Being a nerd isn’t a shame

During my school years, a student who used to be eager in studies and technical topics (for example) was sometimes the subject of ridicule. It was a world where extraversion was given more credit than being introverted. Nowadays, I don’t see that happen – and I’m happy to see this trend.

I remember talking with someone long ago, and I excitedly told them about how much water a swimming pool would hold, by calculating its dimensions. I was called out for it for being a “nerd”. It was confusing to me, but I then realized people are quite varied in the way they discuss ideas and interests.

I do not see that happening much nowadays. Because people who would have been ridiculed for being “smart” have found other ways to express their creativity – be it in writing or YouTube videos. Heck, “nerds” are making a career out of YouTube and blogging and have millions of people consuming their content.

Nowadays, if an investor or venture capitalist looks at someone who looks like a nerd and dismisses them by the way they speak, chances are that VC missed out on a great opportunity to invest in something that has potential. This may be another reason why people are careful not to dismiss someone just because they sound smarter or excited about niche subjects.

This is not me saying it is acceptable to be unprofessional or inarticulate. It is always better to be well-dressed and confident when addressing any topic. It is also highly recommended that we all train to be better at public speaking. Warren Buffet said his greatest investment was taking Dale Carnegie’s classes on public speaking. This one skill that he acquired would go on to create billions in wealth.

I used to devour Steve Jobs’ product launches since the iPhone launch – the way he articulates ideas are a touch of genius. I also loved his Stanford Commencement address given in 2005. Being able to speak like Steve Jobs and others like him is something that I try to achieve in life, but I have a very long way to go.

The point of this short article is: please do not feel guilty for being smart. Rather, express your creativity in the best way possible while working on areas that you’d need improving.

I’m going to leave you with an idea conveyed by Gary Vaynerchuk that I came across recently. He says to create content in a way that we are best at. For instance, if you love getting in front of the camera, please go for it. However, if you love writing – you can create articles on the topics that interest you! There are more opportunities out there for someone with the right mindset.