Po Bronson is famous for his book, What Should I Do with My Life? that profiled people of all types who were living their dreams. Earlier this year, he wrote at Fast Company about Myths around this question. I thought some of his thoughts could help us make sense of Social Media initiatives for small business.
1. First, most people are not the architects of their own change. Extremely few are quitting as a result of career ennui. Rather, most people struggling with this question were pushed into it, forced into it, because they were laid off.
Most people drop off blogging, tweeting, and LinkedIn until they think they need it. Most people are following, not leading. We must choose how we will engage with social media. How does that impact what you share and do online?
2. I hear all the time, “I’d love to quit my job to follow my purpose, but I’ve got responsibilities!”
This is the same sort of logic that tells us we don’t have time to market our companies. I don’t have time for social media, especially since many argue there’s no value.
Look at the Youtube video post at Small Business Trends. Things are not always what they appear to be. This post explains that you don’t have to post a video to be on YouTube.
3. Pervasive in our society the last six years was what I call, “The Modern Dream Machine Industry.” Media companies made a killing selling content to consumers (#1 example: The Secret) that used the term “passion” loosely and vaguely, and made false claims that a dream life was right around the corner if you just dusted off your fantasies and pursued them.
This one counters my last point, which says what we said about websites years ago, before there were 3 trillion of them: If you build it, they will come. Has always been nonsense. Today’s thinking about just hop on Twitter and you’ll serve your customers is only true if you’re doing something meaningful and specific. I’m a fan of Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, so I’m not dissing them.
4. The Fallacy of Intrinsic Fit. There is this notion around calling that you should love the mere act of what you do every day so much that by virtue of it just being Monday morning and you’re at your job, the act of doing it causes neurotransmitters of joy to drip on your brain all day.
You can love what you do, but you cannot love every single thing around your work. It is impossible and na?ve to think so. This tells me that I need to outsource and delegate some of the tasks that hold me up from growing my company and focusing on the areas where I excel.
5. There’s an old parable about the three bricklayers. They’re laying bricks all morning, and when they finally get a break, one guy asks the other two, “Why are you doing this job?”