It’s coming up on the end of the year, and I have grand scaling plans for myself. Except I’ve had them for a while and haven’t done anything with them.
The going’s good, I said. I’ve got a footing; now I need a breath. And I did get one. I’m glad I did. Mental health is something I keep front and center in the quiet, sometimes lonely, and stressful world of a solopreneur.
But lately, I’ve been antsy.
When things get quiet, you listen. Then you follow that little sound into the basement. And you look at the plumbing, and your x-ray vision kicks in till you start to see things on a larger blueprint.
It all starts to come together.
(Before I lock myself into an awkward X-men-mutant-like-basement-scanning-superhero metaphor let me break right out.)
As I’ve worked for myself and watched myself grow (with some awkward self-consciousness and lots of self-deprecation) from clammy-handed fear at all times to hopeful to confident, I’ve realized that I love what I do so much because I believe in it. CTFO! I’m not here to sell you on my personal brand of philosophy and the secret to eternal happiness.
I do want to talk about one part of it, though. My complete and utter belief in the entrepreneurial spirit.
I believe that as we go along this path, hurtling towards progress like never before; a little lost in narcissism; forgetting where our lines are more often than we should… that we are still more in touch with building up the local and our communities than we’ve ever been before.
It’s true. Think about it. We all know some, if not many, people who shop local. We educate local. We healthcare local. Big corporations have morphed into ‘the devil’. Loosely held opinions have, by the magic of social media, become wider movements.
Yes, I know that’s an oversimplification of so many ‘omics’ and ‘ologies’, it would make an anthropologist’s head spin.
But, to my mind, it’s a weird and simple balance. The yin and the yang. And as a human race, we’ll be fine. With some hiccups along the way. Even if they are significant ones!
It’s what we call evolution.
And in the end, we will move forward. We must!
I do believe that.
I do believe that reach will get wider, but squads will get littler.
That thinking will go deeper, and minds will get broader.
That business will get smaller, and life will get larger.
Believing as I do that small business and single owners are the future; that the gig economy will evolve into something less transient for more people; how come my company only caters to corporates?
How come my offering to the self-employed – whether solo or small, efficient teams with massive deliverables – is nothing other than the occasional coffee and brain-pick-age?
So, I realized, over months, that what I’ve been doing is nesting. (For you lucky sods who don’t know what that is, it’s when hormones kick-in for a pregnant female – any species – right before the baby is born. It pushes her to prepare in every way to give the new life coming up a fighting chance.)
All this while, I’ve scaled up by focussing on getting more of what I am already doing well. That was good. Now I’m ready for more. To get more. And to give more.
I’m taking everything that I’ve learned from writing ‘boring content’ for years. (B2B baby, B2B. Everything from industrial equipment to grade one geekery tech so nerdy, if I tell you what it is, you’ll find them, and my client will hate me. I love ‘boring content’. In the early days of my gig, I did exclusively that because nobody else wanted to and I scored more work. I still do a lot of it, because not much has changed on that front. It’s a small select group.)
I’m taking everything I’ve learned from working for 20 years across the globe on every side of the marketing table.
And I’m creating a new product for independents, small businesses and even people looking to build their own personal brand. It’s a one-on-one content strategy session that will set you up with everything you need to put out meaningful, accountable content. More details will follow on in the New Year about what that looks like, costs, and how you might score yourself a spot.
But first, here’s a taste of what all that strategy might look like. I have a free game on my website (click here to hit it directly). It has 11 fun questions, will take you 5 minutes, and at the end of it, you’ll receive an e-booklet with an audience profile for who you should be targeting in your content and how to get to reach them better.
If you’ve no interest in learning about what content marketing is but are just curious about how you might apply it better to your life, whether for work or play, hop on over and play a little game of ‘Find your audience, Pin-up style’. No commitments, of course.
Fair warning It is irreverent and snort-out-loud offensive-funny, but it all speaks to making a process that could be dry, into fun. And it speaks to an audience that I probably would work best with. Someone who wants to get it right, efficiently, accountably, and with tons of humour along the way.
And happy 2018. May it be everything you hope it will.