No One Told You When to Run

And then one day you find,

Ten years have got behind you.

No one told you when to run,

You missed the starting gun.

– Time, Pink Floyd

 

 

We spend a great deal of our formative years, learning the basics of “getting along”:

Sitting quietly.

Being polite.

Following the rules.

All of these are great attributes, to be sure; traits I struggle – daily – to drill into my offspring.

But these traits aren’t always the qualities, that serve us best in leadership.

Who is best served, by sitting quietly, when perspectives and experiences are withheld to solutions being sought?

No one.

Who is best served, when honesty and transparency is required, but politeness prevents a compassionate resolution to a conflict – and instead, prolongs an untenable situation?

No one.

Who is best served, when rules and processes prevent what is right and proper to occur, to correct an injustice?

No one. Or perhaps, only a vanishingly small few.

As a “recovering entrepreneur”, a lesson I learned many years ago, is that if you wait around for someone to invite you to act, you’ll be waiting a very long time.

Because no one is going to tell you when to start living your life. To start contributing.

To start: being awesome.

If you see an injustice, act to correct it.

If you see something that needs doing, don’t wait for someone else to act – do it yourself, or find someone who is qualified, to act.

If processes are impeding what is right to be done, act to change the system.

If you don’t exercise your agency, you will be left at the starting line.

No one told you when to run.

Run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio

Beyond Social Media: Reliable Reach

How many people are on Facebook? On Instagram? On WhatsApp?

Staggeringly huge potential audiences, in the hundreds of millions – if not, billions.

But these networks offer surprisingly little reliable reach of your messaging; that is, the total number of people guaranteed to see your content.

Why do you think that every successful content marketer plugs so much time into building mailing lists, and developing their own recognizable web presences outside of these social media “great attractors?”

Because that is the only way to build greater reliable reach, on your own terms.

Our blind spot when it comes to social media, is that we conflate “ease of access”, with effectiveness.

Because we can crank out a ton of content (either text, imaging, audio, or video), and blast it out everywhere, doesn’t mean that we’re effectively reaching our intended audiences, or reaching them in large enough volume to actually create influence.

From personal experience, I can tell you that even if I write an extremely popular thought piece, and get it published on a high traffic site – I actually get more direct responses to my messaging when it appears on local television, or when it appears in one of my local newspapers.

So – am I saying that you shouldn’t focus on digital, or social, for your content and messaging, and stick with traditional media?

No.

What I am saying is, that there is no such thing as a free lunch; that you will have to pay for influence and reliable reach on these digital channels.

And that you must consider all channels when crafting your messaging.

Building a strong brand and reliable reach takes time. For most, this process takes years, and involves content delivered via a mix of new and traditional media.

Choose your channels carefully and intentionally. Understand where your audiences live. Look – and think – beyond social media, to maximize your reliable reach.

Go, and be you.

Audio

Being Entrepreneurial in A Non-Entrepreneurial Environment

From a talk given in 2014 on Being Entrepreneurial in A Non-Entrepreneurial Environment.

Being an entrepreneur in a non-entrepreneurial environment can be very challenging. It’s not an impossible situation; but first, you must first understand your environment.

The key to success, is meeting people where they are.

You’re not going to move mountains, or influence people, or be a tremendous change agent, if you don’t understand the facts on the ground… if you don’t understand what your starting points are.

You can be a visionary, you can have great ideas, you can have all the deal flow in the world; if you don’t have a receptive audience that understands the value proposition that you’re offering, it’s a non-starter.

If you want your solutions, your ideas, to grow and prosper, you have to plant [them] in fertile ground.

And that fertile ground comes – first – from understanding the problems that exist with your current workforce, with your current working base, and moving to address those; then, all the great entrepreneurial ideas you have will find some sustainability in the long term.

Go, and be you.