Put yourself out there

Figuring out what you want in life can sometimes be difficult but when you do figure out my advice to everyone is: Put yourself out there!

Recently I have been having some really interesting discussions about producing, creating, and sharing. The first discussion started during a meeting where a fellow colleague of mine (let’s call her Sharon) was discussing a friend of hers (let’s call the friend Amanda). This friend of hers, Amanda, had been pitching a television idea to a few executives only to find out that it would be turned down. However, only months later a very similar television show is now one of the most exported shows from Canadian broadcasting yet. Amanda was heartbroken. This lead Sharon to telling me all about how terrible the television industry can be. While I am usually all ears and ready to listen my response was something that I don’t think Sharon was ready to hear. While I sympathized with Amanda’s story I was not willing to bend on the fact that one singular television show idea should completely define Amanda and her work. My response was something like ‘well I hope she has continued to work on really amazing shows.’ What I heard back was sad. Sharon proceeded to tell me that Amanda was crushed and that after this heartbreak she was thinking of switching into a new industry. End of story 1.

Secondly, I remembered about a month ago reading a great piece from Rian about Going Out on a Limb so I had to go back and re-read her great piece on the topic. In particular I loved this line: I hope you have something like that, something that pushes you to get out into the world and be more “you.”

Thirdly, as a I continue to do some research and write a few notes on several books I am writing/dreaming I revisited Hugh MacLeod’s amazing book Ignore Everybody And 39 Others Keys to Creativity. I loved the simplicity of the read and the advice given the first time I read the book. Nothing changed the second or third time for me. Hugh’s idea around keep producing and working hard is just common sense and something that we don’t hear or put into action often enough. I mean if we love doing something why don’t we just do it?

Then the next thing that happened as this post was beginning to take shape I woke up yesterday only to find that my good friend, Susan Murphy, had written this piece: The number one thing holding you back from creating great content. Suze had written this piece so nicely and for me the message around FEAR being the number one thing holding people back really resonates. I work with people and organizations all the time that are afraid of putting themselves out there. They have these brilliant ideas or these amazing talents and they just never seem to be willing to believe in themselves and put themselves out there. Just like Suze said, it’s because people are afraid. Think about it, how many friends do you have that you encourage to bake more or sing more or dance more because they have amazing talents. We all know friends who amaze us with their hidden talents and we are very quick to point them out, we encourage them to share their talents with us, we sign them up for karaoke, we drag them to open mic nights, we post their poems up, we ask them to be in videos, we love them and we push them. But when the finger gets pointed back at us we tend to shy away from it, why is that? 

Then I saw this amazing demonstration of this young girl PUTTING HERSELF OUT THERE and I just had to write this post and share the story:


I mean really in truly what did this girl have to lose? She was either going to get a job offer, which I’m sure she never thought would actually happen, or Ellen would see it, think it was funny or not, would maybe show it on air and have a good laugh or not, or the WORST thing Ellen that could happen…Ellen would never see it and nothing would happen. I mean really are any of those things really that bad? She tried it, she put herself out there and it paid off. Yes I know this is an exceptional example but I could post at hundreds of more links that have articles written on the same topic and/or have similar stories to the young lady on the Ellen show. So I ask this again, what are you waiting on? What hidden talent do you have? What do you want to do in this world? Why the hell are you not doing it?

So what are you doing, why are you still reading this post? Get out there!

Don’t fail to have a great career

When Larry Smith’s video from TEDx Waterloo first came out I was one of the first people to watch it in awe. I loved it, Mr. Smith was speaking my language. It’s true you know, most people will fail to have a great career. Not for any other reason than they have let themselves, in fact they have even talked themselves into a career that is not as stellar as the one they once imagined or dream of now. That’s not to say that many others along the road don’t help out but man do we, as human beings, usually do a number on ourselves. We talk to ourselves a lot in negative tones, in disbelief, and we are really afraid of failure. What if we slip up? What if we look silly? ‘What if’s’ out the ying-yang and instead we often choose the easiest path, the one that is filled with praise, A’s, and gold stars. We choose the path that those around us tell us (sometimes openly, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes what we have convinced ourselves to hear) we will be best at. Now most of you will get in this ‘chosen’ career and feel comfortable, you will learn along the way to deal with some of the bumps, you will put in several years months (remember I’m dealing with millennials now and believe me, we, yes I’m close to being one of you, think we should go from school to CEO and that we could run the company better than anyone) before you start to resent how the office/place of employment runs.

Well Larry Smith has some wonderful things to say about all of this so I will leave you with him now. But please do think of 2 things for me:

  1. What are your passions? Really, what are they (yes they, you have more than 1, work to figure out what they are, WORK!)? How could you use them to earn some money?
  2. What pisses you off about this world? What would you do to change it?
Now a little Larry Smith: