(Photo: Horia Varlan)
In the past few weeks I’ve been developing this, thinking a lot about this theory. It’s still a work in progress so I hope that you think about it, expand it, propose changes, remix it, refute it.
Life is about three things:
As humans have been around, we’ve relied on stories. Stories gave birth to religion as throngs of people believed a story enough to swear by it. Stories gave birth to science as throngs of people tried to explain how our world works. Stories gave birth to history, literature and a million other things.
Life is all about telling a good story. Everyone is interesting if they tell a compelling story. You sell yourself, products, ideas, through stories. You meet friends, enemies, boyfriends, girlfriends, new people, all through stories. When stories overlap, they allow us to connect and relate to one another.
Your mental perspective can change rapidly if you tell yourself a brand new story.
Alex White, the CEO of Next Big Sound, gives great talks on the importance of storytelling. Watch Alex’s recent talk from TechStars For a Day in Boulder (skip to 25:06).
Contrast in people, fashion, viewpoints, relationships, skillsets, color.
I started thinking heavily about contrast as I’ve learned how to design. Think back to Powerpoints that your classmates would give in middle school. Remember the neon green text on the yellow background that destroyed your retinas? Contrast was hard back then. It’s still hard.
Contrast makes outfits and websites beautiful. It guides our eye from one thing to the next and helps us discern vital information. Contrast helps us make decisions.
Think about the person you’re dating, or most recently dated…or whatever people do now that someone used to call dating. You guys were similar in some ways and different in others. Similarities and contrast make that other person interesting to you.
Companies with great contrast are able to be more than the sum of their parts. Specialization comes from contrast and helps create more total good in the world.
I also call this “making decisions easy for other people.”
What I mean is this: If you do your share of the legwork in most situations and communicate your desires and intentions effectively, it should be relatively easy for someone to make a yes or no decision.
Non-verbal communication also falls into this category, showing – not telling – the world what you want.
If I’m starting a band and I walk up to a drummer with and idea of what I want kind of music I want to play, demos, a little knowledge of his past projects, the musicians who influence me and who I imagine the band sounding somewhat like, he or she can take all of that info, know that I’m semi-legitimate (at the very least) and make a decision from there.
If I want something from you, I need to do my part to communicate that I’m thorough, that my plans are thought-out and that my intentions are just.
Like I said before, this is all a theory. I hope that I can evolve and expand upon this as time goes on. I hope you modify this and lend your input, if you feel so inclined.
If you enjoyed this post, I would be flattered if you followed me on Twitter.
Written communication is so underrated. Even your tweets say a lot about you. Here are some quick tips to help you become a better writer quickly:
- Write out each main point you want to hit in a piece. Those bullets lead your effort and are each piece of your argument. Support those points to show you know what you’re talking about.
- Proofread your work.
- Read what you’ve written out loud as you proofread.
- Understand when to use your/you’res, its/it’s and there/they’re/theirs.
- Write for 1-2 people you know really well.
- Consider your audience and write for them.
- Try not use gross generalizations. Try to avoid words like “never,” “always,” “everybody” and “nobody.”
- Use commas where you would naturally pause if you read that same sentence out loud.
- Get names correct every. single. time.
- Don’t be complex just for the sake of sounding intelligent. A well-made point will do that for you.
- Have a friend read over or edit your writing before you publish.
There’s a lot of time and attention online devoted to the personal brand, from techniques on crafting your brand to managing it, blah blah blah.
Stop for a second and ask yourself “Where do I want my traffic to funnel into?” What is the flow of everything I do online? Where am I directing new readers, new fans, et cetera?
Yesterday, I deleted my other blog and wrote down each service I use and what it links to. The whole point is to avoid confusion and allow your readers or fans to easily find you.
This blog links to About.me, my company’s website and Twitter. You can also email me. For this blog, that’s enough.
On About.me, you can find my LinkedIn as well as Twitter, 59thirty and this blog.
On Twitter, you get funneled here.
The point is, I want to build my blog and more importantly, I want you to get here to read it without confusion.
So take a minute and stop crafting that “social strategy” you probably won’t stick to and manage the flow of all of your profiles.
Once you’ve done that, make content that you love. Readers will come; don’t stress out. I love to write and I fucking miss it. Some people will like my stuff and my viewpoints, some people won’t. That’s life.
Hope to see you around my blog again.
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