You Can't do the Same Lame Shit that Everyone Else is Doing and Expect to Stand Out

 Abby and Alana from Broad City // Shirt by Wildfang, the flyest feminists of them all.

Abby and Alana from Broad City // Shirt by Wildfang, the flyest feminists of them all.

Do you ever find yourself bored, and when you do you decided to stir up some trouble so as to entertain yourself? Yes? Good, so do I.

Plus most of the time I think people need to relax. Or be entertained. Life is a lot of work sometimes and the Broad City girls can't make their show forever.

CASE STUDY: The city I was living in was boring. I was stuck in a suburb of Portland, Oregon because at the time that's where my stepkids were going to school. Fine. I'll stay, but I'm not gonna like it. And if I'm stuck here I might as well have some fun with it. And boy, the fun I had!

I started a blog, because that's what I do. This is my outlet. When I don't have a wall to paint or hair to hilite this is my art therapy. And I like to make everything I am stuck doing fun. I write and create to give context to the crazy.

I made Milwaukie look so fun that I not only ran off with the Mayor (Hey Mayor! Look at how fun I am! I make EVERYTHING FUN. Let's make more fun together, shall we?) but I also received hate mail, threats, and peeping toms on the regs.

A few that made me chuckle were: a hate-filled phone call from a citizen telling me that "I moved here because your website depicted this super cool city, but then I moved here and - THIS CITY ISN'T COOL. THIS CITY ISN'T FUN. I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M STUCK LIVING HERE NOW." I'm sure that in his head what followed was "you WHORE. You sold me a bill of goods and now you must PAY."

He sounded that angry.





But the majority of the town was with me. They were stoked to finally have a positive cheerleader for their domains. I tried my best to erase the never-ending Tonya Harding soiling of the area. 


These two were by far my favorite taglines:


Milwaukie is spelled with an i, not two e's.


There are a lot of geese in town, and they shit A LOT. It's a thing, everybody that lives there deals with it. 


The blog grew and was well respected because I consistently posted, it had a distinct voice (mine), and it was dependable. That's it. That's how I stood out. Seems too easy, right? Except that consistency is where most fail first, and using their unique voice usually is a close second. 

I never expected to have that much success with my writing and social media prowess with something that was a side project started just to amuse myself.


What ended up happening was that via my writing and finely honed promoted Facebook posts I swung an entire election. It's good to be on the right side of history, even if it scared the shit out of me in the process. Pissing off the most dominant people in a small town where everyone knows where you live isn't for the weak. 


If you want to do this thing, if you want to stand out, if you want to kick some serious ass, you are gonna have to get out of your comfort zone.

And don't be surprised like I was when it draws a lot of attention to you. That's what happens when you're doing it right.

You are going to have to get used to some people not liking you. The higher you go the higher the hate thrust on you. Sometimes from the people closest to you. 

There's plenty of competition in mediocrity, and this Troublemaker would love to help you Stand Out and have a helluva good time doing so.


Mandy Zelinka is the former Digital Marketing Manager for KEVIN.MURPHY International and owned one of the largest award-winning salons in Portland, Oregon. She was also Voted Best Hairstylist in Portland in 2016 by The Portland Fashion + Style Awards. 

But she’s best known for tobogganing down the Great Wall of China as a United States Diplomat and First Lady of a City. 

Mandy ZelinkaBRANDING