That’s the only word to describe what it’s like to open up my phone and look at the emails I’ve gotten since I went to bed last night. That’s the only word to describe my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Not to mention the phone calls I get from numbers I don’t know, or people trying to get things from me without offering anything in return. And I don’t think that this is uncommon.
Each day is an endless barrage of drip campaigns, follow-up emails, ICYMI posts, and sensationalized headlines. At the end of the day, when I look around, I’m met with this gloomy feeling: Are we really doing anything with our lives, or are we spending our energy trying to make it look like we’re doing things?
I’ve spent the past few months focused on building a personal brand. I created a YouTube channel, a public Facebook profile, a blog, and started tweeting and posting on different social media outlets.
I was told that it was crucial to make sure I was posting consistently, that I must tweet 3 times per day, post on Facebook at least once per day, blog at least every week, put together video content to release, build myself as a personal brand. I did this for a few months, and after that experience, I just have one thing to say:
Why would I inundate the world with useless information or sloppily put together or empty blog posts, just for the sake of consistency? While many people with incredibly strong personal brands do put out great content on a consistent basis, this isn’t what I do. I build businesses and that’s what I will continue doing. I speak online when I have something I feel I truly need to say, otherwise I observe.
I used to criticize Elon Musk’s social presence because I never thought he leveraged his position enough, but I’ve finally understood that he knows exactly what he’s doing, and that he can create much more value building his companies than he could by spending his time writing blog posts and posting motivational articles.
During a discussion on how to play through a jazz solo, the great trumpet player, Wynton Marsalis, told me that you can tell a trumpet player’s personality from the way he plays. He likened the notes you would play to a conversation. Sometimes people talk too much, they don’t leave any notes out. A great solo happens when the soloist knows exactly what they want to say, and they let the audience react to what they are saying with pauses and breaths. For years this has stuck with me, and once again I reflect back on it.
We’ve become so lost in being noticed that we’re constantly playing our horns, just to let the world know that we can. We’ve lost the ability to make a statement or say something, because we’ve just want our existence acknowledged. We see others who have found success in playing their horns loudly, so we try to play louder with no focus on what notes we play or more importantly, which notes we don’t play.
I write this post not to offend anyone who make a career out of posting blogs, recording podcasts, etc. I have a lot of friends who create and put out incredible content through their channels. But I truly believe that greatness is recognized, and by doing too much, you cover it up. And to close with a sports analogy,
Kobe Bryant never had to write a blog post for people to know he was great.