“I want to be challenged by people smarter than myself. It’s why I became a participant and also why I’m making this move.” – David Armano talking about his transition to Dachis Corporation
I love this. I won’t presume to know what David was making at Critical Mass or what he’s getting at Dachis Corporation. But either way, I suspect it would have been a lot easier to stay put in Chicago with his wife and boys and continue playing his role at Critical Mass. After all, he was good at it.
It’s so easy to fall into a state of contentment where you are comfortable in your role in school, in work, in life. We’ve all had periods of time where long weeks at work have taken their toll on us, and in an effort to keep from burning out we toss the keys on the counter and sink into the couch the second we get home.
We’re busy at my office, really busy, and in an effort to keep pushing the tempo I’ve brought work home quite a bit recently. By the time I’ve spent a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon working through a proposal, I’ve found myself apathetic to my own endeavors outside the office.
Some people will say good; your day job takes priority. That’s true, but it’s still unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because my other endeavors help me immensely become a better employee for my everyday work. It inspires me, and reinvigorates me for another week in the office. Because my day job revolves around social media, it also enables me to learn tactics and polish skills that will invariably help me in the office.
Think of it as supplemental work during a college course. You know, the stuff you would never do because your professors said it wasn’t mandatory, but would really benefit you. Yeah, I didn’t do it then either, but now I can’t wait to do it most days. I love talking to Lewis Howes about the intersection of sports and social media. I love talking to Charlie Hoehn about really common sense marketing techniques everyday companies should be employing.
I can learn a lot from these conversations, but here’s the catch: I learn the most from myself after having these discussions because both of these guys (and countless others –thank you all) challenge me to walk away from those conversations and dig deeper. People like Susan and Matt don’t let you get away with skimming the surface.
As bloggers, we are in a very small percentage of people creating content for other people to read, interpret, analyze and dissect. In general we’re relatively smart and pretty ambitious, and it’s easy to forget that we’re not always right, in fact it’s not even about being right, but about having discussions that enable us to learn a lot more about ourselves and the things we’re passionate about.
And when you do? It’s an extremely satisfying feeling, one that’s akin to finishing 6th in an 8K mud run!
When I talked to Lewis last weekend, he ended the conversation with, “You’re doing some big things, just keep grinding.” It was the kick in the butt I needed to realize that I just have to stay consistent, and keep clawing to break through all the inertia. Surprisingly, something as simple as that helped me answer a handful of consulting e-mails that had been hanging over my head, catch up on my reader (and a few books), connect with some people I had been wanting to reach out to via LinkedIn, have drinks with an intelligent sports marketer, and write this post.
I think we all need these kick in the butts sometimes to remind us of our destination. Maybe it’s a database of quotes, watching an inspirational movie, checking out a Gary V video, or chatting with a friend who refuses to let you settle.
Maybe these people are smarter than us. I guarantee you 95% of the blogs I’m subscribed to are people that are smarter than me. And I love learning from these individuals, but sometimes it’s just someone who ‘gets us,’ and what makes us tick. Sometimes it’s completely unexpected.
The point is that ordinary people come home from their jobs everyday and sink into the couch. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you aspire to be extraordinary perhaps you should take a chapter out of David’s book, and truly challenge yourself when you start to feel that comfortable level of complacency creeping into your life.
What do you do to effectively shake up your own status quo? Who do you turn to when you need a kick in the butt? Where do you turn when you need inspiration for a post? A new project?
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