Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Each Day

Erica Marshall muddyboots.org

I've written a few posts here about what I can do for a small business.
I probably write less about what I am doing. Today is one of those days where I am simply teary about the kinds of connections I make in the work and how it all somehow meshes together to create this amazing thing I call my life.

People come to me with a vision. Maybe they are in it or maybe it's just a dream. For me to do what I do best, I have to understand and actually feel their passion. I get drawn into the details of this thing they want so badly to do. I see it from behind their eyes, or nearly so. I get the excitement of their dream to propel that dream forward.

It's a morphogenesis state I'm in when I immerse myself in the lives and visions of my clients. To say "vision" is to say that we are looking into the future. It's that balance of being clear about exactly where we are and where that vision is going to take us. That's the line I walk. That's the "space I keep" for each and every person I work with.

I cannot tell you how many times I say, "If you really want to do this, I'm here to help you make that happen". I will take them through the steps to get them there, but ultimately it's about a client's commitment to their own dream.

Ultimately, I'm coming to a place where I think that we should all have mentors for everything we want to do. It takes a measure of humility to come forward and say, "I don't know how to do this. Will you show me?" I honor those people who can come to me and ask and listen and work with me. I value their dreams and visions for what they see as possible and I ask them to dream it even bigger. For all of us.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What is it Again?

image by Kevin Zim

The question that I find myself asking people a lot lately and gets asked of me in return is:

What is this?
What is this thing you have that you want to sell to people?
What is the reason you feel compelled to do this?
What makes this important to others?
What do you have that no one else has?
What are you bringing to this table of commerce?

I deal in ideas more than objects. Ideas are still things. When ideas stop being things, like the flow of so much information, it starts to get abstract. New rules apply. It all gets way more complicated. Except for this:

What do you value?
What do others value?

Nothing changes because we're in the "Information Age". We still mean that we need to find a way to quantify things. There are enumerable ways to quantify this ether in which we communicate our ideas. Don't let it get the best of you. The clicks, the impressions, the bytes.

There are mathematicians who understand things we cannot see. Too complex for the rest of us. That doesn't mean those things don't exist, but our ability to grab those concepts or not is very much the basis of our ability to function and succeed with our business. How long ago was the dot com crash? And still, especially in marketing and social media we are getting lost again in vague notions that we are banking on to build our businesses.

Sometimes we need to hire and trust people who understand things that we cannot. Just make sure that from time to time, you ask yourself those basic "what" questions. Keep the spirit of those questions alive when you're talking SEO, or numbers with a CFO. It's still stuff. Hopefully it's stuff that you really care about, are even passionate about. That's what makes you an entrepreneur. No one's making you do this. Remember the passion. Keep that with you.