From March 2011

Social Media is a lot like Las Vegas. At first.

I just returned from a week in Las Vegas for Con Expo – billed as the largest tradeshow in the western hemisphere and drawing over 120,000 attendees. Think about it. That’s larger than many decent size cities. I stayed at the Cosmopolitan – the newest mega hotel on the strip. Everywhere you went was a visual and sensory feast. The lobby columns changed frequently. Even the parking garage was decadent. Glitz on steroids. But that’s Las Vegas. It’s big. It’s loud. And totally superficial.

It’s excess to the max. Fun for a day or so because it’s such a spectacle, it eventually leaves you feeling empty. It’s too much of too much. Take the Cosmo. On the one hand it’s a darn nice place to stay. The rooms are luxurious. The restaurants upscale. And then you have the very seedy side of Vegas. Everywhere you turn.

Social Media is a lot like Las Vegas. There are always new tools – more than anyone can effectively use. There are unlimited opportunities to connect with people just like Vegas has unlimited opportunities to extract cash out of your pocket. And it can be very superficial. If you just skim the surface, you’re going to find yourself losing a lot of time without much to show for it. There’s also the very seedy side of Social Media, with predators looking for a way to make a quick buck. It’s easy to be someone you’re not. You have to dig to find the heart of Social Media. You have to slow down and not let yourself be sucked in to the hype. You have to be aware of your surroundings and know when to move on.

But move beneath the surface and that’s where social media parts ways with Vegas. Las Vegas isn’t built on a human scale. It’s all about masses of people. Social is all about personal connections. It’s one to one. Not many-to-many. And there’s a very rich heart. Look at how people connected during the Egyptian and Iranian protests.  It’s about helping others by engaging. I have yet to find the real heart of Vegas. If there’s an aspect that works to benefit society, I haven’t discovered it or it’s the best-kept secret.

Social Media is not about chance. It’s not about luck. It’s the place where you can make an immediate impact on someone’s life. David Armano’s effort to help Daniela leave an abusive relationship is still one of the most powerful examples of social media for good.  He set a goal to raise $5,000 and raised $16,880.  Think about how hard that would have been before.

Las Vegas has reached its peak. It doesn’t take long to see the abandoned mega structures intended to continue ratcheting up the excess that crashed with the economy. On the flipside, social is really just getting started. We’re just starting to explore the potential for forming connections and changing the world.

Vegas is win-lose. Every casino banks on your losing. Social Media is win-win.

As they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But with Social, keeping secrets doesn’t fly.

Social media doesn’t work if you make it all about you. Vegas thrives on self gratification. You have to look outward. It works best if you’re not helping people to make you look good, but if you genuinely want to do something good for someone else. Regardless of the payback. However, you’ll often find yourself richly rewarded. Because doing good changes you. It opens you up to the bounty that the Universe provides.

So dig beneath the surface. Discover how you can change someone’s life – or a whole community. All you need is the desire, your mind and an internet connection. The odds are in your favor.

This post is part of the #UsBlogs weekly topic for March 27: Social Media for Social Good.

Metrics, mining, latteducation, Darwin and bad journalism

Sean McGinnis turned me on to this post on what’s missing with metrics – the lack of solid targets that make the metrics useful. It talks about how so much time goes into designing the metrics and pulling the data but very little in setting the targets themselves. Bob Champagne presents a framework for target setting: making them real, relevant and robust. Relevant comes up a lot in marketing and content these days. Seems obvious but I think we sometimes lose sight of what relevant is. Perhaps this subject isn’t particularly sexy, but it’s part of the foundation of a good marketing program. Otherwise how can you effectively measure performance? The old ways of guessing are long gone.

Speaking of metrics, the online data collection industry is several billion dollars and it’s probably no secret to you that your every move online is being tracked, parsed and traded. Multiple cookies and tracking software designed to understand what motivates you and what matters in order to serve up a more ‘relevant’ experience make it hard to remain anonymous. If you’ve not read about just how much company’s know about you then read this post on data mining. Once you get past the fact there privacy is not possible in the digital age (short of going back to a pure analog lifestyle), this provides a good primer on the methods and how your data is used.

