You know me, I don’t like to brag.
But there are some things you just can’t keep to yourself.
It all started last Friday, when my wife, Linda, called to let me know there was water coming into our basement.
The weather had been very cold for several days and then, suddenly, it switched to very warm. Plus, it was raining hard.
With the ground still frozen solid, the water was pooling around the house. Some of it started leaking into the basement through a foundation crack.
Not a river, but fast and steady enough that it was starting to spread across the concrete basement floor.
Fortunately, Linda noticed it early.
Unfortunately, the rain was still falling and the crack was still leaking.
The only way to control it was to mop the floor every hour or
Or is there? (Here comes the bragging part.)
For reasons unknown, seeing the water bubble in brought to mind an old “Man Vs. Wild” episode I watched long ago. In it, survival expert Bear Grylls (or, as his friends call him, “Bear” Grylls) found a way to collect drinking water from a water-seeping rockface:
He removed his shoe lace, jammed it into the rock at the source of the leak, and put the other end into a bottle. As the lace got soaked, it dribbled a steady flow into the container.
Fifteen minutes later (it should have been ten, but I spent the first five mansplaining my brilliance to Linda), I had successfully redirected the foundation leak away from the floor and into a bucket.
You’re welcome, America.
Your Peers Are Not the Target Audience
So, does this make me a survival expert?
Not by a long shot.
I know one survival tip (well, two, if you count dialing 911) and it just happened to line up with an obscure real world problem.
Bear knows hundreds. Maybe thousands.
But does he know more than other trained survivalists? Probably not. The water-shoelace trick is likely known by all of them.
The thing is, Bear’s show isn’t for them – it’s for survival idiots like me and you (I mean no disrespect).
Which means that the content of his show must be simple, straightforward and, from a survival standpoint, not particularly groundbreaking.
News to you and me; old hat to Bear and his peers.
You’ll Never Run Out of Content
One of the main reasons professionals don’t launch newsletters – or give public presentations, or contribute content to industry publications, or even engage on social media – is because they fear they, “have nothing new to say.”
And you’re right, you don’t.
Fortunately, your target audience is not one of your equally experienced and qualified peers. It’s the people who might one day hire you.
People who, by definition, don’t (and never will) know anywhere near as much about what you do as you.
When it comes to your profession, you’re Bear Grylls; they are a middle aged bald man with a leaky basement.
Here’s the bottom line.
I could talk all day about the advantages of email newsletters in particular and content creation more generally. In short, the more you do it, the more you benefit.
But if what’s keeping you from starting is a concern that you don’t have enough to say that hasn’t been said before, you’re focused on the wrong metric.
You don’t need new information.
You just need to chop up your (endless) industry knowledge into little pieces, wrap it inside a leaky basement story here and there, and keep hitting the “publish” button.
- What animal do your survival skills bring to mind (“Bear” is already taken)?
- Don’t you think “Water-Seeping Rockface” would make a great band name?
- What kept (or is still keeping) you from launching an email newsletter?