Oh, “should” … you beautiful strange little word…
I want to talk about “should”…
I have a favourite question that I’ve used for well over a decade (probably my whole life subconsciously) and I’ve recently been reminded of it. (Especially with this book: The Crossroads of Should and Must)
“Are you going to do what you SHOULD do, or what you WANT to do?”
It’s an interesting question that tallies up what’s going on around you in an instant… heck, it can even be used as a pickup line if you want.
It’s probably behind the scenes of those “Hollywood kiss” moments… y’know, when they’re walking away from each other, then he pulls her back and kisses her… then music, lights, roll credits, SCENE! All because they knew they should walk away, but really they wanted to be together… it’s what makes the film exciting, right? (just me? No? Awesome!)
Anyway, to the point…
When did we all jump onto the bandwagon of should in business?
The most successful businesses are run by people who did what they wanted not what they were told they should do.
I’m pretty sure Richard Branson would have been advised by the safety police that he shouldn’t have bought a plane or jumped into various unrelated industries way he did… but he did it anyway because he wanted to!
So why are we listening to people shoulding all over our businesses?
Because we’re conditioned to it.
All the time conditioned to do the thing because that’s the thing that’s worked, so we should do it, so we can have the success too… right?
The person who got success from “the thing” did it because they wanted to do it…
Here’s my little list of Shoulds…
I should have a Facebook group – Nope, I closed it.
I should be doing Facebook lives aaallll the time – Nope. I don’t like em. At all. I don’t even like video, selfies, or being in front of the camera in any way shape or form
I should have a proper plan. – Nope. They make me feel trapped.
I should have all my content laid out in a super sexy effective schedule. – Nope, I get bored easily and prefer weird off the cuff ideas to planned content
I should have different opt-ins running to get people on my list. – Nope, I already closed opt-ins and they take so freaking long to put together! I don’t have time for that or the energy. I’d rather step back and make just one freaking awesome one when it feels right
I should put together a bunch of online courses and keep offering them up to you constantly. – Nope. I did one and didn’t like it all that much, so I’m staying away until I find another way.
I should be professional, polite, courteous, and never ever swear. Nope, sorry, I’m just not cut that way. I am polite and I don’t purposefully say stuff to purposefully hurt/annoy people, but sometimes I swear… that’s just how it is.
It’s a shit-parade of shoulds (See? << It just comes out)
Here’s my list of WANTS…
I want to email people my innermost random ideas so they can read at their own convenience, not some random time window based on ever-elusive algorithms
I want to talk to people on a one to one level
I want to enjoy my time online, not just work on it (booorriinng)
I want to connect with people who are genuinely interested in what I do, by letting them come to me, not by me chasing everyone going “Hey! Do you like my stuff? Want it? LOOK AT ME! PLEEAASSSEE!”
I want to do the stuff I enjoy and still have time to enjoy my life!! (all work no play makes me cranky)
Facebook has been coming under a lot of flack… people are abandoning ship, shares have been going down, yet it’s earning more and more money… why?
People don’t seem to be linking the two in the way that’s obvious –
It’s earning more because every business/entrepreneur is paying more and more to reach all the people on there
The people are leaving because they signed up to connect with their friends and family, not everyone selling something (yes, I know, I’ve done it, but I’m learning)
It’s a sinking ship. And it’s swallowing up other platforms to stay afloat (WhatsApp, Instagram… whatever’s next)
People don’t WANT to be pitched at or advertised to every 5 minutes (heck, I block more ads in a day than I see friends posts! I dread to think what it’s like for everyone not in business)
I’m not saying don’t do it. There are so many of my favourite people on Facebook (I’m listening to a Facebook live replay as I type this) but only do it if you WANT to because that’s how you WANT to connect to your audience.
They can sense the difference between you WANTING to be there vs you being there/doing that because you “should”
I WANT people to find me when they’re looking for me…
So I go to my (other) favourite search engine – Pinterest (see, I got there)
Pinterest – the ultimate growing visual search engine.
THE place where people go when they WANT to find something, whether it’s a future inspiration or something more immediate.
If we pay more attention to doing things we WANT, we’ll connect with other people who WANT things the same way… and if you look closely, I’m pretty sure that’s who your clients are anyway, right?
Are you going to do what you WANT to do, or what you “should” do?
Write the question on a post-it, stick it on your wall and make sure you check in each time you do anything… just watch the stress levels change, and the enjoyment come back into what you’re doing.