College is big business and fiercely competitive. But colleges need to innovate to remain relevant in the face of all the educational tools freely awaiting those with an internet connection. And how can they capture the hearts and minds of students who are increasing going in debt for an education that provides little guarantees of a job other than a slight advantage over someone with just a high school education? Textbooks are often obsolete by the time they hit the first classroom. I found this take on how the principles Starbucks uses to create their stores and customer experience can be applied to reimagining the college campus. Particularly customizing the experience just as you order your latte. This article centers around redesigning the learning environment at Miami-Dade College but is something college administrators should pay attention to.

It used to be that private label brands were the ugly step-child of the dominant brands, trading only on price with little value in their image. But as companies have recognized how profitable a private label brand can be, they become more and more sophisticated borrowing many of the tactics from the big brands. All is not lost, however, on the big brands as you’ll discover in this article. The recession has attracted many to the private brands to save money, but those brands that have earned the trust and loyalty attract people back. Darwin would like this – it’s survival of the fittest in the brand world. And do I need to say relevant again? Yes, part of brand fitness is remaining relevant.

I just started reading Olivier Blanchard’s Social Media ROI and four chapters in already feel it’s a must read for anyone working in marketing today, and will post a review once I’m done. He knows how to get right into the meat of what’s not working and what to do about it. So that’s why I also think this is worth your time today – his thoughts on how journalism is suffering as media outlets focus more on content strategy than solid editorial. Especially as budgets are slashed as they struggle to reimagine their business models. To illustrate the problem, he dissects a recent CBS news article on radiation sickness and I think you’ll quickly see what’s been lost in the process. While he provides several examples, this line summed it up for me:

“Even if it doesn’t prove fatal,” it “often proves deadly.”

There’s definitely the opportunity to rediscover good journalism and master the art of providing valuable content to your readers. Which CBS certainly failed to do. Ouch. Read this as a really good example of how not to execute your content strategy.

Remembering Brian Lanker

Although we only met once, I was saddened to hear of the loss of Brian Lanker this month. I had the opportunity to meet with Brian at his Eugene studio when I was in college after then U of O President Paul Olum arranged the introduction. He shared his background and passion for photography, passing along what it took to succeed.

His Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues are the least of his accomplishments in my opinion. I admired and continue to admire his book, I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women who Changed America. Brilliant portraits combined with moving interviews, this still holds a special place on my bookshelf. It represents the power of story.

He was a brilliant photographer, master of design and consummate story teller. For him, it was never just about an image but what was communicated via that image. You can feel the emotion in his work. And see his generousity of spirit. He has always been one of my subtle if not key sources of inspiration. And gone far too soon.  If you’re not familiar with his work, I encourage a look!

Heart, soul, shoes: the power of stories and what really matters

The tragic events in Japan over the past week has certainly made me reflect on what matters. When all is said and done, no matter how shiny, how sophisticated or how many tools we have, it’s about human connectedness.

Peel back all of the email campaigns, social platforms, games, videos, ads, and metrics and it comes down to simple one to one relationships. Forming the bonds that form the communities that form the cities and countries we live in. None of us regardless of culture are that different. We all want to feel a connection. To know that each of us matter. And in tragedy, it’s those simple – and not so simple bonds that keep us going. So for this Friday, I want to share five posts that illustrate the power of these human connections that technology facilitates but also impedes depending on how we use them.

Lisa Petrilli wrote a heartwarming post about the connections she’s formed through Twitter – how #LeadershipChat has become a strong community and supported her during the recent loss of her grandmother. For those still skeptical as to whether Twitter had value, this makes a pretty definitive case for how it brings us together if we’re willing to make the effort. Remember, you’re in control of how you invest your time on Twitter.

I’ve been familiar with Toms shoes and admire their 1 for 1 philosophy. How impressive is it that they’ve given away over 1 million pairs of shoes? This post is about the power of a simple story. The power of building a business by doing good. Not technology, nor a revolutionary product. It’s about making a huge difference in the lives of many. It’s brought home by the story of the girl who knew the whole story and asked why Blake, the founder, cut his hair, when she met him in an airport. How can you infuse such humanity into your company?

I’m still wrapping my head around the power of a tsunami to completely up-end a country within minutes. I was just as amazed in 2004 with the tsunami in Indonesia. If this doesn’t illustrate how fragile our lives are, I’m not sure what does. But beyond the immense destruction are the stories of those living through this. And this letter from Sendai, talking about the sense of community and hope, also shows what really matters. Again, it’s about connectedness.

