A number of recent events have me thinking about the notion of caring: Caring about issues, caring about our work, caring about our communities, caring about the people around us.
In his weekly email, Chris Brogan wrote: “The best wave of media making is upon us: personal media. And it’s not a small-vs-big company story. It’s about people who care about connecting with their buyers and the community they serve. It’s about people who understand that lazy robot marketing and business practices don’t work. And it’s about you. It’s about you choosing to connect with the kinds of people who make you feel like they see you, like they’re there to help you.”
I was so happy to read this, because it validates that just maybe I’m onto something. In 2014, I put myself out there and cared about the work in a new way and had the privilege of working with some people who felt the same. This included expanding my work in the area of workplace mental health and mental illness, focusing on some human rights issues I care about, and getting more actively involved in entrepreneurship and new business startups.
The risk of doing this? Becoming emotionally involved with your work does mean you expose yourself to getting “hurt”. So what can we do to protect ourselves without sacrificing the quality and worth of our work? I posed this question to some of my “connections”. Here’s what they had to say:
- Trust yourself and if you need validation, ask your trusted colleagues to give you feedback on what you’re doing.
- Keep going. Accept that some days will suck when you feel knocked down.
- Make a checklist to remind yourself of all the positives.
- Have fun! Remember that discourage is actually 3 words “A DISCO URGE”. Get up and dance – or imagine yourself doing so for a good laugh.
- Laugh. And laugh.
- Balance your attention on work with the other things that make up who you are.
- Stay in the present, stay positive.
- Celebrate that your business is not just about numbers. It’s about who you are.
- Decide what you’re prepared to give up in allowing your emotions to come to work with you.
- Understand that there will be others who don’t care like you do.
- Be prepared to let some things go (see previous point).
- Be selective and aware. Choose when it’s best for your business and for you to leave your emotions at the door.
What would you add?
While many say to “Keep your emotions out of your work” I agree with Chris that the best is yet to come. Better media, better marketing, better content, and better connections…when we’re brave enough to show we care.
My upcoming eNews is all about caring enough about your prospects and clients to tell them why you need them – which I think is as important as telling them why they need you. If you haven’t subscribed sign up here.
That great feature photo? My partner Michael Fournier snapped it. He cares.