Speaker. Entrepreneur. Author.

How to Move On

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Before you move, mourn

Lament that it didn’t work out. 

Cry a little. 

Shrug your shoulders, rethink a decision or two, wonder what could have made it work. Acknowledge the shortcoming before you get to going. 

This mourning - and its reconciliation - is really the first step towards what’s next. You must own, name, and perhaps even celebrate the failure. 

Otherwise, you may repeat it until you call it out

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Are you Defining or Embodying?

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Are you defining your industry? Or are you embodying another player in it? 

Here’s what I mean.

Saying you’re the Blank of Blank is embodying something. “We’re the Facebook of Auto Repair” means I have a point of reference for your pitch or idea. As a customer, I know a bit more about what you do. Even if not completely accurate, I can make some assumptions, and we’re that much farther along toward a working relationship. 

Now, when you embody a company in another field, make sure that comparison is favorable. Don’t be “The Enron of Ice Cream.”

But, if you are bold enough and willing to break the mold, you can define an industry. Before Facebook, there wasn’t much in the social networking space. Sure, they could have said they were “The MySpace of College Students” but why? What was MySpace? “The Friendster for Second Adopters?” It was still very early in the game and the field was ripe for definition.

Very quickly, it didn’t matter. Facebook defined the category and became enough of a behemoth to birth a series of embodiers. 

Build what you want, and as you do, have as your goal a category- or industry-defining moment. Until then, embody like crazy, baby! People will catch on and then crown you as unique as you wanna be. 

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Added on by Sam Davidson.

"I'm not looking for someone who's unafraid," he said. "I'm looking for someone who's strong."

And at that moment she knew she could face the night, scared, but strong enough to will the daylight into existence.

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5 Thoughts on Paying Your Dues

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Generation Y (Millennials) hates paying their dues. I was going to link to an article to prove that to you, but just Google "Gen Y paying dues" and you'll see there are about a million people weighing in. 

And while I don't fault anyone not wanting to do work that's meaningless, I do think that the idea of paying dues is rife with assumption. So, in order to set the record straight on due-paying, here are five ideas on why we've all got to pay some dues now and then:

  1. A lot of people don't want to pay dues. Meaning, they don't want to do work that is hard, difficult or without glamour. So if you're willing to sweat a bit, you'll immediately stand out. 
  2. Dues are subjective. One person's coffee errands are another person's strategy session.
  3. Everything has dues - Rotary, your gym, your social circle. Clearly, not all dues are bad and many are necessary to the survival of the group or organization. 
  4. There is a difference between paying dues and being hazed. Work hard, but know when you're being taken advantage of.
  5. All dues should better the group as a whole, not just the person at the top.

Most of all, don't confuse being asked to work with the notion that you're paying an unfair due. Understand the job being offered, work hard, and help everyone succeed. Let's get rid of the feeling of "dues" so we can all do what's needed to achieve success.

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How To Tell When You're Doing It Right

Added on by Sam Davidson.

This is a fascinating analysis by NPR on a guy named Glenn Gould. He was probably the best one out there playing Bach and other classical concoctions.

The NPR article shows someone deeply immersed in their work, so much that they take that work with them and return to it on a second's notice. Many folks call this "flow", which I've written about before

Compare Gould's episode (video) with this recap and idea about simply following one's passion and expecting it to turn into a career (paying work). While lovely-sounding, I think that what we're all seeking isn't just a fun job or a passionate pursuit. We want something bigger.

We want to feel that we're in the right place with the right people at the right time. And if that happens at work, all the merrier. But I'm convinced that we need to have at least one activity, one relationship, one goal, or one dream that lets us visit another place - a place where we are passionately captivated and deeply moved. 

Gould found it at the piano and it wouldn't let him go. Mike Rowe has found it by championing the jobs that are no longer considered acceptable but are still deeply needed.

Where will you find your right fit? I don't know, but I do know that when you find it, you'll be gripped to the point where it's all you want to chase down. I also know that the thing that provides you a paycheck may not necessarily also provide you this kind of meaning or right-ness. And that's okay, too. 

But don't live life without some kind of passionate fit, no matter what or where that fit is.

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