Sunday, 20 June 2010

Transport, Communications, Tools & People



…..quite appropriate for the Summer Solstice + Fathers Day really (and it's my parents' wedding anniversary too, goddess bless them both)!…..

…..because I've just L1RND the source of my deep seated frustration, and possibly what has made me so angry inside, for so many years…..

I realised a few years ago that my "career path" had been forged from my parents guidance of "get a good steady job & progress through that", much as my father had done.

It turns out that my true passion has always been for Transport & Communications…..but in a variety of guises, right up to the present day.

Engine oil has always been in my blood - my father was an motor mechanic & AA man, I loved motor racing & rallying from a young age, and joined Ford 5 years after leaving school.

Motors, of varying sizes, have been an essential part of my life ever since - cars changing to trucks in 1987. Always involving "Business Development", and talking to people.

"square peg & round hole"

Day has now dawned because I've found that what I thought was a passion for motors - things on wheels - cars, trains, trucks - was actually a passion for what they could do - help you travel (I have always loved to travel, I still love maps, albeit more Google Earth nowadays, and reading the exploits of others discovering far away places).

Those wheels are really just tools to get you from A2B, 2C,2D, etc, to meet people, to converse & communicate, to MEET, LIKE, KNOW, TRUST, people!

My final frustration, for the last few years (with all due apologies to those around me who have caught the brunt of this in any way), has arisen from a fascination with all things "Social Media", from before it was even called that, leading to forcing (fooling?) myself into thinking I had to learn, live & breath the technicalities of how it all works, when, in fact, I DON'T need to know & master that, because they are only tools. They are just methods & instruments for achieving an end result - the Final Third is what I REALLY want & need to be involved in, NOT the Middle Third!

I don't need to know how the car/truck works in order to get in & drive it. Sometimes it helps you to be sympathetic, more in tune, with your chosen mode of transport, but it's not essential.

What I am best at is interpreting/translating/driving: taking something outwardly complicated (esoteric even) and presenting it in a digestible format, one that people can understand & relate to how it can benefit them, individually & collectively. No, that's NOT the same as salesmanship (another source of deep frustration!)

Throughout my time past I have suffered from being "emotionally inarticulate" - I have been unable to grasp, and hence convey, WHY I have been so frustrated, and angry, with myself.

That, in itself, has meant I haven't been a particularly good father, or, especially, a particularly good husband, because I was angry inside, but didn't know why.

I have vowed never to push my own sons towards a career that I think might be right for them - they must follow their own PassionPath - but Adam is set to master Maths & Physics, and lay down the plans for the first real Warp Drive, so that Zefrem Cochrane & Henry Archer have something to work on!

Back to Social Media …..

I spent far too much time trying to understand how it works - to become something of an "expert" - instead of focussing on the true goal of what it can do for people, to make their lives easier, or their businesses more prosperous.

"Nobody gives a shit about YOU!" (So thank you for reading this far!)

"They only care about what you can do for THEM!"

The same goes for the motor - no-one cares about how it works (apart from the commercial niche that has grown up around selling & servicing it) - they just want it to do it's job: get us (or deliver the goods) from A2B.

Social Media is just another phase of Transport & Communications…..

…..That's part of the "Revolution!"

The week that led up to this "Day of Enlightenment" started when, in a conversation with Rhona Jack, MD of Blue Click PR Ltd, I likened Social Media to being more of a Bicycle than a Car: with the latter, you get into a protected environment, start up, point & go, with most of the "effort" being automated (it's "under the hood"), passing, & ignoring, many good things on the way!

With a Bicycle, you have to Pedal & Steer, YOU have to make the EFFORT - it gets you where you're going, yes, somewhat slower, but the Journey is so much more rewarding because you see/learn more on the way - you can smile, wave, say hello, stop & chat, grow closer, RELATE & ENGAGE, far more than ever you would in a Motor.

Perhaps that means that AUTOMATION is actually the curse of our age, when we all were led to believe it was the saviour/blessing!

Don't get me wrong, we need to have Motors/Automation - our world in it's present form could not exist/develop/grow without - BUT, if we lose sight/sound/smell of the countryside on the Journey, we are LOST!

Use of Social Media, as a method of people communicating with people, is it's biggest value (RoI?) and it CANNOT be automated!!

Please help someone you know to get on social media with the minimum of fuss & effort - let's make it a much smaller world!

Thanks for reading the Sunday ramble - how are YOU feeling about your past & your future? Decisions made?

Happy Solstice 2010 to one & all!