Caterpillar using a hookah. An illustration from Alice in Wonderland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How many jobs have you had where the expectation was that you would be “comfortable with ambiguity“? Be honest….is anyone really Comfortable with Ambiguity?! Or is this just the company’s way of stating the obvious: everything changes, so hang on?
I wrote a post last year about being in the moment
and how each moment was nearly certain to be different from the moment expected. Certainly my life is in a very different place now, and yours may be too. I’ll bet it is, since this world is anything but static.
It’s interesting that I haven’t seen that particular phrase used quite as frequently as before (say 5 to 7 years ago…). Has anything changed? Has the workplace become more aware, more mindful of the realities and discomforts of change, thanks to greater awareness? There continues to be a lot of discussion of mindfulness
in the workplace…perhaps this has created the environment where change and ambiguity don’t need to be called out. They are accepted as the norm and natural.
How often do you get honest feedback about how you’re doing? I mean, honest….it doesn’t NEED to be brutal, just a truthful, balanced opinion from someone, based on their experience. A large number of businesses are scared of feedback and reviews on their various social media pages. This is despite the fact that this is an important form of social transmission and enhances the word of mouth referrals they value so much in the off-line world. These can make or break a business.
Social proof is a fuzzy concept to some, but basically it is an accumulation of the clues in our environment we use to make decisions when we don’t know the truth (a H/T [Hat Tip
] to Mark Schaefer
for this clear definition!) Reviews are one avenue for prospects to check you out if they’ve never heard of you before and are considering buying what you offer. Nielsen reports
of people say that online reviews influence their buying decision.
There are two components to successfully working with customer reviews.
Signature of Richard P. Feynman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is much too easy to burrow into your business and go deeper into the knowledge, building more depth and expertise in that area so you can be an even better resource for your customers. But doesn’t this turn you into a “one-trick pony”? For example, in my social media consulting business, does it truly broaden my mind and stretch my intellect to become more facile in the inner workings of Facebook and Content Marketing…or is it kind of “more of the same”?
I have other interests. You do, too. How do I indulge them, push the boundaries of my interests, and maybe even develop new ones? I need to consciously expose myself to knowledge I probably wouldn’t otherwise, and I have to set aside the time to do it. This is a challenge as an entrepreneur, but to not do it means that I’m less likely to keep growing intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. There is also a much higher probability that, in exploring some of these new landscapes, I might come across a couple of new ideas that inform and impact my business in ways I have no way of anticipating now.
So, where do I start?
The Social Web is a fire hose. How do you stay current as a content creator and anticipate the Internet’s next move? Is anything you wrote last week even relevant?
There’s a subset of your content that remains valuable over time. How much of your “old content” (for some that would anything posted 2 weeks ago!) falls into this category of so-called evergreen content? For example, if you have a catering business that regularly posts tips on hosting a party and providing exciting recipes for your audience, I imagine those recipes will still be great tasting next week….or so I’d hope…
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You have a different way of learning than I do. There are a lot of terms like “Cognitive Styles” and “Learning Strategies” that describe this, but it’s really pretty basic. Still, there are some commonalities across the various Styles. Read a piece of information and 3 days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Simply add a picture and you’ll remember 65%! I also benefit from the inclusion of samples, stories and examples or templates that help me to fill in the mental construct. You probably have other things that help you, too.
Nothing gets your hackles up more than spotting a post that you passionately disagree with. You smack the REPLY link and start banging away on your keyboard….you’ll set ’em straight!
Aren’t social media grand?
Well, while controversy does ignite content, and can fascinate and engage people in a way few other approaches can, it is not a sustainable strategy for your business. Passion is one thing, screaming online is another.
Here’s the deal: I don’t go onto the web to be sold to. I look for information. I look for content that will tell me something I don’t know and satisfies my curiosity. I want to be intrigued. I want to learn and join conversations.
Mostly, however, I want to have fun.