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5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Make Impact with Your Blog (or Anything Else)

September 2, 2013

I primarily work within the entertainment business. Rarely ever am I in an “office” or do I have interactions with people working those type of jobs. I’m not against these people — I simply live in a world of creatives, such as musicians, authors, and entrepreneurs who do work in more non-traditional environments.

An exception to this was when I attended a “training” event a couple of weeks ago. It was sponsored by a well-known professional organization and the audience was mostly corporate people, many of whom were there because their companies offered bonuses for attending.

I walked in excited. With dozens of people attending, I looked forward to connecting with somebody who had achieved a type of success that I’d failed miserably at (like the kind within a company, for example).

Within 20 minutes of my arrival, my excitement quickly changed to shock and annoyance as it was obvious that I was playing with the “B Team” that day. The good news for you is that it was a perfect case study on what not to do if you want to make impact with your blog, book, or other creative endeavors.


5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Make Impact with Your Blog (or Anything Else)

1. You Want Payment Just For Showing Up 

There is something to be said for showing up. There is is something to be said for getting an advance on sales or taking a flat fee for doing the work, rather than making money on the backend. Those who get caught up in always being paid before work is done though, will miss important opportunities for impact though and, if your work is good, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

A record label or book publisher is on the same team you are and, ultimately, you have the same basic goals for your project. Anybody who is going to publish your work wants to sell copies. You can help make sure this and other goals happen by getting everybody involved with skin in the game. Taking your part of the money before they get their part of the money doesn’t do this.

If you really believe in what you’re doing, and you believe it will pay off, why not bet on your ability to be successful and take a bigger chuck of the money later, after this has been proven?

On a related note, be willing to invest in yourself and your projects by paying for needed services, such as training, promotion, or coaching, without putting your risk on other people. When you show what you have it worth investing in, because you’re doing it yourself, others will come along to invest with you.

2. You Force the Agenda

Benjamin Franklin once said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

You can’t force people to do something. You can make it “mandatory” to attend a meeting, but then what?

Maybe you could bribe people with food? I once saw this happen in a “Christian” homeless shelter where they wanted people to sit through a worship service before being fed. I’ve seen it happen a lot when corporations want employees to attend a training. And I can’t tell you how many music acts I’ve seen by offering free (or reduced priced) drinks to people in the audience.

Force doesn’t work. Food and other bribes only gets asses in chairs. A hungry person will do anything for a bite to eat, including “find Jesus.” That doesn’t mean his belief system has changed though.

You might be able to get “more readers” by forcing people to click through popup windows, or signing people up for your list without getting permission, but when it comes to having impact, quality of the people you’re reaching trumps quantity every time.

3. You Want Credit

Impact is its own reward. Credit stands in the way of impact.

My job are a marketing guy is to make the product stand out. Sometimes the product is somebody else.

“Credit” is like wearing a Rolex watch — you don’t need to announce it. People who actually know what a Rolex looks like will know without you announcing it. And those who don’t know it’s a Rolex won’t understand why it matters…

Sure, you couldn’t go around announcing your involvement in a project (or the Rolex on your wrist) to everybody in the room, but that kills the coolness factor, which, at least for the Rolex, is probably one of the reasons you’re wearing it in the first place.

Imagine being in my business, the music business, when you walk in a store and a song you wrote is on the radio.  The guy behind the counter is singing along. A mother is clapping along with her young child.

You’re a songwriter, not the artist performing the song. You came up with this song in your living room and now it’s a hit, being played not only in this store, but throughout the country — there are covers of it on YouTube, DJs play it at wedding receptions, and people dance to it in clubs.

Does it matter that nobody knows you wrote it? Would you rather have people know, like the answer to a trivia question, of the kind of impact and experiences mentioned above?

If you’re involved in something significant, people who need to know about your contribution will know. And those who don’t know this will still be affected by you, because they’ll feel the results of your involvement.

4. You Can’t Handle Critics

This was part of the “training” where my head almost exploded…

A woman mentioned having asked for feedback on her group’s performance. Then she got pissed because the guy she asked gave her “seven minutes of negative comments.” So now she has a “no feedback policy.”

This is the kind of BS that blows my mind. Instead of asking herself if there was any truth to what was said or even disputing it, she simply ignored it and, going even further, has done everything she can to make sure similar messages never see the light of day.

This is playing small. It’s playing not to lose rather than playing to win and there is a huge difference in the results you get.

When it comes to sales and marketing, I believe if you’ve got 100% happy customers, you’re not reaching enough people. It’s easy to keep 10 people happy, but how about 1000? How about 10,000?

It’s impossible and here’s why…

What you do is not for everybody.

This lady might not have been the right match for this guy who gave her bad feedback. Or maybe she was a total idiot and he was right on the money. Who knows?

The issue is not being open to criticism. You don’t have to agree with the critics, but if you want to play big, don’t totally shut them out either. Do this and you’ll never take things as far as you can, because you start playing a different game — you do things to avoid criticism entirely rather than do what you do and worry about the criticism as it comes.

5. You Don’t Care

Small things mean a lot. And there is value in everything.

If there is one thing I regret during the time when I was working dayjobs, it’s not taking advantage of the opportunities I had to care. I was so pissed off about having to work for somebody else that I overlooked all the good things about it. Rather than use my employment as a learning experience, I looked at my time on the job as total misery and, because of this, did my best to make everybody around me miserable as well.

So I get that sometimes a job isn’t where you want to be and the related things that can happen because of this…

But when you’re playing a bigger game, like the kind you must play in order to have great impact, the little things, even the dayjob that is seemingly standing in the way of what you ultimately want to do, have value. If you’re going to have to show up somewhere and work 40 hours per week, why not make the best of it?

Same goes for everything else that you do. If you’re going to serve food, which is what they did at this training, why not make sure it’s served at the recommended temperature? It doesn’t take much effort, but it makes a huge difference to the people consuming it and their perceptions of you.

If you can’t learn to take care of the little things, you’re not going to be able to take care of the big things.

The time is going to pass anyway. The job is going to get done one way or another? Why not enjoy yourself and do things right?

Action Step:

Trust more.Trust that the money will be there, you won’t be left behind, and that everything will be ok. You don’t need to micromanage by forcing your ideas on other people or making sure your name is on something. Trust the any criticism you get will be helpful, even if it stings a bit.

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