How good are you at sharing? Here’s the thing, your mother was right. Sharing is something that should be ingrained in your DNA.
But not everyone shares. I get it. If we hold our cards closer to our chest, nobody can see what type of hand we have. It is natural to protect your “secrets.” As people get older, they tend to clam up.
Today, I want to share (yep, that word again) my thoughts on why you should think about sharing more.
Sharing the Struggle
Life is hard. Business is too. Some days it feels like we are the king of the mountain, and the next day, one of your biggest clients drops you like a hot potato. It is a roller coaster.
Do you have people to confide in about this stuff?
And while you may feel obliged to confide your emotions and struggles with your spouse or best friend, sometimes they lack industry perspective. That is why they nod their head and say stuff like “It will be ok,” but that feels hollow and of little use.
Throwing what’s happening into the stinky cave of a Facebook group could work. But then there are those keyboard trolls that make you feel crappy. There is always that one guy. You know who I’m talking about.
This is why finding a great place to air your dirty laundry and get true value is magical.
- This could be with a group of other business professionals in your area. I’ve belonged to several business mastermind groups through the Chamber of Commerce that worked.
- Often attending industry events such as workshops, classes, or trade shows can introduce you to a fantastic peer group. Develop those relationships.
- Of course, I will use Shirt Lab Tribe as an example, as this is what this community is about.
Voicing your concerns, problems, and hardships with trusted people can help you get your bearings faster. Others may have journeyed through that issue before and can serve meaningful suggestions.
The key, though, is finding your group of supporters. What room are you in?
Sharing Work In Progress
“Here’s what I’m working on; what do you think?” This may seem a little flaky at first blush, but actually, it is very powerful.
I say that because asking for advice opens you up to criticism. People may not like your idea or current result. This is why so few people do this. They can’t take the ego strike.
Yet, if you ask trusted peers for their opinion, you can solidify things earlier. Getting a feedback loop installed is a fantastic method of building something better than if you worked on it alone.
But it takes guts to do that. It isn’t perfect yet.
I got news for you, kid; it will never be perfect. Perfection is an illusion. And, to double down on the notion of other people’s opinions, folks will always be critiquing your effort. You may as well get some valuable intel before something goes live.
Share that rough sketch. Forward the draft. Send out your new process map.
Get the feedback you need to make it better. Get it early.
Sharing Gives Back to the Community
Another notion of sharing is one of giving up your skills and expertise to the community. If you have succeeded, sending the elevator back down is important so others can be lifted up too.
This usually comes in the form of education. Speaking at trade shows. Writing blog articles like this one. Becoming a mentor to an up-and-coming business person in the industry.
Whatever you do, your act of sharing does not go unnoticed.
There are reasons why we think of an elite group of people in our community. Those guys are the O.G. rock stars. You know their names, stories, and contributions because they shared them with the world at some point.
As they say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” That key bit of knowledge you have tucked away in your head isn’t a secret. Others in this industry have that skill and knowledge too. But for someone else out there they don’t know the magic yet. Will you be the one to share it with them?
I hope so.
Sharing Expands Your Network
Believe it or not, sharing broadens your community.
When you teach a class, share a video, host a webinar, or form a group of industry friends…one of the unsung benefits is that your reach grows. People will know who you are. Varsity players recognize other varsity players.
In this industry, you don’t have to know everything. Actually, you can’t know everything. There is too much information, and it is constantly changing.
However, if you build up your network, you don’t need to be omnipotent. You just have to know the right people. The correct answer to a devious problem that is eluding you is only an email, text, or phone call away.
Sharing information is what gives you access to this network of answers. You have to give to receive.
What have you shared lately?
Sharing a 30-Day Challenge
In 2020, I attended an event, and one of the speakers suggested creating and posting a live Facebook video every day for 30 days straight. I wasn’t creating many videos at that time, and it felt incredibly awkward, but I did it anyway.
What it taught me was not to fear the camera. And to quit worrying about stumbling over myself when talking and just relax and be me. It was difficult but incredibly worthwhile.
Now, I create videos virtually every day.
Right now, I’m doing a similar exercise with learning Midjourney. This is an AI tool for creating images. If you check out my social media feeds, you can see what I’ve been posting. It has been a lot of fun, but the discipline of knowing that I need to post one thing a day has helped me continue my learning adventure with the platform.
Doing a 30-day challenge is tough because some days, you don’t feel like doing it or maybe run out of ideas. That’s ok because you learn to power through it. The mark of a professional is doing things when they don’t want to. Amateurs make excuses.
Are you an amateur or a professional?
Here’s my challenge to you. What do you need or want to learn how to do? Can you share your journey with the world once a day for thirty days in a row? Nobody is keeping score but you.
What you will find by sharing is on the other side of that thirty-day period. I’m interested to know what you discover.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and is the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.” – Brene Brown
“Public sharing is an important part of science.” – Richard Dawkins
“Sharing is how I learn.” – Laird Hamilton
Help Support This Blog
While I may be goofing around with AI for some projects, this blog and its contents have been created by me, Marshall Atkinson.
Why am I writing this? To remind you, dear reader, these words are backed by a real person. With experience, flaws, successes, and failures… That’s where growth and learning happen. By putting in the work.
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