Prefer to hear me read this to you? Listen here.
I’ve been running this business for 10 years.
In that time, there’s been a recession. Racist riots. A presidency so hated its start depressed online business for a quarter. And now a global pandemic that has everyone losing their shit.
On the micro level, I moved countries upwards of a dozen times. Got married, and divorced. Lived some of the best days of my life, and also had six weeks of depression and suicidal desires so deep I literally didn’t get out of bed. Nearly went out of business and took up bartending. Grew two businesses and partnered in two more.
And, throughout all of that, I’ve had a choice. Do I write? Do I get on my platform and talk to you this week? Or do I pause?
Everything in the marketing world says, “Write, write, write, write, OMG WRITE, if you have one moment of silence, you’re done, it’s over, your business will end.”
The world at large is divided between, “Fucking hell it’s insensitive to writing while there’s crazy shit going on!” and “If you don’t write you’re abdicating your duty to your audience, and that makes you a bad person.”
I’m betting you’ve had that dichotomy presented to you, too.
The world’s a garbage fire, stop what you’re doing, because how could it possibly matter when things are like this?
The world’s a garbage fire, don’t you DARE stop what you’re doing, because (1) you’ll go bankrupt and die alone and (2) you have a responsibility to step up and be a leader in times of crisis.
Here’s a third choice: champion your conversation.
I talk a lot about this — how I believe we’re all born with a conversation to champion, and we have a responsibility to do so. How you have that thing that’s yours to act on, yours to be in relationship with, yours til death do you part. Your conversation to hold.
I still believe that. And I’d like to point out that conversations have pauses.
There are natural ebbs and flows in them. Periods where you sit in silence with the other.
You don’t converse with people by standing there endlessly monologuing at them. That’s off-putting, and inhuman.
Conversation is a fundamentally human act, and as such, must work with the rhythms of humans. Otherwise it’s just screaming.
(And I think we have quite enough of that already, yes?)
So if you’re stuck down in the “do I post/don’t I post, do I work/don’t I work” thing, maybe think about it from the stance of conversing instead.
Maybe remember that the reason we have this drive to talk at each other all.the.damn.time. is because marketers said so, because that pace feeds the desires of an algorithm and an industry, instead of humans.
Maybe remember that you will never post enough, talk enough, be enough to fulfill those needs, and that even companies with entire teams dedicated to filling those needs only meet a relative minority of people.
Maybe remember that your conversation is YOURS to champion, and you do it in your way.
And right now, that way may be a pause.
All are called. But the calling and the human are in equitable relationship and equal measure. Always.