The first time I heard this phrase, the person who said it to me was commenting on an online class I was developing. Essentially, he was telling me to stop trying to make it perfect. Get the bones of the course done and get it in front of people. The faster I could start getting feedback, the sooner I would know which parts needed work and which parts resonated with people. He was telling me to stop planning the trip and start taking the trip.
In college and with most things in life, showing people what you have done is more valuable and impressive than talking about what you hope to accomplish. Of course, you need a plan, but it does not have to be perfect. I am sure that if Tesla waited until every car was perfect going off the assembly line, there would be ninety percent fewer Telsa cars on the road. Instead, Tesla has a massive volume of vehicles on the road that drive fine, are mechanically safe, and provide an enormous amount of data feedback. All of this has allowed Tesla rapid improvement of their cars and enjoy excellent brand loyalty.
Get out and do stuff. Use your college experience to experiment in different areas with different people. In addition to building meaningful relationships, try things you think you might like as a career. You can not effectively plan a significant career path from behind a computer screen without experiencing some of it first hand. You need to talk with people, ask them questions, and try it yourself. That is why there are internships and professional networking events. Pick a general direction and get going.
With the COVID pandemic, getting out there tends to be more difficult than ever before. This week’s guest can help us all navigate that digital world a little more efficiently so we can start “steering the car.” This week’s guest is a master of digital media. He is a certified digital marketing expert who Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Huffington Post have featured for his proven systems to grow brands, generate leads, and increase sales. He is a Co-Founder of Ziotag, CEO of Tresnic Media, author of The Growth Suite, and a friend. Todd Giannattasio has recently taken over as host of the successful On Air Brands podcast. He brings excellent advice and insight to everyone. He always tells me you can not steer a parked car, so let’s start to drive by listening to this week’s interview with Todd.
Todd has a lot of practical experience and makes some good points. If you want to improve your networking, check out this week’s action items:
- Getting Started. You do not need to be an expert in something to try it. Every professional started as a novice. And you can not know what you like or don’t like without trying. Part of trying is learning, and part of learning is asking. This week’s first action item is simple: if you are interested in a particular career, do not Google it; find someone in that career and ask them about it. Connect with people in the same profession you are interested in on LinkedIn. After you connect and have conversations with at least five people, you will have a great idea if that path is for you. At the very least, you now have five great people you can ask for advice.
- Make and Keep Connections. You are now building relationships, and that takes work, so does keeping them. Here are easy actions to remind you to check-in with meaningful contacts: After an initial conversation, schedule an email to be sent to yourself at a later date. (Gmail has a built-in scheduling feature) In that email to yourself, including the context of your previous conversation or meeting. Providing yourself the context will give you a reference point to base the follow-up. Keep it short and simple.
- Build it every day. Seth Godin once said, “To be a runner, you don’t need to know everything about running; you have to run. If you go run for ten minutes every day, at the end of thirty days, you are a runner.” The same is with building relationships. As Todd referred to, you do not need to have deep interactions with others every day. Use social media like LinkedIn to demonstrate to others how you can add value to their journey by showing them yours. Post once a week about something you are doing, a project, a big win, or a significant loss (and more importantly, what you learned.) Show them the human side of you and your interests. Your relationships will be more meaningful, and you will begin to attract opportunities. Do a little each day in a focused and deliberate manner.
Like the title of this blog, if the car is parked, you will not go anywhere. If you are in college, find out about every facet of the career you want to go into and then talk to someone who has done it. Googling a career title does not always provide you with an accurate picture of that career as it may relate to you. It can allow you to ask better questions of people who have that job and are connected with you on LinkedIn. Use every resource you have available to you and do not only rely on what you can find on the internet.
I appreciate feedback of all kinds, so please email me any questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week, and remember, it doesn’t take a lot to get a good start; you just have to start. Thank you.