoyed by a representation as the utmost authority in his field, Rendall was able to book a whirlwind tour of speaking engagements, acquainting audiences with both his values and his brand. He has affected some 246,000 individuals with his moving words on the perils of drumming out ‘weakness.’ By following the tenets of Authority Marketing, Rendall has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the saturated self-help industry. You may be the next author accepted to publish with Advantage Media – apply now to learn more!