The following is an excerpt from my new book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, published by John C Wiley and Sons. The important concept I’m hoping to get across as a cornerstone for this book is that it’s important that one learns deeply about belonging:
Business is About Belonging
I’ve received compliments with a consistent theme over the past decade or so. People tell me, “You really do care about people,” and “I feel like you see me and understand me” and “I’ve really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people you’ve gathered into your community.”
I just looked over my last ten posts. The only thing they all have in common is that I’m not talking about what all my other friends are talking about. I’m not talking about lead magnets and how to automate your tweets or why it’s sad that Blab failed or any of that. I’m not debating whether Instagram stories is a good or bad thing. Mostly because I don’t care. It’s not why I do what I do, and none of that has to do with how I want to help people market and sell and live better.
What Do You Lose by Fitting In?
By contrast, I went to a few people’s sites and if you covered up their headers and just read the post titles, you wouldn’t really know which site you were on. The posts are somewhat the same. The subject matter is definitely the same. It’s like we’re all catching the same five fish.
Matthew McConaughey is smart, and so are the people at Wild Turkey, a Kentucky maker of bourbon. They approached the actor to be the celebrity spokesman for their product. You’ve seen it a million times before. But Matthew wanted more. He said that he wanted to dig in and get his hands in the clay of it all, to be a bigger part of the story and not just a character in it.
So now he’s their creative director. His first project? This six minute documentary. It starts out the way you’d expect, but I like just how quickly it goes into the details of the people behind the drink. It’s easy to forget that every product has a story, but that’s where McConaughey can prove his mettle. His job is to show us why this bourbon is what it’s meant to be.
My son, Harold, is huge into video games and video game culture. He knows more weird and deep-level memes and obscure details than you’ll ever know. Harold has convinced me to take him to the SCG Convention in Texas. To say he’s hyped and excited is to really underplay how he feels about it.
As part of this, I’ve encouraged Harold to do as much of the planning and deciding as possible. Harold chose the Aloft hotel chain. Swell by me. He picked it because he loved the videos. I prepaid for the days of the conference. And then, I ran into a snag.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure to sit down with my friends Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. The last time the three of us sat quietly was in 2008 or 2009 when we launched the Third Tribe group (ah, memories). I joked that I wanted to bring that back and we could call it Sixth Tribe. You know, Third Tribe 2.0. Alas.
Content Will Never Be King
The conversation was brief, fun, and sprinkled with some melancholy about the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Darren is thriving with his Problogger events and his Digital Photography School. Brian is running Copyblogger Media, which is now a software company instead of a blog about how to write better (Hey Brian – my offer stands). We talked about how the “industry” has changed, and how lots of folks have found it hard to figure out their path. In all, there are no great insights for me to share with you. We were three people who share a professional admiration and whatever kind of friendship we can scrape together when one barely sees or talks to the other but where we like each other’s company.
There are two set paths of education and learning with me and with Owner Media Group. We separate our two paths as Ownership and Digital Business Mastery. Ownership deals with personal development for your professional goals. Digital Business Mastery is about all the various methods and tools to build the kind of business you want, focusing mostly on what we call the digital channel: beyond social media, this includes your website, your mobile presence, your email platform, your content marketing efforts, and more. Make sense? So, Ownership and the Owner’s Mind is about getting yourself into the right position and mindset, and Digital Business Mastery is about getting your business into alignment for this digital age. Good?
Own your life, own your work, own your future. We’re big fans of a very integrated business approach. Once you commit to clarity of vision and integrate that vision through all your choices, everything else improves. We believe that business is about belonging, which means that if you better understand the community you have the pleasure to serve, your business will thrive. We believe the Monchu is the media, meaning that if you tell the stories of the people you serve, they’ll better respond to you and will want to know even more about you and your business.
I’ll be in Portland, Oregon to speak at Chris Guillebeau’s Pioneer Nation event. It’s built for Owners. Are you in Portland?
My Business Intentions for #pdxpioneer
I have one goal in mind while speaking at Pioneer Nation: to convince you that the freaks shall inherit the earth. But I’m not going to sell my book. I’m not going to sell my business services (though if you subscribed to my newsletter, I’d be grateful, and if you started in on the Owner’s Mastery Foundation Group, I would LOVE you.
On a Personal Note
Come. Say. Hi. If you’re at the event, do NOT feel shy. Do NOT feel like you’re intruding (unless you try to sell my something). DO come and say hi. That’s why I flew 3000 fricken miles. To meet you.
I need to start this post with a disclaimer: I have occasionally done work for Dell, and am friends and have been friends with several of their staff. I have a very personal wish and hope that Dell succeeds as a company, and many of the best social media stories ever told were told about Dell, especially about my friends like Lionel Menchaca and Richard Binhammer (both since moved on). I am biased towards Dell.
Rob Hatch and I are headed to Denver to speak about Small Biz Big Things with our friends from InfusionSoft. We’re talking about The Business of Belonging: How I Built My Media Empire. It’s fun, because not only will we talk about the goals of the organization, but we’ll give a lot of behind-the-scenes information on how we were able to accomplish all we’ve managed to get done.
The way they talk about it on the site is that we were successful because of the tools. We agree. And also, we were successful because we learned how to nurture our community and build relationships that these tools allowed us to really communicate to people in a way that let them know we appreciated their connection, and that we wanted to ensure we were being as helpful as possible. to their goals.