How to Succeed When You Feel Really Weird

One author thinks that the things that make you different are the very things that will make you a success. Here, she explains why.

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There's a certain amount of grit to people who, at some point in their lives, have fallen into the categories of "misfit" or "fuckup." Someone who's failed, like, really failed, who's been fired or told they didn't have what it takes—when that person comes out the other side, they are ferociously resilient and unstoppable. And as Jennifer Romolini, author of Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures, sees it, self-identifying, overly anxious weirdos and outcasts might have an advantage over everyone else.

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"They tend to think more originally," Romolini tells Sweet. "They tend to be really perceptive and sensitive. Also, I think that they come at things in unexpected ways."

There's a certain amount of grit to Romolini, too. Early in her career, she often felt like she didn't quite belong, that she didn't seem to be anything like the successful people around her. But whenever she didn't know a word or a concept, she looked it up. Whenever someone referenced a book or a movie she didn't know, she read and watched those movies and books.

Maybe your conventional idea of upside-down is what's *really* upside-down, ever thought of that?
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She built a knowledge base around things that interested her, and in doing so made herself indispensable. Having been editor-in-chief of Yahoo Shine, deputy editor of Lucky, and editor-in-chief of Hello Giggles, it's safe to say that Romolini is one successful misfit. As Romolini writes in the prologue, her book is about "finding your inner tenacity and path, about wanting it and making it happen while remaining true to yourself—even (and especially) if you're weird and the odds seem stacked against you."

Below, Romolini sits on her trampoline and imparts some weirdo wisdom, exclusively for Sweet readers.

Misfit Secret No. 1: Being a Little Weird Gives You An Advantage

Misfit Secret No. 2: Double Down on the Stuff You Think Makes You Strange

Misfit Secret No. 3: How to Overcome Obstacles Early in Your Career

Misfit Secret No. 4: Your Anxiety Is Way Less Obvious Than You Think

Misfit Secret No. 5: *A Lot* of People Suffer from Imposter Syndrome

Misfit Secret No. 6: Slow Down and Learn All the Little Things

Misfit Secret No. 7: Sometimes Even a Weirdo Needs to Compromise

Misfit Secret No. 8: Ask Yourself These Specific Difficult Questions

Misfit Secret No. 9: *Don't* Fake It 'Til You Make It

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