I have to give props to this excellent blog article that caught my eye with its fabulous title the other day: Talk - Action = Shit by Bradley Richardson (http://www.bradleyrichardson.com/blog/thoughtleaders) As we are coming up with our new leadership program in July, where being your word is the quintessential cornerstone to running a great business...it reminded me how on both a personal and business level people use the the Internet as a veil to talk a big game, but when it comes down to the action of their words its just a cloud of 'gas'.
On a business level, there are thousands and thousands of online businesses popping up everyday. I look at their cookie cutter formats and promises, and self proclaimed accolades and quite honestly it gives me an eye-rolling headache. As an educator who has been teaching since I was 17 years old, it really makes me sad when one day someone out of nowhere claims to be "the best deal, for the most value" or have "everything you need to learn to get started as an industry professional", or "top celebrity makeup artist teaches you all their secrets"... I'm sorry, but where is the list that these people "top" artists are at the top of? And what part of the industry are you providing "everything" someone needs to get started?
Ok, so now let me push the pause button on the rant fest. Verbal vomit is great for authentic expression and momentary awareness but it really does nothing if you don't apply it introspectively. Being your word and turning talk into action is one of the most glorious experiences a human being can have. And let's be honest, the experience is probably even more amazing because in the secret hidey-holes of our souls, we all - including myself - have at some point bullshitted ourselves expertly. I have made claims on what I stand for and what I will never do, and have had my own fall-off-the-wagon moments. It's humanity. And truthfully, unless you are a monk/nun/recluse and can rid yourself of all the distractions of life, there are moments where you'll have the "fuck its", throwing your ideals to the wind. I do it personally (more often) and in my business (rarely). There have been occasions we'll cut a corners as long as it seemingly affects no one..But in the end it always affects someone.
Someone somewhere is always being affected by cutting a corner, falling behind in their word, falling short. Usually the person is ourselves.
The beautiful thing about this is at any given moment, we can restore this integrity. In fact I have had more respect for a business owner that has fucked up, and with amazing customer service has fixed the situation and acknowledged its affect on me, rather than one that just sweeps it under the rug. You need the action to match your claims, otherwise no one will trust you... As a friend or a business.
If you are going to tell you're friend you will come to their birthday party, work function, private social engagement (fill in the blank)... and you keep dropping out, even if it is "not your fault", or "out of your control" ... It is still your responsibility to acknowledge the impact it has on your friend and make good on your word. If you are going to make claims in your business that you have the best education out there and are creating the most value for your students, then you had better be prepared to receive feedback on all ends to make sure you match that claim. It's a huge responsibility and if you want to hold that claim, you need to cross every "T", and dot every "I", double and triple check yourself. If there is something that will come across to your audience as bullshit or "hot air", then own it and fix it. We need not to strive for perfection, just excellence. Best not to claim to be the best, let others claim it on your behalf because you were too busy being it to talk about it.