When I show up to an event, I’m as prepared as I can be. I know who my audience is, and I ask a handful of people for even more current information upon arrival while mingling. I get the gauge for what else is on their plate, so that I’m not so arrogant as to think that they’ve dropped everything to rush in and hear what it is I’m speaking about. But it goes back even before this.
I’ve built my speaking and consulting career around a blend of executing my own projects and also researching and learning about others who have done a great job with their own projects. I speak daily to some company or another (either in the large business side of things or in the small) about how they are facing the challenges of human business and improved marketing and sales needs. By putting in the hours I do in learning about other people’s experiences, and by putting in the hours on executing my own projects and experiments, I have more to offer the people who pay for my time.
You Can’t Avoid The Work
We’re all out here seeking our way through it all. We’re trying to find the right mix of services and products (our own and/or our company’s) to make people happy with our efforts and build stronger relationships (business or otherwise). But that’s work. It’s a verb. It’s time and it’s experience and it’s a lot of execution.
Julien and I have been talking a lot about our new book lately, because we’re speaking with publishers about it. The book, in essence, is about how some people take an idea they’ve received and move it from just an idea into an execution, and from execution into something bigger than just themselves. The step in the middle of the three major steps we’ve identified is execution. Without that, we’re all just talking.
Make Them Smart and Useful Hours
Putting in the hours doesn’t mean learning the minutiae. I know enough HTML to write my blog posts in HTML, and/or to review a site design. I don’t know enough to create my own sites from scratch. I don’t have to: WordPress does most of that for me. Thus, I focus my time on putting more into learning about how content impacts business. I could learn how to be a professional photographer, but I’m doing just fine as an amateur.
Figure out what you really want, what the real goal is, and put your hours in there. Be wary of putting in hours that only relate to one company’s skillsets. It’s great if you become the ultimate Lotus Notes user, but if no one else is using Notes, then what good will that be? (Yes, IBM: I know that someone still uses Notes).
Earn The Hours
If I were Gary Vaynerchuk, I’d tell you to hustle. If I were Malcolm Gladwell, I’d tell you to put in your 10,000 hours. But I’m Chris. Put in your hours the old fashioned way. Experiment with things. Execute on ideas. And expand the best ones into a community. We’re all doing the work, but we have to decide which work is going to grow us.
You know which work grows you and moves you close