These next two go hand in hand. Dan Perez talks about the last day of his friend Victor’s life. How they shared an evening of laughter then he passed away that night in his sleep, most likely from a second heart attack. He was just forty. Dan asks the question, “what if today was their last day?” None of us know exactly when that is, but how would it change what we did? Would we use our time better? Would we take more care in our interactions with those closest to us? I read this post a few months ago and still think about it today. Dan shares a story and a message for us.

Connected with Dan’s story is Justin Levy’s story about his life and his mom. He lost both parents within five months while in high-school. He talks about how important it is to leave those closest to us on good terms for there’s always a chance we may not see them again. He experienced that first hand and shares that in a provocative post on using death as a motivator. It’s something we never want to face but know we inevitably will.

What I hope you take away from each of these is a desire to dismiss the marketing speak and think about how you can create meaning and touch lives through your work or business. Regardless of what industry you’re in, I believe there’s a way to make such connections. It may take a different way of seeing the world, certainly.

At the very least, I hope these stories help you value your time and the conversations you have with those closest to you a bit more.

Knowing the truth behind motivation is not enough

Dan Pink examined the two types of motivation: extrinsic, based on rules and punishments versus intrinsic based on doing what matters to you. Autonomy, Mastery and purpose form the foundation of intrinsic motivators. At a high level, extrinsic motivators only work on mechanical tasks lacking any problem solving while any tasks that require thought are hindered by external rewards. In fact, creativity and innovation are diminished. People become more narrow minded so don’t consider other solutions to problems.

Yet he talks about how business ignores this science focusing on extrinsic motivators. Higher performance comes from doing work that matters.  Dan Ariely talks about how the lavish CEO bonuses actually lead to poorer performance in The Upside of Irrationality because it distracts the mind with focus on the reward versus delivering the results the reward is based on.

That’s not to say that people don’t want to be compensated for their work – it’s that they are motivated by doing work that sparks their passions. Work with a purpose. Makes sense when you need to find solutions requiring creative, non-linear thinking.

Many people are motivated simply by the desire to create. A desire to express themselves. That rewards follow is a bonus but not prerequisite. I don’t take pictures for the money. I do it because it brings I enjoy capturing the life around me. And because I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s like driving a car. I can’t help but ‘see’ pictures each day whether I record them or not. Almost everything is automatically framed and cropped in my mind. Will it pay off someday? Maybe. Maybe not.

In the workplace, teams are motivated by respect. Few leaders (dare I say that) gain high productivity via fear-based management. Quite the opposite. Empowered employees deliver far more value and a much more positive customer experience. Check out Josh Bernoff’s book Empowered for more. Create a strong culture, allow people room to grow and work that’s engaging and you’ll find people motivated to give their best.

But does this translate into self motivation? Are people naturally self-motivated to do work that matters or do they need someone to guide them. It’s back to the map. Any reader of Seth Godin knows there’s no map for the bleeding edge of creativity.

As I mentioned before, not everyone is self-motivated. Many don’t think about possibility because they’ve never had the mentors or people who’ve given them permission to think about possibility. They may not surround themselves with people who encourage initiative. Entrepreneurs are perhaps the best example of those most self-motivated. Many of the most successful stumbled upon their idea by trying to solve the problems they faced. They had an internal burning desire to change the world – and surrounded themselves with people that supported them or simply ignored the naysayers trusting in themselves to succeed. And worked through failure. Or maybe they simply enjoy the thrill of building something new and fighting the good fight. Does that describe you?

Anyone who’s tried their hand at self-employment knows how challenging it is. Where you leave your job because you want to do it on your own, but don’t realize that over 80% of what you end up doing has nothing to do with your original idea. You have to do all the jobs in your business until you can hire them out. That’s what the E-myth talks about (required reading for anyone contemplating hanging their own shingle). Tara Hunt does a great job talking about the ups and downs as CEO of Schwowp. http://shwowp.com/

I can’t speak for everyone, but what ultimately motivates me is a constant desire to do better and leave the world a better place. I enjoy business and the business of communicating. I enjoy learning – can’t learn enough, actually. I’ve always wanted to improve myself and admire people that have created flourishing careers and businesses from nothing but their minds and sheer willpower. Effort doesn’t hurt either. And I’m simply not content with the status quo. But again, that’s just me.

To be self-motivated requires a willingness to take responsibility for your actions. And based on our flourishing legal system, you could argue many people are not willing to do so. There’s also a catalyst that ignites the fire within. Be it a problem, a passion, a curiosity or crisis. Something kicks it off. In #leadershipChat yesterday we talked about crisis in leadership and whether that was required. Many say yes. It gives a reason to lead. The motivation to take action. But @LisaPetrilli also suggested that stagnation in a business is also a reason to lead. And it’s a situation that requires real leadership to regain lost momentum. Different types of motivation are required here.

Self motivation is not black and white. To explore this further I’m going to dive into stories of others who’ve made something happen . . .

SXSW from afar, Bold Brands, Doyald Young, and the bleeding edge of logo design

If you can’t be there I think Pepsi has the best resource for connecting you with the latest from SXSW Interactive. Also check out their zeitgeist which pulls in the feeds from Twitter, Flickr, Sched and Foursquare to show connections, happenings and mood in the moment. If you’re like me and not there, a few #UsGuys have organized a virtual mini conference. Join them at #usXsw this weekend. Either way, this is the happening event of the year for the digisphere. Thinking I’ll finally make the trek in 2012.

For the contrarian view on SXSW, check out Jonathan Salem Baskin who believes brands waste their money by going to what amounts to nothing more than a big tradeshow and ginormous party. Not that there’s anything wrong with a party. He simply doesn’t think it holds a ton of business value for large brands. It’ll be interesting to see how Pepsi measures their success!

Are you building a bold brand? Shaun Smith shares highlights from his new book on the practices for bold brands which outperform in their niches and continue innovating even through a global financial crisis and truly care about the customer experience. His research uncovered 8 key practices for these brands:

  1. Keep the main thing the main thing.
  2. Demonstrate zealous leadership.
  3. Engage in infectious communication.
  4. Dramatize the customer experience.
  5. Pursue wow.
  6. Create a cult–like culture.
  7. Develop rites and rituals.
  8. Measure what matters.

These are admirable traits and not for the fearful and uninspired. Probably explains why so few companies truly get it. Takes strong leadership, courage and a willingness to do things differently than the rest. Hence why they’re Bold. Add this to your reading list.

I had the opportunity to listen to and meet Doyald Young in 2005 when he came to Portland for a talk. I was moved at the time by his incredible attention to detail when it came to typography, and saddened to hear of his passing February 28th. Idgsn has a nice tribute – be sure to catch the documentary at Lynda.com. He had an amazing ability to draw intricate type with precision like I’ve never seen. His appreciation for what well-crafted type can do to convey a message and mood suggests a time when craft really mattered. He bucked the trends in quick digital type and if you take nothing else away from his work, it’s that craft matters still. Perhaps even more as we strive to capture the attention of those that matter to our businesses and lives. And that craft should extend beyond type to the words you choose and the way you communicate them. Great type is a powerful communicator. Even if you’re not a type aficionado, spend a few minutes with Doyald’s work. “Decide who you are, decide what you want to do, and then do it, because it is surely possible.” A great quote relevant regardless of where technology takes us. I have his book Fonts and Logos – a rich labor of love and smile at the title of his last book on logo design: Dangerous Curves. Sums up his wit nicely.

Leave it the MIT Media Lab to push a logo way beyond the everyday mediocrity we see. They didn’t just animate their new logo, they created an algorithm that will create 40,000 permutations so each person has their own. Sound gimmicky? It’s not. When

Self-motivation at the intersection of risk and confidence.

Measure your risk toleranceAfter my first look at how fickle self-motivation can be, CASUDI remarked on the role risk and confidence plays in your willingness to act. Jackie Ng also mentioned the need to believe in yourself, which goes hand in hand with confidence. Are you ever self-motivated when you lack confidence? Does that lack prevent you from taking a risk? I don’t believe anyone, no matter how confident they appear is ever 100% confident. If they are they’re either lying or not challenging themselves one iota. And I’ve noticed that those that seem the most boastfully confident tend to be the most insecure.

You can’t mask true confidence. I believe those that have a strong sense of self confidence are those that can admit when they’re not. They can talk about their fears openly because they’re not constantly worried about what others think. That takes your eye off of achieving your full potential.

