Since I spoke at Disney a few months back to the “social media moms” group ( Murray Newlands has a write-up), one thing has been on my mind more than anything else: people are hurting out there, economically. Financially, folks in the US (and probably everywhere) are doing a lot worse off than we used to be. Families are cutting into their savings to cover bills. Many people have been out of work for 18-24 months, instead of the typical few weeks that used to be the norm. It’s rough out there. I’ve been thinking a lot about escape velocity.
It’s Hard to Achieve Escape Velocity
My definition of “escape velocity” is “the ability to leave a situation that isn’t helpful or desired.” So, in lots of cases, this can be applied to the jobs people take. If you’re not happy where you are, but you need the money, that means you’re not able to reach escape velocity. (You can use this in lots of ways, such as having trouble with relationships, with a change in your habits – it’s the same mindset).
With financial matters, it’s really hard. Money tensions impact a lot of other things. If you hate your job but you need it, you’re kind of stuck. Or, in lots of cases, financial problems cause us to make “deals with the Devil.”
For instance, I once had to get out of a car loan in a hurry, and had to roll it into a new loan. That new loan was horrible, and I ate that bad decision for about four years. For a while, I also chose to be late on a mortgage payment here or there, in service of attending conferences, where I hoped to make connections that would bring in more money. My credit had (has?) some serious dents in it, but the strategy paid off after a few years (a few itchy-scary years, mind you).
Some Future Positioning
Over the next few months, there will be some changes to my business. (Nothing will change at New Marketing Labs, just to be clear.) I’m going to work on helping people understand how to make human business – and by this, I define “human business” as sustainable, relationship-minded business practices. I’m building a whole bunch of information to that effect, and I’m also retooling my outreach and coverage methods to ensure that we talk here about the various businesses that we think are doing a good job at “human business.”
Part of this will be to help families and smaller businesses achieve escape velocity. I want to help you understand how I found my way out of the trap, and I want to help you find ways to add a little more to your own efforts. It won’t be a very hard turn in the road. I don’t think you’ll run away from the site if you’re a marketer from a huge company. But instead, you’ll see even more that you can do for yourself along the way.
Does this make sense? Are you struggling with those challenges in some way or another? What do you think?
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Photo credit Steve Jurvetson