Ever since LinkedIn launched the functionality whereby just about everyone can post actual articles onto the platform, I have been tasting the offerings published. This activity has resulted in some pleasing insights. It has also resulted in some insults to my intelligence.
I admit, I was pleased when I heard this function was being launched as I saw it as an opportunity to leverage my positions as a published author, speaker and trainer. Of course, so did everyone else.
I do not have a business degree. Nor do I have an MBA. I also have never: run a big company; invented something marvellous; swum naked across the arctic; helped others make millions through my sage advice.
So I waited awhile before sharing on LinkedIn to see what others were doing. It’s all 3 Rules 3 for , 5 Pieces of Advice that, 7 tips for and so on. Well, hell, I teach that Prime Numbers are easy to remember and that if you’re going to make any kind of presentation it’s good to use them. It just looks so… trite when you see ten articles, one after the other, doing it.
But what’s really alarming, and what stopped me from writing these articles for LinkedIn, is how many people who have no intellectual or reputational capital, trying to leverage it by writing these things on LinkedIn. It’s clear from the writing styles, the content and the terrible constructions that 90% of these pieces will never get published anywhere else except by the author on LinkedIn.
Which is OK. I mean isn’t that the whole point? But I get the feeling that someone should explain to them how badly they are damaging their reputations by appearing conceited, lazy and ignorant.
What makes it worse is that, the other 10% are by credible, articulate, thoughtful people who have written pieces that share insight, tips and advice in the most amazingly open handed way. It’s just so hard to wade through the detritus to get to them.
So, it got me to thinking: what DO I have that I could pound up into a 500 worder of pithy advice with 5 or 7 searingly insightful tips? I have worked for myself since 1995. I have worked across a wide-spectrum of inter related businesses, I have started 4 of my own companies, I have published 6 books, I have gone completely bust broke 3 or 4 times and recovered, I have no formal training in ANYTHING that I have ever done and I am still alive to tell the tale.
Thing is, all these things… all these stories for me hinge so powerfully on WHO you are, WHERE you are, WHAT you already have, WHY you are doing things, WHEN in your life you are doing things and HOW you go about it that, philosophically speaking, I just feel there is no neatly distillable advice that can be teased out of it all.
But hey, it’s worth a try. So…
Most of the mistakes I made can be traced back to my own ignorance, hubris and/or stubbornness.
My tips look a bit like this:
1) Do your homework on the thing you are trying to do
2) Work really, really hard
3) Seek out and listen to the advice of people who know what they are doing
4) Do what you love (it’s not worth the blood sweat and tears if you don’t)
5) And do not give up. (it’s fine however to change your mind)
DISCLAIMER: I really, really, did not follow my own advice that well in the course of gathering the experience to compile this list of tips.
Oh and look, it’s a prime number: 5 tips!