The Basic Ground Rules For Walking The Talk In My World. And Maybe Yours Too.
This is a re-broadcast of an article I wrote a few years ago.
It’s a little after 8:00 AM on a cool October morning. I’m sitting here with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and doing what I do every single morning, rain or shine.
I’m creating something out of my head.
This creation can be any of a number of things.
It can be a story idea that I could turn into a film script or TV series pilot.
It can be a poem. Or a lyric. It could be a review of something I watched or read last night.
It could be an ad or commercial script. It could be an about us page that will set the tone for a whole web site. It could be a logo design or a positioning line.
It could be just about anything. But in actuality it is this post.
This creative process is something that forms up in my head in the hour between waking up and getting up. And it’s pretty much the same process every day. I always wake up with an idea.
Yesterday I woke up with a crystal clear vision of what the profile page of a new business networking site would look like. Maybe I will lay that out. And who knows maybe end up kicking the shit out of LinkedIn one of these days.
A couple of days ago I woke up with the colour scheme for the new bathroom that we had just built.
This morning it was the title for this post.
Rule #1…Always Make Sure You Keep Thinking
From the minute my brain starts functioning till the minute I finally fall asleep, my brain is going like a happy hamster in a wheel.
Aside from meetings, I spend the better part of my days alone in my house, or out riding my bike, thinking and doing the seemingly endless stream of things that need to be thought about and done.
Songs pop into my head constantly. Everything I read stimulates my thinking, so I read as much as I can. And write as much as I can.
Rule #2…Don’t Forget To Do
There is always something to think about. But the key thing to remember is that it’s easy to get lost in the thinking and forget about the doing.
This is especially true when it comes to social media. You know as well as I do that you can plug into LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever your poison is and become so absorbed that you forget to unplug for quite a while.
But you have to, because getting things done is as important as the thinking.
Getting things done gets them out there. Getting things done pays the bills. Getting things done is where 100% of the satisfaction comes from.
Rule #3…There Are More Ways To Get Paid Than Money
A lot of people have a very mercenary attitude towards what they do, even if they love it, which most people actually don’t.
They are obsessed with money. With making sure they are adequately compensated for their time.
Now there is nothing wrong with that. But one of the things that I have learned is that it’s not always about the money.
Sometimes it’s just about the favour you are doing for someone.
Sometimes it’s about the investment you are willing to make in someone with the possibility of either gaining or losing from the experience.
And sometimes it’s just about helping.
Rule #4…The Only Business You Are In Is The Helping Business
I developed this attitude early on in the independent communications resource phase of my career. Mainly because I was meeting a lot of small business people who, after a five minute conversation, realized that they couldn’t afford me.
But I wanted to work with them. And the reason I wanted to work with them was because they needed help. And I wanted to help them.
So I made a deal with some of them for things like deferred payment or conditional payment. Whatever it took.
I didn’t do this because I was desperate for work. I’ve been pretty fortunate in that regard, I did it because I liked them, thought they had a good idea and were working hard to make it a success.
Ergo, I got into the helping business.
Rule #5…Share Advice Freely.
Over the past several years, even before I started posting on LinkedIn, I was creating columns that were designed to help people understand more about communications.
I did this in the hope that what they learned would help them grow their business. And of course, consider hiring me when they could afford it.
But the advice was always free and without strings.
It still is. Last week I spent an hour and a half with Melissa Hughes talking about her business. We had a great chat and I think I may have pointed out a thing of two that she could do to get to where she wants her business to go.
This week…she sent me a thank you card. It was pretty cool and a really nice thing to do.
Today, I am heading downtown for lunch with a young guy who is an old friend of my son. He wants to pick my brain about an idea he has. I’m really flattered because if I told you who he was and what he does, you’d think…what the hell does he need you for?
Well he needs me because he knows I have a lot of experience that I am more than willing to apply it to his situation and idea and see if there is anything he hasn’t thought about.
I’m actually pretty good at that. And frankly I quite enjoy doing it. My fee for all of this: a great lunch with a really intelligent person.
Rule #6…Promoting Other People Will Stimulate Them To Promote You.
The world of marketing has been altered drastically by the Internet. The way things get done here is quite a bit different than the way they used to get done, even a few years ago.
It’s a slower, more frustrating, demanding and arduous process that by its very nature is Darwinian in that only the strongest will survive.
It’s not about how much money you spend so much as it is how many people you are reaching and, more importantly, influencing, with your messages.
It’s all about your network. And the quality of the people in it.
It’s about your willingness to trust them. And theirs to trust you.
It’s about promoting them and vice versa.
It’s a lot of work. But if you really want to secure a position somewhere near the top of this huge pile, you have to do it.
You’ll need all the help you can get…And you’ll need to give all the help you can afford to give.
Nobody knows where this is going. That’s why they call it the brave new world. It’s not for the feint of heart.
But then again, it would be easy to argue that nothing has really changed. The people with the best ideas who are willing to do the work will succeed.
Back in another lifetime, I was fortunate enough t ...
Other posts in this series can be found · at http ...
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