25 July, 2009

I Don't Blog Right

As my regular readers know and my LinkedIn groups tell me, I don't blog right. My posts are lengthy and infrequent. I'm not selling anything. I'm not running for City Council. I'm not trying to get invited to be the keynote speaker at your professional association's next convention - though two careers ago I got a few of those gigs and it was the easiest money I ever made.

"If I could get a speaking gig or two every week" I used to say, "I'd never do another honest day's work."

By the way, there is and always has been an inverse relationship between how hard I work and how much money I make. This is, of course, the opposite of what your parents, your teachers, your boss and other authority figures say. To hear your CEO tell it, he makes several thousand times more money than you make because he works several thousand times harder than you do. But I know the truth. I've cruised into some convention center where franchise owners or over-regulated business owners have gathered to network and schmooze and complain, I've stayed in a nice hotel and eaten pricey food at somebody else's expense, talked for an hour, and then left town with a check for many times my normal rate of pay.

It's no wonder there are so many people on LinkedIn who want to make a living speaking and presenting. Who wouldn't? I guess the only people who don't want to make a living this way are those people who tell the pollsters they fear public speaking even more than they fear death.

I don't believe them.

In fact, I suspect this is why so many people start bogging right before announcing that they have filed for the mayoral race or for a seat on city council. I think they believe that if they get elected to something they can just go around making speeches and having Q and A sessions with people for a living. First comes the blog, then the speaking.

I'm not saying that all bloggers or speakers are egomaniacs, but I suspect that there would be fewer bloggers and aspiring speakers and politicians and preachers if these poor people could get somebody to pay attention to them any other way.

Same goes for excessive, frivolous tweeting. In some cases, I'm convinced it's a cry for help, part of their search for significance.

I've also noticed that people start blogging and tweeting and Linking In and doing social media of all kinds when they are about to lose their jobs. Or when they want to leave their company and go to a new one.

When I worked at Lexmark I could always tell who was trying to get a promotion because they suddenly started dressing just a little better and carrying books on leadership.

People who don't blog or tweet or LinkIn or carry around leadership books until they want a promotion or a new job should put down the leadership books and read Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone and Tim Sanders' Love Is The Killer App and Harvey Mackay's Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty - all books about how to network. People who don't have the networking gene need to learn because, as I said in a previous post, competence only gets you into a game that relationships win.

As for selling something, the only things I want to sell right now are, in this order, (1) the contents of my house then (2) my house.

Perhaps I'll post again tomorrow and tell you what I was reading and thinking while I sat there in my driveway selling my possessions today.

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