I started to write a post from INBOUND15, a gigantic marketing conference in Boston last week. Thankfully I stopped. It is a good heuristic to never write about things you know little about. I had traveled to Boston after a few weeks on the road attending conferences at the NIH (Preventing Overdiagnosis; winding back the harms of too much medicine) and the 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics.
When I thought of marketing and what an actual marketing conference would "look" like I envisioned a room of sales people with fake smiles and no souls. These types were probably represented as well but the connections I made from documentary film, content marketing and interactive platforms integrated nicely with a few of my own business needs. What good is having a message if nobody hears it? Marketing can be a good thing.
The opening keynote was none other than marketing guru Seth Godin. He is the poster child for "inbound" marketing. If the term is new for you, outbound marketing is the firehose. Shout your message to the masses and see what sticks. Inbound marketing involves creating a tribe--a band of like minded individuals interested in what you have to say. That is you. Hopefully you find what I write informative and you willingly participate.
Brene Brown is a researcher. I wasn't going to attend her keynote. I hadn't really heard of her (I know) and wasn't in the mood for a girl power session. Boy was I wrong. In spades. This is the one presentation that continues to resonate. What began as an unfamiliar perspective, resonates with my current work. If you have the time, grab a coffee and click "play". If you do, I would love it if you comment. This is from her TED talk--over 20 million hits or something like that. Make it 20 million +1. In case you are strapped for time read below...,
Brene's research centers around shame, vulnerability, and worthiness. What does this have to do with you? Believing you are worthy--really worthy--is a big differentiator for achievement. Curiosity to hack into what makes us connected launched her career "If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist."--a girl after my own heart.
A collector of qualitative stories, Brene Brown is a storyteller. The ability to feel connected is how we are wired neurobiologically. Connection is why we are here--it gives our lives meaning and purpose. Shame is the opposite, a fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that if people see it they will reject me? What if I take that job? Write that book? Question that data?
People with a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. We describe them as wholehearted. The definitions of terms that describe wholehearted people (individuals that live from a deep sense of worthiness) include the following 3 words.
Wholehearted people also accept vulnerability and embrace it. They believe what makes them vulnerable made them beautiful. There are things many of us do each day that make us vulnerable. Do something without guarantees--consider launching into something that may or may not work out. Sign up for that race, start that business, quit that job.
If you live in the US you might be beginning to connect a few dots. As a society we numb vulnerability. Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and struggle for worthiness--but also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love. Collectively we numb our vulnerabilities--with debt, addiction, food, medication--but here is the real problem. We can't selectively numb emotion. We are also numbing joy, gratitude and happiness.
"We are the most indebt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult cohort in US history."
We make uncertain, certain (faith, politics, our own heuristics and biases). We pretend--what we do doesn't have an impact. But it does. Be authentic and real in what you communicate, write, and own.
Take chances, be seen--deeply seen--vulnerable. Stop screaming, start listening.
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”