Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The sheep at the gate

Act Like You Mean Business introduction
October 10, 2011

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of this actors' group I belong to and which I addressed last month. Person after person came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed the presentation and how helpful it was.

Sometimes I start to think that my material is fluff. But then the more direct feedback I get from people the more I realize that this stuff I'm spouting is good. Really, really good.

And I'm starting to kind of pity the fools who don't recognize it. The blog editors, the trade reporters, the TV and radio people, the professional associations. The people I'm constantly, constantly pitching. Some of them get it, but many don't.

And the trouble is, too many people in positions of decision-making authority abdicate their responsibility. They choose to be gatekeepers instead of curators. Instead of judging a person or idea or trend on its merits and putting themselves in the happy position of sharing something new and exciting with their audience, they just conduct a credentials check. Show me your papers!

How many Twitter followers and Facebook friends and blog subscribers do you have? Who else has published your stuff? Where have you been booked?

So that's what the gatekeepers look at, and that's why we constantly see and hear the same tired things from the same kind of people (old men with mustaches) over and over and over again.

I am busting my butt to break out of this. Bit by bit, with every speech (just booked my fifth one yesterday), every article (another being published any day now), every interview (just got a nice nibble from a national radio program). And someday it will all pay off. I know it will. And then the people who had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor will be left kicking themselves for their lack of foresight.

These are the same people who lament that they did not buy Apple stock when it was $10 a share. But will they change their behavior? Will they exercise a bias for the fresh and new versus the tried and true? Will they take a risk? Let go of their fear? Dare to do something different?

Probably not.

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