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.”
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.
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.
The Sheraton Skyline hotel in London (out by the airport) had the word “belong” plastered everywhere. If you’ve seen my speeches in the last little while, one of my favorite points to make is that “business is about belonging.” I thought to myself, “I wonder how Sheraton attempts to make me feel like I belong.”
Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing. I like having written.” I know many people who are like that about their business, their trade. I know many more people who love to fantasize about what life will be like when they make it, but they like to skip over the part with the hard work, or they give it a sentence or two.
What Is Human Business, and Why Does It Matter?
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I created Human Business Works because I believe there is a great opportunity to build business via what I’ve been calling the human digital channel. If you think of your website as the ultimate digital shop (built for conversions and sales- even if you use “sales” loosely), then human business is about how to build the ultimate digital shopkeeper. Another way of saying it: how do you build sustainable, relationship-minded business via these online spaces like blogs and social networks? How do you sell online without feeling like you’re being pushy, but with a real need to have results?
School teaches us to be good factory workers. We are trained to memorize the facts that our systems want us to believe. We interview for jobs that seek simplified versions of our complexity to approach tasks that have often been boiled down to repetitive systems that can be measured.
The biggest realization that came out of 9/11 for me was that nobody was coming to save me (us). I mean this in a gazillion ways. My company’s HR department couldn’t care less about my career development. No one at all would ultimately be responsible for my happiness, but myself. All of this came crashing into reality for me because of 9/11. And since then, I forget the lesson quite often. But just lately, I’ve had reason to think about it again, for my own purposes, and based on two recent conversations.