Do it like you care


You know it.

Black screen.

Green Letters.

Kind of like The Matrix, but far less entertaining.

At least I never saw “blonds, brunettes and redheads” while staring into the screen. Well, maybe that’s not true but they were reflections of people walking behind me while I continued to be lost in the pixels.

Twenty-one years ago today, it was my first visit to the offices of my first soon-to-be-called-dot-com-industry job.

We sold TELNET software for the Macintosh–these days it seems that the term Macintosh is as cool as a pair of sequined bell-bottom pants. I’m supposed to say Mac–to government contractors and Fortune 1000.

The punchline is that we sold this software against some stiff competition. That was a public domain TELNET application written by our own CTO while still in college.

You think your market is tough? Give away a free version of your product and sell directly against it for $100s a copy. Go ahead. I dare ya.

It’s time for a new year. On a cosmological scale, the distinction is quite arbitrary. Next month is also the anniversary of the rotation around some random point in the universe too.

This is as good a time as any though to make a change.

What are you going to do? With your job, your business, your service, your products. Whatever.

How would you sell yourself against a perfect replica of your offering that’s made available for free? It’s a perfect replica so you can’t change the features in your commercial version. Even if you did, the reality is usually those differences are nothing more than window dressing.

And yet, maybe window dressing is the clue.

What’s the difference between a storefront with well-maintained, fresh displays that are constantly tweaked without actually changing anything about the products offered and a store with some dusty old sign in the window that’s two seasons out of date?

The answer is simple, business A gives a crap.

How would your business change if you put a little life into it? I mean the kind of life that doesn’t require the proverbial mirror placed under your nose to see if you’re breathing.

What if the only thing you did differently this year was to do what you did in 2011, but do so on purpose and with purpose.

Same hours.

New energy.

New impact.

The other guys aren’t wearing kid gloves and waiting for you to get on your feet before engaging in some “friendly competition.” They don’t matter anyway. Chances are you’re the biggest risk to your own wants and dreams.

I’m not going to use the cliche about getting out of your own way. I instead advocate getting behind yourself and pushing yourself into oncoming traffic. Try playing your life like you’re the main star of Frogger for a while. It may not be a good way to live your life 24/7 but how do you think you’re ever going to level-up if you don’t stick your neck out and take a real, intelligent risk?

Step up.

Step out.

Make a difference.

Act like you really care.

“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny!” —Margaret Thatcher

1 Comment

  1. Christopher on April 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Good stuff!  Really liked the Frogger analysis.  What would we do if we knew we wouldn’t fail.

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