If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you’re going to take the necessary risks to get ahead. You simply have to believe in yourself. To do so requires looking into the pit and gauging your ability to leap across to a higher level of performance. Not always easy to do. And often those around you don’t necessarily want you to make that leap. They don’t want you to change because then they’ll either feel left behind or be forced to confront their fears should they be motivated enough to do so.

I believe risk and confidence are like peas and carrots. For example, I’m not confident in my ability to Rock Climb and you’re not going to find me scampering up this wall. First, I’ve never rock-climbed so lack the know-how and training. And it’s not something I’m passionate about. So that’d be a pretty foolish risk. But there are many situations in which my ability to solve problems, to find solutions when I don’t know the answer, allow me to take a risk or two. I’m confident I’ll figure it out. I’ve done so many times before.

But risk and confidence don’t automatically turn into action. There’s the element of want. You really have to want something to act upon it. You must have your eye on the prize. And that’s where self-motivation kicks in.

There’s a time I took a hefty risk to become a commercial photographer. I modeled my strategy after those most successful, developed a solid portfolio and marketed to the best agencies and companies around. I surrounded myself with a couple great people  to help and was making headway. Then the dot com bubble burst, 9/11 happened and the dream imploded. The creative industry suffered a major contraction. Digital and cheap remade the industry. Portland was not where success would happen and a move to a larger market wasn’t realistic at the time. I took too big risk and all of my back up safety nets failed as well. I look back and am amazed at how incredibly driven I was to pursue it but failed. I was hugely motivated and confident in my abilities. In hindsight, I realized the model I followed was probably 5 to 10 years behind where the market was moving and should have implemented additional back-up plans.

My confidence was shattered after I’d poured myself into the effort. I had to rebuild. It was then I started thinking a bit more about where my strengths and passions were located. And learned it wasn’t just the photography part. Where I thrived was pulling all the pieces together. Building brands. Thinking strategy, connection and experience. Of which the visual is one component. Back to what I’d started out doing. Just more visually enriched and with a killer image library. What’s this got to do with risk and confidence? Sometimes they reveal the unexpected. What ultimately motivates you may not always be what you initially set out to do. The trick is to pay attention and continue to believe. Failure reveals new opportunities if you move beyond self pity. You have to find the inner strength. The inner motivation to do so. If not, you’re stuck.

There’s more to it though. Stay tuned as I explore the deeper aspects of self-motivation. We humans are not rational beings. Next stop on this journey is Daniel Pink’s latest book, Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. He states that the secret is “the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

Media distracts, stories capture, ROI rules, survival through innovation and guiding principles

I am quite curious about how the mind works, how we make decisions and how to capture attention in a sound bite world filled with far too many options and information. Media is everywhere – that we know. But do you ever stop to think about how it affects your productivity or retention? How much of the media you consume do you find actionable? How much enhances your life versus adding more clutter and noise? Very little I’d bet. So this article naturally piqued my interest. Edmund Lee writes about how our increasing media consumption is not exactly helping our cognition. In fact, the more media we consume, the worse we get at processing information. “ when you look by not focusing, you’re missing important things.” This is definitely worth your attention.

It seems everywhere a marketer turns there’s talk of content and storytelling. For good reason: traditional one-way messages no longer work. It’s all about attention. Attention. Attention. And great stories are a key way of earning it. Mark McGuinness, creative coach, outlines 13 ways of looking at a story. Two of my favorites are “A story is how we think” and “a story is a tool for transformation”. You need to find a compelling way to tell your company’s story – authentically and with relevance to the audience you want and need to attract. It’s never too soon to start.

Measurement and ROI go hand in hand. Every marketer needs to demonstrate results, particularly in Social Media, which many in the corporate world still eye with some skepticism. Geoff Livingston references two new books I’ve been waiting for: One from the queen of measurement, K.D. Paine: Measure What Matters, and Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard, one of the best writers/thinkers on branding today if I dare say so. Both always provide a lot of substance. Geoff gets it right with “Poor marketing will always create the need for it [ROI]”. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on each of these books in the near future.

