Two months ago tomorrow, on August 30, 2008, I composed an email message to Seth Godin, author of the bestselling business motivation book, “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)” with the subject, Thank you for inspiring me.
I want to share with you what I wrote:
You don’t know me but I feel like I know you very well. I’ve been following your blog for the past few months and recently went out to my local library and took out some of your recent books.
After a few weeks of “The Dip” sitting on my table, I opened it last week and started reading. I walked to an outdoor cafe and read some more. I then walked down to the river (I’m in northeastern Massachusetts at the mouth of the Merrimack River) and read the rest.
Within hours of finishing your book, I reflected, put a few things together in my head, and started my journey through the Dip. Until then, I’d been in the Cul-de-Sac, circling around and around, looking for a hook but nothing came to me.
So this is what I’m now doing: I’m talking to people, online and off, for ideas to help me develop a business model to form my own social media consulting company, to help government agencies, community groups, and businesses (I think in that order) to enhance their existing communication/collaboration models through online communication. Not to force anything at them, but to evaluate what they do and offer why something online can help them lower their overhead and increase their productivity.
I will probably, no, will very likely, contact you in the coming months with some questions, if that’s OK with you.
I’d like to leave you with a quote, one that you’d enjoy if you haven’t already seen it:
“The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he his working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” – Zen Buddhist Text
Thanks for inspiring me to be the best in the world.
Now you know why I write what I write and what this thing called social media and everyone inside of it who also live and breathe it means to me. THANK YOU for inspiring me!
Yeah, you! You know who you are. You are the person who reads this thing called a blog early in the morning or late at night. You are the attorney, the medical nurse, the entrepreneur, the struggling wannabe writer looking for inspiration. Maybe you’re a chief of this or a head of that; maybe you want to be a chief.
Who knows who you are. I know some of you by name and face, but quick and dirty analytics tell me hundreds of people are reading my content every day. Some are using a browser, others a feed reader, some receive my advice by email, and others see it on aggregator or bookmarking sites. Fact is, you’re seeing it and you’re spreading the word.
The word is not about me. I don’t care if you’re talking about me. I’m just one guy. The important part is that you’re spreading the message that the rules are changing and that business as we know it today is changing.
If you’re a business and focusing on selling your products and not buying your customers who want you to listen to them, you’re losing.
If you’re a government and spending a DIME on a marketing campaign and not using the power of civic engagement, you’re losing.
If you’re a nonprofit organization and not taking advantage of viral marketing through word of mouth, you’re losing.
If you’re a newspaper reporter and not reading blogs and other online media for inspiration (and attribution), you’re losing.
I can help. At the very top of this blog page is my Hire Me page. I listed some questions that I hope you might be interested in hiring me to help you answer. I can consult for you, I can coach you, or I can write about you. All of the above involve my listening to you 5 times more than my talking to you.
Maybe I’m not the right guy for the job. I’m OK with that, for I can list a dozen people more qualified than me and people who I’d rather you work with anyway. But maybe you’d like to give me a chance because I care about you even if you don’t know me.
In Spanish there is a word for which I can’t find a counterword in English. It is the verb vacilar, present participle vacilando. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but does not greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction. Everything in the world must have a design or the human mind rejects it. But in addition, it must have purpose or the human conscience shies away from it. – John Steinbeck, in Travels with Charley
Help me spread my contagious obsession to you.
If you’re still reading, what’s your purpose in this thing called the web? Who’s YOUR inspiration? And how can I help you be the best in the world?