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Dress the Part

in Liberator Online, Walk the Walk by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Dress the Part

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

How many people would let someone who isn’t dressed in scrubs to perform surgery?

What about allowing an impeccably clean man in a suit work on your car?

Both examples above are unlikely, because

As we’ve discussed before, first impressions matter.

dress the partPart of that impression is “looking the part.” While there isn’t a uniforms for “knowledgeable libertarian” we can make a positive first impression by ensuring we offer ourselves as not only well-meaning, well-informed, but also well-dressed.

I’m not suggesting that we wear a top hat and tails everywhere we go, though we should put forth significant effort in our appearance. Keep in mind that many people view our outward appearance as an indicator of our knowledge, education, and general trustworthiness.

In my experience, these tips have served me well:

  • Wear clothes that fit. Whether too big or too small, ill-fitting clothing can be something that tarnishes your image immediately with a new person you wish to discuss ideas, solutions, or philosophy with. Cull the wardrobe to just the things that you wear well. This includes your accessories, even glasses.
  • Know your audience. Try to wear something on par with their likely attire. If you always see this person wearing a suit, you should probably try to match that level.
  • Keep your hair (especially facial) neat and trimmed. We all have a preferred style, whether our hair is long, short, or non-existent (my case). The key here is to keep it looking like you meant for it to look. This goes double for the gentlemen with facial hair. Our beards, mustaches, and sideburns should look purposeful, rather than suggesting that we don’t even own a razor or a comb.
  • Avoid bright colors and too much “flash.” Don’t let what you wear overpower what you say. If the only memorable thing about you is your clothing, has anyone remembered what you had to say?

Our individuality and style should never take a backseat to the opinions of others, however we are looking to influence those who may not yet understand individualism and its value. Not everyone is ready to go from where they are to fully embrace something they are just beginning to learn about, so introducing them slowly is likely to yield a better outcome than full, immediate immersion at first.

Who’s ready to win over some hearts and minds?

Try A Different Tack This Holiday Season

in Communicating Liberty, From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Try A Different Tack This Holiday Season

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

The 2016 holiday season is already upon us. We have Thanksgiving next week, and we have Hanukkah and Christmas next month.

These holidays mean that we’re going to have a lot of time with friends, family, and co-workers as you go to parties and gatherings.

Typically, what we see from a lot of libertarian groups, in an attempt to advance libertarianism and the ideas of liberty, is to use these audiences that you have as a way to talk about libertarianism. This year, I’m going to ask that you try something different.

I’m asking that you do not talk about politics AT ALL. Instead, I want you to do something that is going to give you an opportunity to have both peace and a way to learn about some of the beliefs that these people hold. The best way you can achieve that is to listen.

Don’t engage. Just listen.

What you’re going to be able to do as people talk about their own ideas, you’re going to get a better understanding of where they’re coming from. You’re also going to be able to use that later on to formulate the ideas that you’ll be able to communicate when you’re talking with them later. This way, you’ll already understand their positions and you’ll have time to build your response to the ideas they hold.

The beauty of this is that you’ll have a ton of peace because you’re not going to be arguing with anyone. There won’t be any screaming matches or uncomfortable situations about ideas.

Instead, you’ll be able to have a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll be able to have a wonderful learning Christmas feast, and you’ll learn so much more about other people’s views.

Just stop… And listen.

Thank You, Taylor Swift!

in Economic Liberty, From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Thank You, Taylor Swift!

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

Next week, Apple, already an innovator when it comes to how we listen to music, will launch Apple Music. Despite their marketing efforts, I was completely unaware, as I am not a part of what I affectionately call “The iCult.” Unaware until pop music princess Taylor Swift announced that she would not allow her wildly popular album, “1989,” to appear on the multinational technology company’s streaming service, that is.

Taylor SwiftI will admit that I am a fan of Taylor Swift. Her catchy songs, especially from the aforementioned album, get my toes tapping, and when I get to know the lyrics, I might even sing along in the car, while cutting the grass, or even when I’m out on a walk.

Music tastes aside, Taylor Swift did something that I wish more people would, when it comes to things with which they disagree. She withheld her wildly popular album, which is home to four chart-topping singles since its release eight months ago, and used her celebrity, popularity, and audience to affect change in her industry without getting her Congressman or Senator involved to have the government “do something.”

The issue at hand was about Apple’s plan not to pay royalties to artists during the initial 3-month trial they offer to new subscribers to the service, something that Swift found “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company“. She points to “the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success” as the real beneficiaries of her action.

Far too often, we see individuals and groups running to Big Government to change something that they disagree with or are offended by. In both of the instances noted above, people voted with their feet, something I remember Clark Howard saying frequently on Atlanta radio when I grew up. They affected change, not by rallying a City Council to deny a proposed Wal-Mart’s building plan to stop construction or by getting a law enacted in their state that’s named after someone affected by an ultra-rare situation, but by using the power of markets.

I’m pleased to share that Apple reversed course, and all my libertarian Taylor Swift fans (and maybe some who want to listen to the artist that used markets over Big Government) will be able to stream “1989″ on Apple Music during the trial period and beyond.

I would be remiss not to mention that Taylor’s media blitz around this story brought up an interesting take on the contract she has photographers sign. There are some signs of change on the horizon here as well.

Imagine that. All of this was solved by peaceful, voluntary interaction, and NOT the intervention of Big Government