My mentor/friend Matthew Ferrara wrote a post that touched on something I’ve been noodling on for a while. “More is Over. Better is Back.” Matthew has been noticing a shift as I have. As we felt the need to push more and more content, we began sharing more ‘fluff’ and as we became inundated with more fluff, we began ignoring more and more content. It’s a catch 22. How do you create awareness and drive traffic/business without promotion? Matthew questions where is the value?
As a new business owner, trying to launch and generate business, I too am experiencing what many of my clients, indeed ALL OF US are experiencing: the onslaught of information! The state of constant consumption can at times completely paralyze me. There is always MORE I should know and I get lost in the chase for complete knowledge. Juxtaposed with that is a sense that I’ve ‘heard it all before’, its just being packaged in a new way. Additionally, I’m being told relentlessly, that I must produce! Not just occasionally, but all the time!
Which has me questioning the ‘pursuit of happiness’ and the notion of balance. In a Big Think article “Happiness and the Pursuit of Happiness I read …“our pursuit of happiness is really constant uneasiness. We can’t rest content in enjoyment for more than a moment, and so our lives are constituted much more by the restless pursuit of happiness than actually being happy.” I don’t know about you, but I always feel like there’ more I should be doing, never allowing myself to truly enjoy where I am at any given moment.
The general consensus is happiness means MORE. More production, more things, more freedom, more money and make more of an impact! In other words, you can’t be happy ‘UNTIL…’
What if we challenged that belief? What if happiness was really about simplicity? What if happiness was connected to LESS?
Angela Maiers has been leading a movement called ‘You Matter’. An educator who recognized a lack of confidence and sense of relevance amongst us all and how that prevents us for stepping up and making our contributions. The idea that ‘You Matter’ suggests that even before you consume any more content, you are enough exactly as you are at any given moment. (Read the You Matter Manifesto)
Ultimately I believe in stripping away all the noise long enough for one to CONTEMPLATE. My father used to say that ‘people want to be told what to do’ and I believe that’s true, particularly as we get busier and the world gets noisier, but we have a responsibility to question status quo. Of course there is much we can learn from each other and those who have gone before, but as Angela Maiers says, YOU MATTER and you have a contribution to make, but only when you give yourself the time to truly know and trust yourself. That requires carving out some time away from the noise, and the constant pursuit of ‘what other people think’. AND if you’ve watched the movie “The Fault In Our Stars” based on the book by John Green, you’re familiar with the idea that even when you impact only 1 person, that impact is deeply felt and matters (whether anyone else even knows about it.)
As we’ve all become publishers, our tendency to indulge our narcissistic selves has taken over and our need for attention, what brings true happiness is when you are helping other people (YOUR people), when you believe that you have made a difference/an impact but with the onset of ‘social’ and uber connectivity, we’ve begun to angle for better positioning within our sphere and robbing us of true connectivity. The chase for FAME is empty.
There was a study that suggests that Facebook actually makes us depressed. My sense is that the constant fight for attention, the appearance that everyone else is being more productive, having a better life and/or ‘Better’ in general, then that influences our sense of self and our own personal value.
So as business owners/entrepreneurs, how can you deliver more value, have more of an impact and feel more fulfilled? The answer comes when you walk away from the noise and look for opportunities where you can think of others for the sole reason to be helpful.
I do believe that the smallest touch can have a great impact and that ultimately that needs to be the focus. It’s a challenging line to walk and I often struggle myself but it makes for a great conversation!