I’ve been thinking a lot about you. I want to be helpful. I want to do more to see you successful. This is what’s on my mind.
More and more over the last handful of years, I’ve found that my work with larger companies and my work with solo and smaller businesses is aligning around certain core elements, and that the parts of the puzzle that both fascinate me and that I find to have the most business value for you are almost (almost!) identical for the big guys and the little guys. I wanted to take a moment and give you a preview of what’s to come for me and my business plans for the next many months (give or take any course correction that happens along the way).
In Pursuit of Human Business
The single most potent negative business trend of the last several years has been the systematic dehumanization of business processes and the steady push towards transactional sales over relationship-based partnerships. When I say “human business” is the solution to this, I mean that sustainable (you must be able to make a living), relationship-minded (put the people first) business is the path to revitalizing our own economies. What we lose in volume, we will make up for in depth of experience and the ability to help that yields longer term buyers. Think concierge-class service – service craftsmanship if you will – for most businesses that are built around more than a transaction.
Those Who Understand The Impact Equation Will Prosper
When Julien Smith and I wrote Trust Agents, we felt we’d given a guide to how to be human on the web. Our new book, The Impact Equation (affiliate link), covers what we evidently didn’t explain well enough the first time around. We believe that ideas with a lot of contrast, spread across significant platforms of our own creation, into communities that care is the way to build business. (That’s the rough sketch of the book, by the way.)
We Need a New Set of Plans
A lot of people fall into one (or more) of these buckets). See yourself on this list?
- I work for a company and nothing I’m doing seems to get traction any more.
- I lost the map for my career plans.
- I have a day job, but I hate it.
- I have a day job, and I’m barely hanging onto it.
- I have a day job, but I can’t pay all my bills.
- I’m trying to make money on the web, and that’s not working.
- I started my own business and I’m scared to bits.
- I’m using all these online things but not sure why, and I feel overwhelmed.
- All my life, I feel like I’ve been settling.
- I’m 30-something, 40-something, 50-something, 60-something, and I still haven’t really lived my own life yet.
Did any of those ring a bell? I think there are a lot of contributing factors to all this. One is that almost everyone you know was raised to be an employee in the industrial economy, and that economy no longer exists. Have you actually looked at the game of Life playing board lately? Does anyone you know have those jobs?
We need a new set of plans for our own lives. We need to accept that our lives, our work, and our ability to produce what we want and need require some new plans and skills that we don’t already possess, and that aren’t exactly on the curriculum at college, either.
Storytellers, All of Us
I want to continue to explore the intersection of creativity and business. I want to talk about storytelling, about creativity, about music and art and video games and everything that we’ve been told will rot our brains or rob us of our edge, but that defines us to our very core. I’ll help you tell better stories.
Your Future Requires Bravery
Over the past several weeks, I’ve posted interviews with the leading authority on tea, with a retired US Navy SEAL, with the creator of an iPhone app, and with a very successful author. What did they have in common? No one gave any of these people permission to be who they became. These people all demonstrated success in their fields, though they chose non-traditional paths to accomplish what they had done. All of these people were risk-takers of varying degrees.
I will continue to find brave people doing interesting work and share it with you. I will find those who are on their fifth or sixth completely different career. I will find those who failed and then got back up again. I will find those who have a unique way of being themselves and still succeeding in business. Because we have surrendered a lot of our intentions and our goals and our beliefs, instead of daring to be brave. I want to help with that.
We Need the Vision And The Steps
Like many, I fall into the trap of just spouting off ideas and visions. These are wonderful, but you can’t often do much with them. I want to double down on my effort to show you the practical side to go along with everything I share about the potential paths one might take. If we are going to talk about building platform, I’ll work on developing resources for it. I’ve already started by creating courses, like this one for how to improve your writing and blogging. But I’ll be doing more.
As a publisher and media maker, I will provide you with the best materials I can to help you succeed.
That’s Where I’m Headed
I’m not interested in talking about social media. I’m interested in helping you build your business. I’m not curious about emerging technology. I’m fascinated by how we can implement what we have to solve a problem. I don’t want to debate whether or not your business should be marketing on Pinterest. I want to talk with you about how to make customers love you enough to keep your bills paid and the lights on.
And I fully intend to help with your own personal bravery.
That’s where I’m headed.