Welcome to the jungle.

Welcome jungle

Are you game?

Politico: Wall Street collapsed again on Friday, extending a brutal market rout that threatens to dent Democrats’ chances in 2016 and give a boost to Republicans who say the world is an increasingly dangerous mess.
The Dow dropped 390 points on Friday amid falling oil prices, weak U.S. economic data and more fear of a major slowdown in China. The blue chip index is off over 8 percent so far in 2016, fueling arguments from Republicans that despite consistent job growth, the U.S. economy is in deep trouble.

Welcome to the jungle.

It’s been eight years of hacking my way through the dense jungle growth of corporate America with poor visibility and unforeseen dangers lurking up every leafy walkway to negotiate my way to my next meal.

I owe my instincts to my rough and tumble upbringing and years in the corporate blender, but that’s in the past and not the reason for this post. But it in no way should diminish its importance.

I call it a “jungle” because that’s what it actually is. Although you might think you’re at Disney Land. I’ve had eight hard, confusing and tenuous years sprinkled with victories and tears beating the bushes. Being the leader of your own expedition can be a heavy, grueling task and though you might think you’re ready, most likely, you’re not.

As a matter of fact I’ll wager on it. None of us are ready at first. As I wrote in Cram and Scram, no matter what your position is these days, we’re all on shaky ground. Some of us feel the earth move, others don’t. If Carole King comes to mind, it’s intentional.

When you’re in the womb of a monolith with a symbol on the trading floor, your business relationships get impersonal in a hurry. Every daily function you perform has been conjured by committee and your sales territories are pre-populated with a long history of yeas, nays or maybes. Your job: sort ’em out and bring ’em back alive.

You have your targets set up for you like on the firing range. Similar to hunting on a game preserve. Then you’re usually managed by the minute. That’s when you learn to get cagey. You learn about storytelling and cramming your Salesforce.com with squishy information and irrational exuberance. Hemingway’s got nothing on you. They demand to hear a good story.

I’m in a deep meditation over these last eight years. Have I really been out here that long? I left the confines of that brick building with the glass doors out of total frustration. We all need a catalyst to get our cheeks out of those comfy corporate chairs, don’t we? The change comes swiftly and without prejudice.

But I can tell you after eight years out here on the hunt, in my business, most times you don’t know who or where your target is, you don’t even know what jungle you’re in. Content creativity is a strange beast in that some of your clients don’t get the real concept of inbound marketing.

They are practicing “bound” marketing. If you’ve ever been constipated, you’ll get the analogy. I can go on ad nauseum about all the mis-fires and complications consultants run into but that won’t help you right now.You’ll need your shots and a good guide. (That would be me.)

So, after 2,920 days of sleeping with one eye open, the state of my union is good. I have some PTSD. (I didn’t even get that in Vietnam) and a nervous twitch, but I am always ready to boogie. Grab that vine.

You have to come to the terms that someday you will be leading your own expedition and you will need your survival instincts intact. And that’s that platform I’m always talking about. A platform will expand your reach and influence once you . Biu you need a familiarity with the tools that are available to and there are many. Don’t get crazy though. Get comfortable with one. It’s like discharging a shotgun in a phone booth these days. (They still have phone booths?)

Here are the most critical (planks) to any successful platform.

  • Video
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook

These are tools, not toys. Not pass throughs or witty cartoons, goofy Youtubes or graphics your friends pass along to you. Nonsense won’t move your audience. You wanna play? Go to the schoolyard! You wanna eat? Pay attention!

Each one has the power to reach and influence your intended audience so put in the time and research to keep your tribe interested and engaged. To be a well rounded communicator you will need a great deal of empathy and not blab away just to hear or see yourself talk.

For most, on the first pass, you are interrupting them and you know what they say about good first impressions. I will be discussing each one of these valuable tools, how I think about them, use them, what’s appropriate for certain audiences and how I get the word out on the street in future posts.

In the meantime if you have any questions or would like a more detailed explanation of the benefits of becoming your own voice, feel free to reach out here in the comments section.

If you have any questions or need personal advice, please feel free to view my work here.

Bob O’Hearn

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Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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