Since 2005, I have been advocating for the use of blogging for professional development and now I'm also adding podcasting to that prescription, in the hope of encouraging you to follow suit.
Since David Olney joined me at Talked About Marketing, he's spurred my consumption of and reflection on numerous audiobooks.
By coordinating our reading and then deliberately forcing ourselves to share insights from them in our podcast, Talking About Marketing, we not only have fresh content but we have fresh ideas circulating in daily practice.
Imagine if you set up a publicly promoted publication schedule for your blog or podcast among your clients or colleagues. You would create tension and expectation to fuel your discipline to read, listen to, or review source material in a timely fashion.
Furthermore, because you know you'd then be expected to have digested the material and developed some actionable insights, you'd be applying yourself in a very deliberate manner.
I can testify to the fact that such a regime, taken at a pace you can cope with, will surprise you by the new insights you'll start developing on your own.
Here's a recent notion that appeared to me as I took stock one morning after having spent the weekend moving my office to a new, larger room at the front of our property.
The GP Of Marketing Will See You Now
It was a Friday morning earlier this month. I took a few moments to sit in one of the leather reclining chairs in the new office to reflect on the new space ahead of a day of more meetings with clients and mentees.
As I pondered what the day had in store, I was struck by this thought, which I shared via Facebook and LinkedIn as a way to seed the insight for further development here:
Just like a GP has no idea what curly questions or surgical interventions might take place in their surgery room each day, it struck me that my office is like that. There’ll be mentoring via zoom, some project management, and maybe some impromptu green screen video work required. Despite the tangible and obvious differences between my work and theirs, I can say with great confidence that the biggest part of being in a “trusted advisor”, consultant, and practitioner role is the listening aspect and “bedside” manner are paramount. A light reflection ahead of another day. May yours be productive and enjoyable.
I know what strands of thought from my subconscious were brought together in that moment.
Earlier in that week, I pondered the lack of "huge" projects on my CV, despite having worked with or taught 8000+ plus people from various businesses.
On that chair, that morning, with a mind primed by its raging appetite for thought and pattern matching, I realised that my role has been that of a general practitioner of marketing, rather than a surgeon who just does one thing.
As a result, I have tweaked and diagnosed thousands of marketing scenarios, rather than spending huge tranches of time on one specific project or goal.
As one half of the team creating the This Medical Life podcast for GPs, my newfound admiration for these frontline health workers, helped me feel, for the first time, a deep appreciation for the role I've been able to play for many, as opposed to the headline-making impact of throwing my lot in with one or two clients.
It was a psychological triumph to finally find some peace and acceptance around this.
I am sharing that here in the hope that it might prompt you to consider how you are framing the work you do.
If you experience appreciation from your clients but have persistent doubts or questions about your worth, maybe you're looking for status in the wrong game, as Will Storr might argue in his magnificent book, Status Games, which I'd also just finished.
For example, he notes at the end that he found peace in his 40s when he realised he didn't need to "compete" in the status games of younger people; it just wasn't necessary or fruitful to do so.
I've updated my job title on our About page to include GP Of Marketing because that is a badge I wear with pride and gratitude.
So, what will I prescribe today?
- Set a public goal for sharing reflections on your industry and/or the problems faced by your customers and prospective customers
- Stretch yourself to squeeze in some curated "brain food" from leading authors or teachers in your field; audiobooks and podcasts are a great way to slip such content into our lives
- Start sharing how you make the complicated simple, for yourself and your people
I hope you find that helpful?