Today Marketing Requires Fearlessness and Selflessness

The objective is to share.  Share for the sole purpose of just trying to give one small thing to that one reader who might get something from it.  Share because the more I travel digitally and physically around the US the more I experience the need for sharing.  Share because there exists a gap at this moment in time in the way in which we as marketers are communicating with the people that we are looking to serve.

There are multiple areas of inspiration for this newly found motivation to bang out
a couple of hundred words and I think that it is important to start sharing by explaining these motivators. So stay with me for a couple of paragraphs and I think that it might become clearer why I have arrived at this point and why I feel so compelled to share.

Purpose and Passion

In the summer of 2011 I was invited to an executive event that is put on annually by CareerBuilder.  They do a phenomenal job with the event targeted to the staffing and recruiting industry, the content is thought provoking, the insight relevant, and the peer to peer networking invaluable.  At this particular event in 2011, one of the guest speakers was Tim Sanders.  You can learn more about Tim here, but that summer he had just released his book Today We Are Rich (it is a great and easy read I would recommend it to anyone of any age or profession).  The one thing that Mr. Sanders discusses in that book is the intersection between purpose and passion.  The idea is to find the place where your work fulfills both your passion and provides you with a clearly identifiable purpose.  This intersection might not be the job of your dreams, but it will be the job fueled by your dreams and it will be meaningful.

The way that I took it was to identify the element of my skill sets that give me the most satisfaction and apply it in a meaningful way regardless of what exactly that meaningful way may be.   To view one’s talent as a gift, to understand passion as the reward for exercising the talent, and accept that purpose is the responsibility we have as owners of talent.

I never forgot that lesson and frequently re-read Tim’s book to stay grounded in that thought.

Real Self Improvement is Externally Focused

At the beginning of this year I decided I was going to invest time in reading books that would help me improve in different areas of my life.  Fueled mostly by a desire to be a better steward of my career I also intended this effort to help me improve the father, husband, friend, brother, son, and community member that I am.   Since about February of 2013 I’ve listened to over twenty different books on the topic, including some classics for Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, and Stephen Covey and have come to one conclusion.  Classic time tested personal development is about one thing and one thing only, humble service.

The classics lay it out very simply, serve.  Serve and seek to serve and then improve the way you are doing both.  Discover selflessness and never apologize for the success that accompanies consistent and tangible selfless acts.   It is truly stark just how consistent this message is, serve others, edify others, and listen to others.  There are, of course, nuances to exactly what this means and how it is to be applied, but it is so incredibly liberating to discover that we are freed from our limitations by forgetting all about them and instead identifying what we have to give.  Discover our talent, exercise it, and invest in it through a spirit of service in some way shape or form.

Art and Generosity

In August of 2013 I attended the Inbound conference, put on by marketing software automation company Hubspot, in Boston.  The first keynote address of the event was delivered by Seth Godin.  His theme was based on his latest book The Icarus Deception   One of the elements of his theme was to suggest that we as marketing professionals leverage our new age of socially connected communication by placing art and generosity first.  (good interview here on the what Seth means by ‘art’). Create and give the creation away.  Create in a way that benefits those you seek to serve.  Create and connect in a way that is found helpful.  Create and challenge yourself to be fearless in the manner in which you are communicating.   Icarus, reminds Godin, was not only warned not to fly too close to the sun, but also warned not to play it too safe by flying too low.

These three influences have motivated me to pick up the digital pen and share.

You see in our trade, the business of marketing, there is a gap.  A nuance that is far too frequently missed.  A void that is not easily filled.  But this void doesn’t exist because there are not enough talented people to fill it.  It exists because it is difficult to tangibly identify what fills the emptiness in marketing and it exists because the only thing that can fill it strikes fear into the hearts of today’s business leaders

Fearlessly create and selflessly give.

I love my trade and feel so fortunate to be practicing it in this dawn of a new communication age.  An age in which the fundamentals of professional and personal development can be manifested in what we as marketing professionals create.

Fearlessly create.

Selflessly give.

(photo credit: Steve Snodgrass)

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