How to Tell If You've Got 'Snap'

Forget personal branding. It's all about snap.


A friend and I were talking the other day about how easy it is for us to tell if someone has “it.” Perhaps you have this ability too—you can tell almost instantly if someone is the sort of person you would introduce to your trusted network.

I call this ineffable quality "snap," (as opposed to "it"). It’s a shorthand description for those people who show passion, engagement, connectedness, people skills. One dictionary definition of snap is "to be radiant."

The question is how to develop your own snap. This is not about your branding (I gag each time I read about your “branding efforts”), this is something that's both deeper and simpler.

One thing you can do, especially if you are young, is lose the goal of trying to be cool. It is OK to believe in what you are doing so much that people avoid you at family reunions.

Snap is a thousand other things: Making eye contact. Smiling. Speaking correctly. Adding relevant comments at the exact moment. Being up on the news and culture. Offering your trust, your respect, your appreciation.

I wish there were a class for it. If you have it, it might be your most marketable skill or attribute.

Here’s one way to tell if you have it: Ask a very honest family friend, “If I were a stock you could invest in today, how many shares would you buy?”

How can you tell if someone has snap? And how did they acquire it?

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneuer and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at or at


You Might Also Like