Gonna be Starting Something New
Published: August 08, 2014 (about 4 years ago)
Updated: about 4 years ago
Every once in a while, a number of good ideas that I’ve been churning in the back of my brain but never quite figured out how to do something useful or cohesive with finally gels. For the past week (first week of August 2014), I have been flying through pulling together a wealth of ideas into one cohesive package for a complete relaunch of the Cybrains website.
For years, my consulting website has simply sat there acting little more than a giant business card for me. In other words, it just wastes electrons and does nothing fantastic or otherwise for anybody encountering the website. Meanwhile, one of the things I’ve been grappling with for probably ten years with Cybrains now is how to really get out there and help people. I have a passion for technology, and I want to see people have nothing but joy when it comes to using computers and getting things done, especially online and for their businesses. Altruism is in the very core of my being and I rejoice my client’s successes. But I have never quite figured out just how to truly reach the masses with my endeavors through Cybrains. I’ve been consistently successful in helping my clients with their technological needs, whether big or small, short-term or really long-term. My personal frustration is that it has just been incredibly minimal comparatively to what I have to offer the world.
Which begs the question: Why is that?
I have been in this conversation once too many:
Potential Client: “I need a website.”
Me: “What do you need it to do?” (assuming he already knows at this point!)
Client: “Well, I don’t really know. I just know I need it to be really professional and draw in lots of business online.”
Me: “Do you have a logo, color scheme, and content ready to go?”
Client: “I got a logo, but its not a very good one. What content do I need?”
Me: “You need at least a home page, about page with your picture and who you are, and contact page.”
Client: “Wow, that’s a lot, but I’m no writer and I’m not sure I can pull that info together.”
Me: “Don’t worry, I can walk you through it. You should also consider blogging, setting up a Facebook and Twitter account and getting an email address that matches your domain.”
Client: “That’s really overwhelming me. I don’t have time to blog and interact socially online and build a business!”
At this point, my internal snarky quipper (which may occasionally be voiced out loud) goes, “then why are you wanting to do anything online?”
I came to realize two things rather abruptly after I walked away from the above conversation:
1) I’m constantly helping people who will never step up to the plate to help themselves. That’s a time and energy drain for me. Watching someone who doesn’t move forward is doubly tough for me to bear. I know they need my help, but at the same time I’m an hourly consultant. If I don’t work, I don’t put food on the table. Often in the beginning, it looks like they’re going to break free and fly, so I give them a little more time. But like a truck in a muddy rut, they almost come out, then fall back each time I help and I’m left standing covered in mud. My realization here is that I’ve got to start helping the right people.
That revelation led to the next thing:
2) I need to put my knowledge out there on the Internet and give it away.
Yup. That was a hard one for me, and I had seen it written time and time again by others on the Internet that this is what I was supposed to do, but I never actually went and did it. Until now, that is.
You see, without the first revelation that I’ve been helping the wrong people, I couldn’t see how I could possibly spend so much time and effort putting together free and valuable guides and how-to’s. How could hours and hours of effort directed at no specific person be more beneficial than connecting and helping folks truly at wits ends in a one-on-one basis?
The realization that I was helping the wrong people by and large, I realized that I should just publish it all and let anyone who cares to learn to better themselves. That’s the right person to be helping. They are the ones showing true initiative to figure things out and will be the ones that ultimately succeed beyond their wildest dreams. The former potential client will ultimately succeed in his or her own way, but probably not any time soon and probably not without a lot of handholding, pushing, encouragement, and, well, frankly, stressin’ on my part. You see…I care, and it’s hard watching someone barely do anything to truly excel from the advice I so freely gave away in our conversation together.
Giving it all away online and publicly changes everything. Now the people I help will read, learn, and do something about it. They’re doing more than just bumping into me happenstance. They’re actively seeking answers and are prepared to take action on the knowledge they uncover. A million people may read and learn. A hundred may turn that knowledge into gold. I may only hear about ten of them doing so.
Guess what? That would still blow away all previous successes I have ever had in thirty years of helping people professionally. And if just one thanks me and tells me about their success, then I am well-rewarded for my caring nature and all of the foregoing and upcoming effort would have been worth it.