It’s Hard to Help People Help Themselves

Help
Photo Cred: Dimitri N.

A couple of months ago, I hosted an event in Philly.  It didn’t have the turnout I was expecting  and so I was a little bummed.   My friend Valeria Maltoni came up to me and said “It’s hard to help people help themselves.”

Those words really stuck with me.  I’ve given it great thought. Why wouldn’t people want to be helped? Are they just lazy?  So lazy that they wouldn’t even do the bare minimum to get something?  Or is it something else?

Then, I read Chris Brogan‘s newsletter today…and it all came together.  He said,

Look at your efforts through others’ eyes. Now, in measuring your self-worth, your own eyes are the only ones that matter, but in trying to better understand how well you’re serving people’s needs, try to see it from their side. Are you quick to pounce? Do you have their interests at heart or yours? The more clarity you can bring to this, the better you’ll do.”

So many “professionals” claim to be providing a valuable service, but are really just interested helping themselves. They have a backwards mentality.  Instead of building a more valuable product, they’re concerned with making their product LOOK more valuable. They’re pretending to help customers.

There are many of you that are really trying to help.  Unfortunately [potential] customers don’t believe that you’re actually trying to help them.  They think that you’re trying to take their time and money for your own gain.

They don’t believe you because they’ve been fooled too many times.  They’ve lost trust.

That’s why it’s hard to help people help themselves.

Are you really helping or are you just pretending to help?

Edit: Marissa Pherson left a comment on this post over on Brazen Careerist and linked to a speech that I thought was really smart and relevant.  It speaks about the difference between “helping” and “serving”.

btw…if you haven’t signed up for Chris Brogan’s newsletter yet, you’re truly missing out.  It’s really the only newsletter I’ve ever enjoyed and the only one I actually read through. I highly recommend you try it out.

14 Ways a Blog Will Help You Get a Job

keyboardNot everyone should start a blog…you should only start one if you are ready to commit to it and you have something to contribute.

If you think you can do that, then starting a blog is one of the most valuable tools you can utilize to get a job.

Starting a blog shows…

  1. your commitment to your field.
  2. your writing skills.
  3. your communication skills.
  4. your knowledge in your field.
  5. you… on search engines.
  6. how you deal with criticism and feedback.
  7. that you’re always thinking about issues and trends.
  8. your creativity.
  9. your persistence in maintaining the blog.
  10. your ability to bring new ideas to the table.
  11. your ideals and beliefs.
  12. your level of thought leadership in the community.
  13. your network and your ability to network.
  14. your love for what you do.

continue the list in the comments!  How else does having a blog help someone get a job?

When in Doubt, Ask Your Readers!

postitsSo between being sick, work piling up at school and the uncanny ability of the social media community to cover so many great topics, I’ve found it to be increasingly difficult to come up with creative content for this blog.  I could write a hundred posts about cliche social media discussions but it just seems pointless when they’ve already been covered (very well) by other bloggers.

Swooping in to save the day is none other than Darren Rowse of Problogger with a post providing 7 Ways to Keep Fresh Content Flowing On Your Blog.  Darren provides some great advice on coming up with creative blog posts during those times that every blogger faces at some point.  The one suggestion that I really loved was to involve your readers.  He writes, “stuck for a topic to write about? Ask your readers to ask questions. A post inviting reader questions can draw out some great ideas to write about.”

It makes sense.  I mean when it comes down to it, I am writing this blog to provide value to my readers. I come up with ideas that I think would be of value to you, but if you already know what information you want, why not let you choose the topics?

So that is what I’m doing.  I’m calling out to you, my readers to leave a comment or send an email (dspinks5@gmail.com) with questions that you are interested in having me answer.  Anything dealing with social media, marketing, PR, college, or anything else on which you think I’d be able to provide insight.  I promise I will do my best to address any questions you have to the best of my ability and if I can’t, I will bring in someone who can.