I just got burned by my Hooters past

I just got burned by my Hooters past

It happened. My digital footprint just kicked me in the badunkadunk. First of all, let’s clear this up – I was never a WAITRESS at Hooters but I did write for the magazine for a few years. It was a fun gig – I had rodeo clowns flying over my head at the national PBR championships, I interviewed the WWF tag team champions and I even got to see the finals of the UFC. But a client just turned me down for an engagement because I didn’t have an “appropriate” list of clients for them. For most peopleย  my fun freelancing days with Hooters Magazine are an interesting anecdote. For these guys apparently not.

So this is where we ask the question…how much should we try to control our digital footprint? Are there fairly innocent things we do for fun that we should try to hide?

For me, I think it’s important that my digital footprint is accurate. What would happen if I went to work for this client and six months later they ran across my article on “Amazing Ass-ets – Get the Butt You Really Want” ? (One of my masterpieces, I must say) As a solopreneur, my personal and professional brands are intermingled. I can’t really hide things I do, nor do I need to maintain a separate “work” identity.

Really, that Hooters gig was just for fun. And I realize I will now be highly searchable for anyone looking for “bonnie harris hooters”. But honestly, life’s too short. My digital footprint accurately reflects my personal and professional brand.ย  There’s room in that brand for all kinds of clients. The experience I got writing for a magazine has made me infinitely better at pitching a magazine. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

What do you think? Should I bury this experience or not?

22 Comments
  • Khusairy Chen
    Posted at 19:51h, 23 June Reply

    I don’t see anything wrong writing for Hooters. It’s their lost, not yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gary Brazzell
    Posted at 15:50h, 23 June Reply

    It’s an unfortunate fact that when your name becomes a national brand – even at our level – freedom of speech comes with economic consequences. As much as I might want to weigh in on the occasional blog post about morality, religion, or politics, I’ll usually refrain for the exact reasons Bonnie cited above.

    On the other hand, there’s no good reason to hide Hooters! I have never heard one person say anything good about the food at Hooters, yet it’s a thriving brand. They are highly accomplished marketers. Any future employer for marketing services should count being a part of the Hooters success as a strong plus.

  • bonnie
    Posted at 16:02h, 23 June Reply

    Funny thing is Gary, I’ve literally never been in a Hooters restaurant…I do hear the wings are really good though!

    • Ian
      Posted at 20:55h, 23 June Reply

      Wings? I thought they were known for their breasts…

  • Gary Brazzell
    Posted at 16:11h, 23 June Reply

    Correction: People have also told me the wings are good. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve never been to one, either. If we’re ever in the same city, we’ll have to get our spouses and go to Hooters.

  • Lauri Hart
    Posted at 16:19h, 23 June Reply

    i’m a CPA who works primarily with startups in the Silicon Valley, but a few years ago I was hired as a consultant for Burning Man. I put it on my resume along with all the rest of my clients. Since then it’s been quite the conversation starter, but I’m certain that at some point someone will take a pass on me For a project because of it.

    • bonnie
      Posted at 16:45h, 23 June Reply

      I understand why Burning Man would hire YOU my twitter friend. But Burning Man is WAY cooler than Hooters.

  • bonnie
    Posted at 16:46h, 23 June Reply

    Gary that’s a DEAL. In fact, I think I’ll make it a point to invite blog readers to the local Hooters when I visit their town LOL.

    • Rufus Dogg
      Posted at 15:03h, 24 June Reply

      Minnesota Hooters is tame… you need to go to Tennessee or someplace a bit further south ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa Rosendahl
    Posted at 22:30h, 23 June Reply

    Don’t bury anything you’ve done. The experience you gained sounds valuable and it may have been a short sighted decision to turn you down. Ah, they probably weren’t the right fit for you anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mia
    Posted at 05:47h, 24 June Reply

    Me too, I don’t see any problem in writing for hooters. We can’t change our past, however our digital footprint should be, let’s say decent. I’ve heard that now employers Google you before offering you a position.

  • bonnie
    Posted at 06:52h, 24 June Reply

    Mia I think they do “google” us now. I’m just glad many of my escapades occurred before the Internet.

  • Dorothy Beckmann@home schooling explained
    Posted at 12:18h, 26 June Reply

    If your past is hunting you, I doubt if it could really bring you down, whether escapades or not, that was you then, what matters is you today! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Derra Huxley
    Posted at 12:53h, 26 June Reply

    If you have a presence online, it is not that easy to hide who you are and what you’ve done. Accuracy I guess is the line. In this particular case, you did write for Hooters and you unapologetically enjoyed the gig. Your potential client has an accurate impression (maybe not a fair one though) of what you have done in the past. Sorry you lost the job ๐Ÿ™

  • ascentive
    Posted at 03:30h, 27 June Reply

    Wow… this has convinced me that we need to control our identities online as tightly as possible. Make sure your Facebook profile is basically non-existent to any random Googlers or people you haven’t friended.
    I guess sometimes it’s impossible to control everything. However, I can imagine that you might leave something like freelancing for “Hooters” magazine available to the public — it’s not like you worked for a pornographic movie company or something. I think most reasonable people wouldn’t view it as any sort of big deal.

  • Reptile
    Posted at 01:13h, 01 July Reply

    very interesting post article indeed thanks for all the useful info.

  • miami prostate cancer treatment
    Posted at 18:55h, 12 October Reply

    In my humble opinion, I think you shouldn’t because your experiences in the past helps define who you are now. I don’t think it will affect your future all that much but it helps people to get to know you better. But it all depends on you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • internet news
    Posted at 11:32h, 22 February Reply

    “If you are the master be sometimes blind, if you are the servant be sometimes deaf.”โ€” R Buckminster Fuller

  • Maison orleans
    Posted at 07:04h, 13 June Reply

    Thereโ€™s room in that brand for all kinds of clients.

  • Electric Golf Trolley
    Posted at 03:26h, 30 August Reply

    I canโ€™t really hide things I do, nor do I need to maintain a separate โ€œworkโ€ identity.

  • Pingback:I don't just pitch the media I am the media | Wax Marketing Blog
    Posted at 13:37h, 19 September Reply

    […] I can’t even stand it. I used to freelance because it was so much fun. Who knew that 5 years post-Hooters Magazine I would be writing just as much for marketing? (Although I can’t say I’ve produced any […]

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    Posted at 16:49h, 12 October Reply

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