A couple of weeks ago I was in Lincoln, Nebraska for a charity event and I was able to meet Ali Schwanke, a fellow speaker at the Digital Crush marketing conference last October (2019). After coffee, she gave me a tour of her office. It was very impressive and I particularly liked the breakout rooms that were named after well-known, highly successful marketers. People like Seth Godin, David Ogilvy, Rand Fishkin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Ann Handley.
After the tour we said goodbye and I drove from Lincoln to Omaha. As I was driving I was thinking about things and thinking about the tour and the people who had rooms named after them.
At that moment, I realized that not a single one of them were under the age of 40. When I think of the young professionals ready to light the world on fire, I can’t help but think about how much they still have to learn. How much they’ll always have to learn.
I think about how much context they’ll need to truly do great things and, unfortunately, how impatient many are.
But it’s not just young professionals looking to make the leap to the next rung of the career ladder.
Anyone with a big vision and career aspirations experiences this.
What happens if you get that new role - then what?
What happens if you start that business and you’re flooded with customers - then what?
There’s always something. There’s always more to learn. That’s the point.
What’s also the point is to focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be. Focus on being so great at what you do that people can’t ignore you. That promoting you or trying to steal you away from your current company is the only option.
Be great at what you do and be visible. Dig in and get your hands dirty. Understand and do as much at each level that you can. Don’t rely on books and videos. Everyone has access to those things. Not everyone has the commitment and foresight to do the hard part.
Do the work, then engage with people. Help people. Share your knowledge and perspective with people. Gain knowledge and perspective from others. You’ll help others and they’ll help you.
Don’t hoard knowledge. It doesn’t help anyone.
Photos Courtesy of Ali Schwanke @ SimpleStrat