A “fan,” sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fan base or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention. (Wikipedia)
Are You a “fan?” By definition, being a fan means that you display a positive approach to your support. If this were not true, then why would the definition be littered with so many positive words (see underlined)?
Nowhere do I see this definition so clearly displayed that during the college football season, and more enthusiastically during the Bowl Season. The opposite is also true – where I see people who call themselves “Fans” behaving in ways so contrary to definition.
For example: My alma mater just completed their season with a loss in a bowl game. The so-called fans are calling for assistant coach’s heads on platters, and bad-mouthing the play of young men who have given their all this season for the sheer love of game and a college education. For me, being a fan means support through thick-and-thin, during good times and bad.
How much money I donate (or not) to the school does not determine how much of a fan I am — and I have no more or less right to claim my “fan-ness” than the next supporter. But my parents raised me to understand that “…if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” I still try to live by this credo, and when the team is not performing well, I keep my mouth shut.
I also try to apply this approach to how I live each day — I’m a fan of me! I’m a fan of my wife and the life we have together. I’m a fan of my kids, their wives and our grandson. I’m a fan of my friends, co-workers, and the connections I’ve made on Facebook, LinkedIn and @Twitter. But even I know that living my life as a better fan is possible! And that is my resolution for the New Year, to work at being an aficionado of those objects of my fan-ness! It’s so easy being a fan if you adopt these Five Steps to Being a Bigger Fan:
- Support the object(s) of your affection with enthusiasm;
- Regularly write and send fan mail (a Post-It with three words on it is often more than enough!);
- Promote your person’s interests and be attentive to their need to pursue them;
- Keep feedback positive, even if the instance prompting the feedback is negative;
- Don’t keep your “fan-ness” to yourself. Be a fan in public, leading by example so others can see how they could be a fan in their own circles.
You know, 2012 is starting to look pretty good. Until next time, Keep It Relevant and have a Happy New Year!