October 25, 2023

Own it – except when you shouldn’t


Own it.

I often give the advice of ‘own it’ to people when they are stepping into a new role or sharing their thoughts with the world.

But can you take it too far?

Lunching with Legends

Last week I caught up for lunch with my mate Layne Beachley, her husband Kirk Pengilly and his mate and former band member Garry Beers.

Just that week Layne had been elevated to official legends status in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Kirk and Garry are also members of one of Australia’s greatest rock bands of all time, INXS. I was officially having lunch with legitimate rockstars and a legitimate legend.

A patron sitting at the next table recognised Kirk and Garry and asked to have a photo taken with them, which they happily obliged.

After that, and unbeknownst to us, another patron had informed this gentleman that the legend surfer Layne Beachley, who had won seven World titles, was also sitting at the table. Knowing his son was a massive surfing fan he plucked up the courage to ask Layne for a photo as well.


He came towards me and started to tell me that he had been told that I was a world-famous surfing legend. He went on to say that his son would love a photo with me, and would I mind terribly if he could take one to send to him.

Now at this stage, I was going along with it. I could also see Layne laughing opposite me, amused by the mistaken identity.

Part of me wanted to keep going with it. I could imagine his son’s reaction when he showed him the photo. No doubt, his son would have said, “Who the hell is that!?”

But I thought I better come clean, so I said.

I am more than happy to have a photo with you but your son may want a photo of the real Layne Beachley.

His embarrassment was priceless.

Own it – except when you shouldn’t

So, my advice to you when it comes to owning it is… Own it but only if it is legitimately who you are.