I built my brand on being accessible. You know me because you know that I care about you, that I care about your projects. This is true. But there’s a huge flaw in how this all works out, in the basic math level, and this came really clear to me over the last 10 days.
I can’t keep up.
If I just manage my inbox, that’s about 10 hours of work a day (600 new mails divided by 1 minute each). If I spend time on Twitter, on Third Tribe, on Facebook, on my blog (in the comments), that’s another 3 hours. If I take two phone calls or do a webinar, that’s another 2 hours.
We’re up to 15 hours before even doing production of anything (no blogging/writing/creating for clients).
I looked through my Flickr photos at some of the fine people I got to see at SXSW. In almost all cases, I saw them for only a few minutes. I did my best to be attentive, to show that I cared, to make sure I learned about something that was on their plates. But I rarely got any deeper than that.
To fix this, I have to redraw my lines. I have to rethink how I connect, and reconsider how I will continue being of value to you. Before I’m no longer a value.
My friend, Jon Swanson has told me for years that I need to build disciples. By this, he doesn’t mean mindless sheep (a post for another time). He doesn’t mean that I just teach the masses and the masses do. He means extended relationships. At the end of the story, Jesus has 12 guys doing a lot with their own interpretations on how to implement their beliefs.
Does the Bible language freak you out? Michael Jackson, in designing This is It, pointed out that the dancers that swirl around him in each performance were to be extensions of how Michael expressed himself in dance. So, they weren’t just doing something to do it. They were giving Michael even more reach than when he just did it himself.
I have this, of course. I have New Marketing Labs to help execute social media execution ideas for our client partners. I have friends and colleagues in this space who have lots of similar interests and different approaches. I will call on it more.
Shining the Light Even Brighter
There are others doing exceptional work in this space. I’m a fan of Jason Falls, Jay Baer, Valeria Maltoni, and many others. I’m going to work harder to point out the people in my network who do great work, and I’m going to help others find them to start meaningful connections that match what you deserve.
By shining the light on others who are doing good work, I’ll hopefully point you to opportunities I can’t service or that aren’t the regular fit for New Marketing Labs.
Rethinking My Direction
The work we’re doing at NML is strong. What I’m doing with me overall is a lot more foggy. I’m going to rework that and be very crisp and clear on what you’ll get from me in the coming few years. That way, we’ll know better whether what I’m sharing aligns with your interests.
The sense of where I’m heading is that I’m stretching a bit out of just marketing and I’m going to work on equipping others for business success through education and experiences.
In other words, I’m going beyond social media and helping show how human business works.
Redrawing My Connections
I can’t keep up with every email and contact as it stands. I’ve got Diane working more than enough hours just negotiating my speaking and travel arrangements. We’ll figure out how to redraw the ways I respond so that it’s manageable, reasonable, and timely. I can’t have you waiting so long in between touches.
In the End
We all do this. I’m just laying it out so that you understand where I am, but more so, so that you understand how we must all process, reconsider, rethink, and redraw the way we do what we do. What got us here won’t always get us there.
Save Yourself a Blog Post or Twitter Comment
If your immediate response is, “Well, that’s the price of success,” just save it. That doesn’t help anyone. And yes, it’s the price of success. Learning how to scale is incredibly difficult.
The difference between me and others in that regard is that I’m the only one actually sharing the process with you, so that you might learn something out of it for your own efforts.