Twenty years ago, your sphere of influence was probably limited to the people you knew personally, and perhaps some who knew them. Most people didn’t create waves much further than that in their circle of family, friends and business Now:
- Its much easier to talk to people all over the world, but
- its also much harder to be heard above the noise
- Messages on Twitter, Facebook and other ‘broadcast’ sites are quickly overlaid with new ideas, but
- profiles and facts about you are on the internet forever
- Its easy to hit the ‘send’ button and spread your ideas and your messages, but
- each idea has so much more capacity to help or harm your reputation.
Seth Godin’s post about person brand tells three powerful stories illustrating why we should care about everything that’s ever written about us online. Your reputation is your most valuable asset – protecting it should be a priority.
So here’s a challenge for you – have you ever typed your name into Google and done a search on yourself? What does your online personal brand look like? What does the world read about you? Hopefully there are no disruptions or dents in your image. But if there are, what are you going to do about it?
Have you noticed that people who are really engaged with what they do, also seem to have a special kind of energy. So here’s the question – what comes first: the energy or the engagement?
Can we be energised by being more engaged with what we do? Or should we find ways to boost our energy levels in order to become more engaged with our careers?
What do you think?
It seems counter-intuitive to slow down in order to speed up – but that may well be worth a try. Getting organised and making time to sort through the piles of work does take time. But its also creates far greater clarity – and then time to reflect on the really important stuff.
I’ve found that first of all, getting all my ‘stuff’ together in one list was completely terrifying. I’m still working to get it all listed – and there’s a pretty big box of it yet to sort. But as I go through the process, being able to discard some of it is fantastic. Its completely liberating. Now that I’m almost at the point of having it all listed, I can also start to prioritise and group activities so I use my time better.
Suspend disbelief and resist the urge to just keep your head down and plough through the backlog. It can really be a lot better to pause for reflection and re-organisation.
Thank you Jacci for this great story. Its not new, but the message is powerful:
Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owner tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who has been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.
Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do.
After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer.
He gently tapped something.
Instantly, the engine lurched into life. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.
So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer – $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap – $9,998.00
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference
June 2008: Yesterday I had the privilege of talking at the Enterprising Women 2nd anniversary lunch. It was amazing to have the chance to talk to almost 180 women entrepreneurs. An inspiring experience.
There was consensus that one of the most motivating elements of hearing other people’s stories is the realisation that, even though you’re going it alone, others are having the same experiences. There’s a normalising effect in that.
Enterprising women – 2019 update:
My blog was started long before I started painting. It was a way of tracking my thoughts as I grew my business. Now that its become a record of my painting, I am going back in time to re-focus. I am surprised at the number of posts that parallel my current experiences in the creative part of my life. But perhaps that’s not too surprising.
As an artist, a lot of your efforts are solo. Almost every aspect of your art and your sales are a result of you working it out on your own. Hearing other artists’ stories and being able to learn from them makes it all so much easier. In the art world, its less about listen to formal talks like the one I did for the Enterprising Women group in 2008. Instead, it’s more about finding a group of other artists you can talk to.
Find your tribe
Not everyone is community-minded, even in the creative world. It takes bravery and generosity to share your knowledge in a competitive environment. The trick is to make sure you connect with those who share knowledge and celebrate your success.