If you’re a writer, you’re watching all kinds of people, noting what they do well and noting what you see that you don’t want to become.
How does so and so do it? How did he/she do it so fast?
Where’s my golden ticket?
The truth is, for most of us, there’s no golden ticket. Success happens over time and with a lot of hard work.
I’m listening to a lot of people and I’ll bet you are too. Unfortunately, some of them are too busy talking to realize they have nothing of value to say. Some have extremely large audiences, are a huge success, others have medium audiences. And some have small audiences. They’re all noisy.
Narrow is that gate.
Building a platform is like parenting
Hope you chuckled. Stick with me. Don’t you get sick of hearing your kids’ voices some days? Let’s be honest.
I love my kids. I like to spend time with my kids. When they fight with each other over stupid stuff and use their voice in the wrong way I want them to shush, quickly. Repeating the same mantra over and over again tunes me out.
Feed me. Feed me.
Can I have your attention, your money, your fill in the blank?
If you’re building a platform, a list, a following, it’s also this:
Give me your time.
Please don’t misunderstand this to say kids and family don’t deserve time. They do. They deserve a lot of time, but they don’t deserve all of your time all the time, especially when it’s rude, irritating, and doesn’t respect boundaries. Family is one of the most important jobs I’ll ever love, and sometimes I need a break to be me.
Stop talking at me. To survive you need a curtain call on the noise.
- scroll faster
- stop listening
The trouble is a lot of people out there are making too much noise with daily videos in every group, on every profile. They’re so busy grinding, they’ve forgotten how to say anything of value.
It’s like my kids fighting in the backseat while I’m driving.
I need to concentrate here, so we all don’t die. Please stop. If I have to pull this car over, I’m gonna… For goodness sake, will you shut off the noise?
Blah, blah, blah, blabbity, blah, blah.
I reach my arm around the driver’s seat to make enough contact to get their attention.
Mom, why are you yelling?
Because you are so busy talking that you refuse to listen to anything other than the sound of your own voice. Why do I have to yell before you hear me?
Turn off the noise when you have nothing of value to say. Learn this life lesson and it will go well with you.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” — Theodore Roosevelt
He was a man of wisdom, speaking during a time when wisdom could easily be heard. There’s no improving greatness, but our times have changed.
Today people make a ruckus, so much noise they drown out wisdom.
A more appropriate quote for current times is this:
“Speak when you have something of value to say and let the crevices of silence grow wisdom and direction.”
That one is all mine. Proper credit appreciated.
Be an expert, don’t be a doofus.
Everyone wants to be an expert. Unless you’re an expert at something, nobody will hear your name. You don’t have all the answers, even in your field of expertise. If you don’t know, be wise enough to say so, and point to someone who does.
If you don’t know anyone who has the answer, then do some research. Offer the best information you can, acknowledging you don’t know while soliciting feedback, and arrive at the answer together.
Don’t be a doofus.
I keep coming back to two books:
One helps people maintain healthy boundaries by defining who you are and who you are not, and influencing all areas of your life — physically, emotionally, spiritually.
The second one has a practical life application about how to learn what other people need and how to connect with them in a meaningful way. It’s not just for couples. It’s for everyone. Are you speaking the same language? The problem isn’t love — it’s your love language. It teaches respect.
I’d like to introduce you to Tom Kuegler. Practically speaking, we speak the same love language — that is to say we care about the same things: we’re digital nomads, we travel, and help writers. He’s my mentor, my teacher, and my friend. Recently he shouted me out in his list of friends here:Why You Need To Meet More People Like You Right Now
The door swung open and all I saw was yellow.medium.com
I have a lot of respect for him because we care about some of the same things. When he speaks, he has something of value to say. And, he respects my time. When I catch his YouTube videos they’re short and sensible. He shares quick, actionable tips, then he quits talking.
When I read his emails he talks in the same way. “Coming to you today with two (or three) quick points.” He says them quickly and efficiently, then signs off. He recognizes people are busy and time is a precious commodity.
His Medium Mastery course will turn your writing life around. Not only am I a student, I’m an affiliate.
We all have needs. Those who work online need to develop relationships and build something people want to buy.
Don’t you wish more people would stop talking before they remove all doubt they have nothing of value to say?
Don’t be one of them.
Be a Tom.