Whenever I travel to a new city, it takes a little time to adjust, but no matter how many times I go to Las Vegas, I never feel like I fit in. Although, I guess I don't try very hard either. I don't buy special outfits just for the trip, wear high heels or put on makeup. I wear the same clothes there as I wear in Chicago, so I don't get as much attention as the girls adjusting their short skirts or walking cautiously down the street in their six-inch heels.
Or so I thought. I was zipping down the strip in my flip flops and cotton dress to meet some friends and I was approached by lots of guys throwing out random lines to get my attention.
"You're wearing my favorite color and wearing it so well," one guy said as I walked by. "I'm so happy you're wearing blue."
"You're welcome?" I thought. Or should I say "Thank you?" I wasn't sure so I just smiled and kept moving. When I met up with my friends we barely made it out the front doors of their hotel before a group of guys shouted to us.
"This guy has a huge penis," he said pointing to his friend.
"How long have you been together?" I thought to myself, but we chose to ignore them instead. Would I hear lines like this if I was walking around Chicago at 3 pm? Not usually.
Everyone seemed to have confidence to approach women or men. Maybe it was because they were dressed to impress. Or maybe it was because they just didn't care if they got rejected. With so many people to choose from, they figured they would just keep trying until someone took the bait. It was if they were living another life.
And then it hit me. Vegas is like Halloween everyday. It's truly a vacation from your life. They are the reason we all say, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". So many people pretending they are someone else.
While Godin's book, "Icarus Deception" actually has the word "deception" in the title, he's encouraging us to be ourselves, but to go beyond our comfort zone in the process. Godin wants people to be creative and take risks. He doesn't want us to settle, but he also warns us to not "fly too high" because being overconfident is when things can go wrong.
And everything in Vegas seems to be the extreme, so my challenge was to take some risks without losing myself, and that's not always easy in a place known as "Lost Wages" and "Sin City". This means getting creative. Shouting random things to people as they walk by wasn't going to attract the type of person I was looking to meet, so I needed to take the time to find someone I actually was interested in and then have the courage to talk to them. It's way easier to shout silly things at random people, but if things were easy, everyone would be doing them. Trying to catch someone's eye in a city full of people dressed to kill and not afraid to strike up a conversation was definitely a challenge.
I ventured off on my own a few times. Sitting at a slot machine by myself. Choosing games that involved interaction with the other players. Asking for suggestions on other places to go. By being true to myself, I didn't have to backpedal when we did start to click. One thing that is easy, telling the truth.
Sure, "Dr Fish" and his bachelor party friends wearing silly name tags were getting way more attention, but by the end of the night, they were only celebrating with each other. As for me, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas too. That really is true regardless of how low or high you fly.