This is a reminder that to survive in business you have to innovate. And to do that you have to think beyond the present. Edward Boches talks about how Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment failed to anticipate the PC and ultimately lost. The challenge for business owners is in the ability to manage the present, delivering a great customer experience today while effectively planning for the future. I’d say Apple’s done a great job of this but it’s not easy because the future is so unpredictable. He talks about the changes in media and advertising and the need to learn new tools, develop new business models. There’s a large element of risk. Good food for thought today and hat tip to @PaulBiedermann for this one

IKEA is a company I have a like/hate relationship with. I like their style but for the most part consider their furniture highly disposable. Seems there are few items outside of drapes, glassware, etc that have much merit because of the pressboard and ultrathin veneers used on much of their furniture that don’t last through many moves. They’re great for those setting up their first house and I appreciate their efficient operation. I’ve also learned how to interpret their instructions on more than one occasion. Having just visited our local IKEA I read with interest Valeria’s post on the guiding principles on which the company was founded and operates today, more than 60 years later. Given the change during this time it is proof that establishing and living by a set of ideals is something every company should take the time to do. That the basics of sound business never go out of style regardless of how technology and trends evolve. It’s all about leading by example. While I might not be their biggest fan, I respect IKEA’s business acumen and efforts they’re making in sustainability.

Just take action. Your legacy comes after the fact.

Your legacy is defined by how you live your life.Early on when we think we’re immortal and invincible, we don’t think about the end.

We take more uncalculated risks and live freely as teenagers – more in the moment. It’s natural. Only when we get deep into our careers, have families do many of us start thinking about what’s left after we’re gone.

What will people say about us? Will the years we spent working and racing from appointment to appointment matter? Out of the billions of people in the world, how will we stand out? It’s a daunting prospect when you look at it that way. And you’ll not likely succeed by focusing solely on what people will remember after you’re gone. If that consumes you, you won’t notice the life in front of you.

Legacy is something I think about from time to time. It helps me focus my energy on uncovering what motivates me and what kind of a difference I can make in my short time here. Yes, I’d like to push the boundaries of longevity, but advances in modern medicine aside, it’s still a short time. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, death and taxes are the only certainty. And, no, I don’t know what legacy I’ll leave yet.

But focusing on the legacy part is misguided. More important is focusing on setting your vision, mission and working towards fulfilling that. Defining the difference you hope to make, sharing that with those around you and leading with authenticity. If you do that, you’ll leave a legacy. If you take action daily, you’ll have the opportunity to create something that will matter. The key is in the doing. If you don’t, all your good ideas in your head will vanish with you. So get them out there. Iterate. Innovate. Experiment. Share. Learn. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It’s like viral marketing. You can’t make something go viral any more than you can define your legacy. No, it comes from a life purposefully lived. A life in which those appointments you’re racing to and from add up to a whole. Your legacy will be defined after the fact.

So think about your work. Your appointments. Your purpose. Carve out the time to move some big rocks by taking little steps. Taking action, no matter how small, if connected with a purpose gets you somewhere. You’ll turn a single butterfly into a swarm that moves those around you.  Yes, such thinking means you need to shut off the TV and expend some calories.

Too many live their lives in mediocrity. I’ve certainly done my share of mediocre. They don’t take any action, instead get mired in the petty. Or they don’t believe they can. They think it’s someone else.  All it takes is a trip to the mall at the holidays to see how many shop wearily because that’s what they’re told to do. Living without a vision. Viewing the holidays as something to get through like a trip to the DMV.

Thinking small is just as important as thinking big.

At the very least, I can contribute to my daughter’s life. I can inspire her, support her in realizing her dreams. Legacy isn’t always global. It can be micro too. Maybe it’s the difference you make in the lives of the people closest to you.

If as chaos theory suggests, we’re all interdependent and our actions as a single butterfly influence events around the globe. We each do matter, but don’t realize how. Don’t worry about the how.  Focus on the what. On creating.

Never before have we had the tools available to make a difference. The very fact I can hit publish and share these thoughts with you is significant. Ben Franklin had to crank up a press and arrange the distribution to get his words out there, costing significant time and money.  Your thoughts matter. Maybe you’ll solve the climate crisis. Or maybe you’ll give a child the confidence she needs to succeed. Either way, it matters.

Your legacy is your life. Whether it’ll be remembered depends on how you live it. But don’t be daunted; that only drags you down. Keeps you stuck. Live it purposefully with vim and vigor. If you do, I think you’ll matter. You’ll be the butterfly that takes flight. Just take action.

Other takes on “What is Legacy?”: