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 people  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.  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?