It is almost 1 AM here in Texas and I am staring at the dude with the beard in the bottom middle and remembering how very different life seemed then.
Nine years ago that young buck never would have imagined life as it is today. He never would have imagined that one day he would almost burn the chicken he was cooking because the laughing boy in his arms was practicing his Haftarah. Never would have imagined listening to his daughter ask him if she was holding the phone in a way that allowed him to hear.
Technology Bridges Time & Space
Look at the picture in the upper right corner and you’ll see the laughing boy isn’t happy because he didn’t want his picture his taken. If you listen carefully you can hear the echoes of my voice telling him that one day he would appreciate pictures and that he might not be happy if he is scowling in them all.
See that big lug in the background, Moose, the wonder dog and you can see the first signs of his aging. The big lug was just starting to turn a bit white but I used to tell him not to worry because no matter what he looked like whenever I walked him women still wanted to hug him.
I would say “Moose, if I could borrow some of that natural charm I would sell a billion dollars worth of advertising and I could retire. That would be good ‘cuz we could hang out and you’d have any bone you wanted.”
Well Moose never did pass along that secret so I had to make do with my natural disposition known as “essence de Curmudgeon.” Overall it worked out because although you may not have to reinvent the wheel to be successful you still have to be more than just another imitator.
You have to have your own voice and be able to provide some sort of value.
Most Business Blogs Bore Me
Many business blogs bore me because they lack passion and personality and they lack value.
It is easy to go after the low hanging fruit of the blogosphere and write posts about how you should focus on writing great headlines, pay attention to grammar and be aware of SEO.
But you can do more. You can put yourself out there and share pieces of your humanity. It is part of how you build connections between you and the reader.
I’ll readily confess it is tied into why I included pictures of myself and my partner in crime. But the primary reason is because listening to him today damn near made my heart burst with pride.
I don’t live to work, I work to live and I do it to try to provide for my family.
Listening to him today made me think some more about what sort of speech I want to write for his Bar Mitzvah and how to say things in a way where it resonates with people.
Engagement Is Critical
What is the point of writing if you don’t move people, if you don’t spur them into some kind of action.
This is where the lines between my personal and professional life intersect. When I write a grocery list, ad, newsletter, tweet or blog post the point is to make people feel, respond and react.
When I write a Bar Mitzvah speech (yeah, that is spelled out for SEO benefits) I want my son and daughter to do more than just wait for me to stop speaking. I want them to hear, listen and internalize not just that I am proud of them but what I hope and expect them to take from this.
And it is only fair to admit that I make a similar face to my son when I see Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms used for nothing but broadcast.
The point isn’t to stand on a soapbox and yell. You have to make room for others to come up and stand next to you so that you can have a dialogue.
Successful Executives Need Sleep
One of the lessons I have tried to pass along to the not quite so little any more boy in the photos is the importance of taking care of ourselves so our minds stay sharp.
Sometimes that means you work a longer day because it is what is required to hit the deadlines you are facing and sometimes you do not do as your father and you go to bed well before 1:15 AM.
Have I mentioned how damn proud of him I am.