What “Door Opener”​ Means to Me

*Originally published July 10th, 2019.

It’s quite possible that simple terminology miscommunications are actually the root cause of a shadow silent majority of the problems that are facing humanity and society today, all across the world.

For example, when I lived in South Korea I learned quickly that the way we as Americans wave at our friends to “come here” is the same hand signaling motion that is used in their culture to beckon dogs, and is highly offensive to use towards people. I can only imagine the kinds of misunderstandings I avoided by learning that tip early in my tour, especially since I am someone who uses hand gestures a lot in my mannerisms.

Similarly, the way words can be perceived so differently based on people’s wide variety of perspectives, situational contexts, and experience sets causes all kinds of mix-ups and ripple effects, for better or worse, every second. In both business and personal life, we all know by now these days how easily intention and meaning can get lost in translation, and also lost in textlation, too, as I like to say. #wordsmatter

Here on LinkedIn I’ve definitely made judgments about people I don’t even know, on some levels, based on their choices of words in their headline. We all do, for better or worse, and so most choose their words there with intention.

“Thought Leader” really grinds my gears. “Influencer” does too, but not as much in a sense of being a legitimate way to describe marketing power. In that context it can be a valid claim. “Human,” or humorous ones, or ones more strict like one’s title, I can appreciate.

Lately, MY choice of headline wording has come up, curiously, to my attention. Both in messaging and in conversation, I’ve had my use of the “Door Opener” title come up a few times which enlightened me to some ways in which what I mean to convey may be misperceived.

A couple months ago I decided to change my headline, and, while deliberating on how to best describe myself to the world, “Door Opener” dawned (and donned) on me like a flash. I made the update and described what I meant by it in a post.

I got great feedback from my network as a result and also saw a few others start using it (I think as a result of my post), which was absolutely flattering in a way. Meaning, it made me feel good to help them as it appears, which is what the title is really all about.

I have no intention of changing it, so I feel inclined to explain it.

Attitude is everything! I’ve stuck to that credo for a long time, well before I ever saw the meme below, which I love.

With that mantra in mind, the idea behind my self proclamation of Door Opener is more about attitude than anything else.

It is not a statement of profession in a sense of “wheeling and dealing” as all I’m about, or anything like that.

I’ll add a few more thoughts on what the meaning means to me today shortly, because it has evolved in just the few months since I first used it.

However, the original meaning behind it for me still stands true too, as I first publicly described it:

  • I’m polite, respectful, caring, and helpful to others. Literally, I’m someone who is always mindful to hold doors open for people in passing. I stay situationally aware enough to know people are behind me so as to not let the door close on them.
  • I am an opportunity seeker… not just for employment presently, but in business and life in general: “When opportunity knocks…” I’m savvy to recognize when to open the door and make things happen. I’m a doer and an excellent decision maker.
  • I’m a team player and a servant leader. I elevate the people around me. I go the extra mile to open the door, figuratively, for others. Of course I want to “come up,” but I want YOU to come up too. I open doors for the success of others without expectation, and don’t view myself as successful if I haven’t helped others on my team to be successful first.
  • Lastly, I don’t take myself too seriously. I can laugh at myself and acknowledge that I’m human and, like anyone, can be a bit of a “knob” at times.

To reiterate, it’s an attitude more than anything else. I do not mean to project any type of self aggrandization that I am satisfied or smug in my expertise or current capabilities, or to promote that I’m some “prolific connector” or something.

Although I do have some remarkable connections, truly, I don’t feel that I’m really that “accomplished” in any sense that can be realistically measured (as in a dollar value or something) in opening doors for others the way I wish I was able to at all…

… and that’s really what the Door Opener attitude is all about.

I do always hope to help others genuinely, when it’s the right thing to do, and to make positive impacts on the world and the people I encounter as much as I am capable of, and “position improvement never stops.”

These days, I’ve also come to realize that the Door Opener metaphor, for me, also means breaking through walls. Door that are closed block us. I’m someone who understands how to cut through noise in many facets, technically. #gosignal!

Sometimes opening doors means cutting through noise and breaking down walls, and that’s another big thing I am all about, which will never change, when they are barriers to progress, prosperity, and freedom. Doors are the antithesis of transparency. Doors are barriers emplaced in opposition of connected presence, unity, and engagement.

Doors are barriers to success, which simply must be overcome. Opening doors is much smoother than breaking them, and that’s important too. I’ve literally kicked in doors to advance opening them figuratively, and can tell you that opening them somehow is the better goal.

I’m proud to be a Door Opener. Not in claim of anything I’ve ever done, but as an attitude on how I live, both personally and professionally, to affect positive outcomes at every opportunity.

And so that’s why I put it in my headline, because it’s a commitment dear to my heart which will never change, and always be an accurate representation of me.

To clear up the catastrophic misunderstandings and enlighten the shadow problems in our world for humanity we’ve got to put in the effort to opening doors, better aloud than silently, as a majority.

I hope you’ll join in with me on carrying that type of attitude.

Cheers to opening doors!

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