By far, the area of dissatisfaction I hear about the most is those who feel stuck in their career. If that’s you, it’s time to change your strategy. Chances are, you’re making one of three mistakes:
- Doing it the old way.
- Spending Valuable Energy on The Wrong Projects.
- Not leveraging what you learn.
1. Doing It the Old Way
You’re taking the old approach to creating opportunities for yourself. You’re still going to conferences, where you’re tired of small talk on the showroom floor and late nights of drinking at the hotel bar. Or you’re trying to win at LinkedIn. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but you must ask yourself: How’s it working for you?
You’re tired of being judged for surface-level stats instead of the quality of your ideas. There’s a wealth of knowledge trapped inside you. If only your employer knew or cared.
When you attend a talk or tune into someone else’s podcast, you think: “My ideas are just as good.” But you don’t know how to get from where you are to where they are. Sometimes, you even find yourself saying nonsense like: “Welp, I’m just not one of the lucky ones.” Every day that goes by feels like another sign you’re too late. The world is passing you by, and it’s making you frustrated.
But the people you’re listening to didn’t get to where they are the old way. They found a way to move past these archaic, pre-Internet systems and use the Internet to create a new life for themselves.
When you share your ideas on the Internet, the world comes to you.
2. Spending Valuable Energy on The Wrong Projects
I have a friend who gets a terrible stomach ache every Monday. She hates her job. She’s been assigned mindless projects that dull her to sleep. The company she works for contradicts her values, and her boss treats her like dumpster trash. But she refuses to change jobs because she doesn’t think she can find another job. Multiple times a day, she says, “I must be meant for more.” (And she is!)
Maybe you feel the same way.
People face corporate stagnation because they play a game built for the 20th century. They look for jobs by sharing bland resumes that are as easy to dispose of as they were to email—easy! Instead of attracting the attention of companies who motivate, challenge, and inspire them, they distribute themselves so wide that they fail to care about the companies they’re chasing.
Writing online is currency for the Internet Age. Spend your energy wisely.
3. Not Leveraging What You Learn
You devote years of your life to intense learning, only to have your knowledge disappear when you pass away. It’s a tragedy.
The poet Mary Oliver said: “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
Writing is an antidote. The pen doesn’t just preserve good ideas. It spreads them, too—between cultures and across generations.
Humanity thrives when we share ideas. All of us. Not the “smartest” one in the room or the one with the greatest degree, title, or age. Every one of us has a duty to participate in the march of knowledge—and that’s what publishing your writing does.
Never have the means of producing and distributing ideas been available to so many people. The progress isn’t slowing, it’s gaining speed. Yet, most people are too timid to share their ideas in public. Some are afraid of judgment from their peers. Others shake at the thought of criticism, even from people they’ve never met before and whose opinions they wouldn’t value if they met them in real life.
If you resist writing because you think, “Everything has been said before,” or “my ideas are not unique enough,” or “I don’t even know if I have the right ideas.,” you’re in the exact right place.
Nobody has those things before they start writing.
Through writing in public, you find your voice. Next is a cascade of opportunities leading to more freedom, meaning, and influence. Our students have used writing to grow their audience, get funding, find co-founders, shift careers, and revive their creative spark.