Sunday, October 29, 2017

Building Deep Within Your Passion Is Better Than Building Wide

I was listening to a talk from Gary Vaynerchuk this morning and something he said really resonated with me. While he was talking primarily about social media platforms, video, marketing, blogging, podcasts, and entrepreneurship, he advised this young man to stop worrying about the numbers (going wide) and start going deeper (focus on the value add content). What are you passionate about doing? He asked. Whatever the response, he advised that we should go do that.

My interpretation of his message meant something to me because I was already thinking along these lines. In fact, I had a similar conversation with a co-worker last week about this very thing.

In this article, I want to take a few minutes to further explain the lesson that I'm chewing on in hopes that it brings you an awareness in your own lives.

Over the past few days, I've spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand the expansion of readers for my blog articles. In other words, how can I continue to grow my audience? I've tried a few things these past weeks, but none of it gave me the satisfaction that I was looking for. While the numbers of readers has exploded, I was missing the engagement and depth associated with real people who are genuinely interested in the message. The lesson for me is that I value depth over width.

Yes, it's fun to say I have X, Y, and Z number of followers and readers, but in the grand scheme of things, it means very little when the relationships are not there to support the numbers. It feels empty and shallow. Meaningful relationships take time to develop.

While I initially found the lesson in my blogging effort, the same lesson rings true in other areas of our life. We may have X, Y, and Z number of "friends" on social media, but how many of them are real, managed, maintained, strengthened, mutually beneficial, or satisfying?

Again, it's fun to say that an individual has amassed some number of success, but if it lacks the depth of genuine relationships, is it really success? Who really wants to reach the pinnacle of success alone? Sure, there is probably a momentary high associated with "winning," but when the lights turn off and the crowd stops cheering, who is still there waiting for you?

In the book "Networking For Mutual Benefit", by Teddy Burriss, I walked away realizing that relationships should be mutually beneficial. While I would love to have the capacity to engage with everyone, I don't. As a result, I have to be selective about where I spend my time and with whom I invest my energy.

One easy way to determine that answer is by identifying those things that are of interest to me. What are my passions and desires? What drives me? What feeds me? What encourages me? Who is pushing me forward to become the best version of myself? At the same time, are they getting something in return?

As I write this, I can imagine that some of you already have this figured out, but you just need a friendly reminder. Maybe, you were like me and just needed permission to do what you already know is the right thing to do. Go forth and be great at what you were created to do. You have permission. In fact, it goes beyond permission. You have been given a directive and are held responsible for doing what you were placed on this Earth to do.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Each one of us has been given a certain amount of time on this planet and we cannot afford to waste it doing those things that are not of interest to us or inline with our calling. What value is it to do something that brings forth no fruit? It is by going deep, not wide, that we allow the roots of our tree to find strength and support. It is by those roots having the opportunity to dig deep, that the tree can produce healthy and life giving fruit. It is by focusing on being the best that we can be that we first, bring glory to God, but then bring real value to others. Even if those others are few.

To bring this lesson to life, it means having deeper engagement and relationships with the right people who are aligned with where we are supposed to be. It means focusing on creating life-giving fruit and sharing it freely with those who genuinely want it. It means writing more, engaging more, building deeper friendships, and investing our time and energy into those things that are congruent with the mission.

Take a moment to just marinate on that and then answer some questions. What is your purpose? What mission are you on? What were you created to do with the time given and are you doing it?

If you find that maybe you have been distracted and focused on the wrong things, let's take this opportunity to adjust and get back to where we are supposed to be. Take whatever lesson you can acquire from your time away and embrace it as a gift toward a better you. If you are still here on God's green Earth, then you still have some work to do.

Let's not focus on what we don't have, but focus on what we do. Understand that where you are is where you are supposed to be. Be a good steward of what's been given and seek to maximize on it to the best of your ability. Only God knows how and who will be affected by your work. Be happy in the journey and never grow weary in doing the right thing for He will sustain you.

It is a powerful, overwhelming, and humbling place to be when you get back to doing what you were destined and designed to do.

Make today a very great day!

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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