Why Do We Do What We Do?
Why Do I Do What I Do?
Should newsletter and podcast releases be on a fixed schedule? The advice1 I often read from ‘the pros’ is yes. Choose a day and even a time and hit it - regularly - like clockwork. I’ve taken the advice and totally ignored the advice. As measured by comments, emails received, downloads, likes, opens, unsubscribes and subscribes … it makes no difference.
The professionals clearly know what they are talking about, so who am I to disagree? Well - I don’t. If email marketing is what you are doing, trust me - you should do as they say.
But I am not doing email marketing.
Hold that thought.
A few days ago, someone in one of my many communities commented that the problem with the 24*7 news cycle is not just that everything becomes important, but that everything becomes equally important. Not only that, but highlighting a news item with ‘Breaking News’ is no longer useful. If the report is on the evening’s news, we have probably already seen it many times.
Like so much in life, people now ‘timeshift’. News sport and entertainment is all on-demand. We read and watch it at our convenience - not at the convenience of the TV station.
… since many of us watch and read news in ‘timeshift’ mode, the term ‘breaking news’ is meaningless since it is a hangover from when we all watched the news together at 7 am, 6 pm, 10:30 pm … I am sure that the Broadcasting world will catch up one day.
This brings me to the newsletter - and tangentially, the podcast.
I would wager that not a single reader of this newsletter has been wondering where the latest edition is2 - because when the newsletter arrives in your inbox (or newsletter app of choice) has nothing to do with when you are going to read it - because that will be decided on how you manage your information flow and what is going on in your life at that precise moment.
If you are with me so far … thank you. Clearly, the email reached you, the headline/image/intro piqued your interest and now you have found time to read it. Very much appreciated.
I recently stumbled across this video from 2015, where a friend of mine was presenting. He asked the question ‘Why do we do what we do?’ - which made me ask ‘Why do I do what I do?’
.. and maybe now you can start to see where all this is going.
I don’t write and publish this newsletter as a marketing exercise. I haven’t got a product that I need you to buy. There is no sales funnel that I am seeking to drive you down so that I can draw you into a webinar where I can up-sell, cross-sell, and get you to fork out even more money for a questionable return.
Talking of which - have you seen Contrepreneurs: The Mikkelsen Twins by Dan Olson? Dan is ‘the man’ that gave us the two-hour and eighteen-minute takedown on NFTs. This one is just as good - but focuses on the scummy MLM schemes that flow through YouTube and other places. Highly recommend.
The point of the newsletter, the podcast and the blog is that they provide different approaches and channels that allow me to share ideas and thinking that are ‘People Firsty’ in nature. That’s it. It’s important and I think the fact you are here means that you agree.
Back to that other video, that also features a man called Dan. I’ve known Dan (Szuc) for a long time (for example, next year is the 20th anniversary of the two of us connecting on LinkedIn). He and his wife Josephine have a very People Firsty initiative called Make Meaningful Work and that video is a record of what is probably one of the first truly public outings of what has become their business which in their words is ‘A Learning Platform to Develop 21st Century Transferable Soft Skills’.
Very People Firsty!
More on soft skills3 in a future newsletter … but for now, let’s keep focus. Dan asked ‘Why Do I Do What I Do’?
Because I think it is important to keep reminding people that just because the way we do things has always been done, does not mean that is how things could be done, should be done, need to be done or indeed will be done. In fact, there is a People First Tenet that is so important, I even used it in my book.
The Circle Is Complete
This brings me all the way back to those two thoughts at the beginning of this piece. I am not on a marketing mission. I am not on a deadline. So, when Daniel asked ‘why do I do what I do’ - he made me realize that ‘what I do’ is sometimes at odds with ‘why I do it’.
If I don’t have something to say, why invent something to ‘fill the funnel’? Then again, if there is something to be said - say it!
And because we live in a time-shifted and fractured world where the rules of linear worlds do not apply, you will in turn read those newsletters when you are ready.
Goodbye weekly missives that on occasions seem forced.
Hello irregular missives that will be more natural.
Wherever and whenever you read this newsletter is your decision that I have zero control over. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Thank you for being part of the journey.
Some of the best advice comes from Chad White who these days is employed by Oracle and is a regular contributor to properties like Marketing Profs, CMSWire and Only Influencers - but is also the author of EMail Marketing Rules - a book well worth reading if you want to understand the practice of good email marketing. If you are a blog person, you can find him here.
The ‘law of sod’ is alive and well. I wrote that line and that very evening received an email from an old friend and newsletter reader asking ‘if I was ok’ … I am. Thankyou. I’ll put this one down to the ‘exception that proves the rule’.