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  July 8, 2011
A Glimpse Behind the Curtain...

 


Back in school, I always found the "why" questions much harder to answer than the "what" questions.

Each Friday, for over two years now, I’ve been sending out an email to a few thousand customers, potential customers, friends, family and interested parties. The email is then archived (and edited for errors) to a regular blog site (www.optifuse.blogspot.com).

The site allows readers to review older blogs. Along with the text of each previously sent e-mails, a section is available for reader comments. I had hoped that the "comments section" would eventually replace the numerous private emails I receive each week from readers who share some amazing stories, creative ideas, and fantastic insights regarding the topic at hand. It hasn’t turned out the way I had planned thus far but I’m still hopeful it will take root.

Every couple of weeks a few names are added to our mailing list. Every week, a few people choose to opt out of future mailings.

Each email I send allows recipients to click on a link at the bottom to opt-out of future mailings. I realize that not everyone has the time to read my rants and ramblings and that their inboxes are overflowing with daily unwanted mail.

The service I use to send out emails (Constant Contact) allows the person opting out to state a reason as to why they decided to leave. It’s an optional field and very few people actually state a reason why they’ve decided to stop getting my weekly e-mail.

Last week there was a person who decided to opt-out of the weekly emails and wrote a very nice note in the "reason" field. She explained that although my short stories were entertaining, she found them of little use in helping her to grow her business.

I truly believe that feedback is incredibly important as it helps us to make ourselves better and grow. I applaud her honesty and candor.

The thing that really struck a nerve, however, was that she totally missed the entire point of the weekly blogs.

I don’t write the blog to tell stories about my life (or the lives of inspirational people I admire)...I tell stories to raise consciousness about how we become people, a better employers / employees, and/or better teachers. It’s about sharing ideas to create better relationships, better business models, better customer service, and a better mindset. It’s about time management, marketing, sales, creativity, people skills, goal-setting and branding.

In short, the blog is suppose to be ALL about helping her to grow her business. That’s the point. It’s not really about me (or my company).

Perhaps it’s because I write in parables that it was so hard for her to see the messages before her. Perhaps I needed to be more direct. Do this...and then do that...turn left, go 1 mile and then turn right...just like the mechanical voice of my Garmin GPS. Recalculating...

Wouldn’t it be nice if life really worked that way?

The reality is that life doesn’t follow a set formula. It’s a little (or a lot) different for each one of us. Each person on their own particular path to success.

Life is rarely about sharp turns but rather gentle bends in the road (although there are still some hairpin turns out there for us). Many of us don’t really know where we want to go...exactly...so we just drive along with some semblance of overall direction. Some of us worry a lot about running out of gas, or about what other drivers around us are doing, or whether or not we’re making good time to our next destination. Still there are others who just take time to enjoy the scenery or listen to their favorite radio program.

We are all busier than ever these days. Our time has become more valuable than our money (in reality it always was...we just never realized it...until it had run out). There are more and more demands for our precious time. Time is priceless and we need to be judicial with what time we do have.

I certainly don’t profess to have all the answers.

In fact...I’d rather spend my time asking questions than searching for answers.

What are you doing to improve your life?...your business?...your relationships? What have you learned today? Whom did you help recently? Are you happy with your life? How can I help you? What are your hopes, dreams and fears? Can I have that last popsicle in the freezer?

Judging from the e-mail responses I receive, the questions that are posed each week seem resonate with many of you. It appears that we are all asking the same questions in our own lives (well...those of you who like popsicles that is).

I just hope that the weekly blog will continue to inspire, inform and help us to understand that we are not alone in this big world.

I very much encourage you to share your stories and thoughts with the rest of the community.

It’s might seem hard to be the first one but the fact is...it’s much harder to be second or third.

Click here to take a look at one of my favorite videos that illustrates that point. It’s relatively easy to be a crazy man dancing...it’s much harder to be the first ones to join in.

Just some thoughts on the "why" rather than the "what".

Thank you for listening...and thank you for your support of OptiFuse as we grow our community together.



Jim Kalb
President
OptiFuse
jimk@optifuse.com


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