Okay, I usually write about advertising, branding and design. But, I want to take a moment and talk about ‘cool’ people — and not Steve McQueen or Mile Davis, but our fellow Milwaukeeans (NO, not Arthur Fonzarelli either).

I was having lunch last week and ran into a few acquaintances. And as we were exchanging laughs, I realized that these guys were pretty damn cool. I mean, the way they dressed and carried themselves; their hair, their humor — all cool. I see cool people often and wonder, ‘Do they work on it? Do they think I’m NOT cool?’

I really am curious as to their thoughts, though. Are they inwardly as cool as they reflect so smoothly on the outside? Conversely, I suppose there are plenty of people who look a fright outside, but possess unbelievably cool minds. So, while cool people seem easy to spot, ultimately, it’s nearly impossible to decipher until you really get to know them. And once you really get to know somebody, there’s usually some quality they possess that could be deemed as cool.

That being said, is EVERYONE cool? Personally, that’s my assumption — at least before I get to know them. I assume that YOU are pretty cool. Are you? I’m sure that you have something inside or out that people find compelling. Further to that point, maybe ‘not-so-cool’ folks just don’t realize what that ‘something’ is as of yet.

Most people would say that ‘confidence’ is cool…period. But I believe it’s deeper than that. It’s uncovering an essence. It’s being true to your core. Which is really no different than branding products. So, I guess this IS about advertising after all — sorry. And as far as how others see you, cool or not, it comes down to perception (again, an advertising truth). There was an ad campaign years ago for Rolling Stone magazine that used the phrase, “Perception is Reality.” So, if people THINK you’re cool, well, I guess you really are. It’s my perception that my wife is the coolest person I know. And that’s a reality I can live with for the rest of my days.