In an effort to write an effective bio, I spent the last 20 minutes counting my collection of liquor bottles, miscounting, and then recounting after forgetting where I had left off. As a forward-thinking communicator, I act in anticipation that my collection may earn an honorable mention in this bio, aiming at humanizing me and offering a glimpse into who I am personally. To be honest, "bourbon drinker" does not define me; if it does, it does not make me much different than many others. Alas, I don't think it's going to come up as suspected, and I'm not sure if I should just accept that I wasted time taking inventory of my alcohol supply.
Bios are the least effective way to learn about someone anyway when you take into consideration that most are written with the sole intent of making someone look good by highlighting the best things and overlooking the embarrassing things. Predictably, if you've ever received any reward or recognition in a professional magazine like the Indianapolis Business Journal's Forty Under 40', it will be mentioned, humbly worded as if the bio is written by someone else other than the recipient of the aforementioned recognition.
Professional achievements are likely to be embellished in order to enhance the impact, using words like "nationally" to sound like one's advertising agency (or another type of business) did something more substantial because not all of the clients lived in one state. Or phrases like "dynamic speaker" as if one's vocal inflection and volume control make them stand out amongst average speakers.
More often than not, a bio begins to highlight an "origin story" as if the subject of the bio is the protagonist of a cliche, yet blockbuster hit movie, often emphasizing how much less successful they were at one point in life. The story continues, culminating in some bold action that was taken, perhaps involving some sort of college or big financial risk, followed by a victorious outcome securing them as the owner of a new and more satisfying bio. Surely their wife will be mentioned, and invariably she is not just a wife but a beautiful wife, perhaps added in as a payoff for the many times the bio owner said he was on his way home but ended up working just a little bit later.
I've written my fair share of bios. For bands. For businesses. For people. For myself. Even those like myself who are aware of the pitfalls of the bio often still fall into the same ruts. But I'm not going to do that today. I'll just cut to the chase.
I am a business do-er. I use the word “strategy” correctly. My kids are grown-ups, and they don't hate me. I'm still married after 20 years, and I've got a shit ton of bourbon.
I'm Daniel Herndon.