Stop and Listen to the Medium

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So let’s say you’re in a room, at a party maybe and there are a lot of people there. And everyone there is there for the same reason, to get noticed. To be heard and seen and perceived as important in some way or another so that they stand out in the crowd. Okay, now imagine the room stretches from Boston to LA, and those attending the party have at least one thing in common-–they are all out of work print production professionals. The first thing you might ask is, “do I have to be at this party?” For these purposes, the answer is yes.

You are an unemployed print pro, so that’s why you are there.
But do you have to stay? Well, that’s different. You are free to leave at anytime and join any other group of people looking for work. You decide to leave.

So there you are in a new room. It’s unfamiliar. The conversation is different. At first you feel like maybe you don’t belong there. The other room was filled with conversation that was so comfortable. It just felt familiar, easy. Maybe you should head back to the other party. No. You begin to listen to what’s being said. It’s not all that different at all. In fact, the more you listen, you realize that these people have a lot in common with those in the other room. They just do it without paper. They converse online with Twitter and Facebook and yes, with blogs. And the conversation is stimulating. This is a party you want to be at.

So you decide to stay, to listen to what folks are saying. You listen a lot at first because you’re a little unsure about whether you know enough to join in the conversation. You want to make a good first impression. You do have a lot to say though. You’ve been a marketing person for 25 years. It’s not so different, it’s just a different medium. But like a lifelong painter approaching a chunk of marble with a chisel for the first time, you stop yourself. You step back and listen. There will be plenty of time to talk later. Once you learn and understand the medium.

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