Yesterday, I received an email that made me feel special. It was hardly 100 words. It wasn’t timed to get the maximum lift or guaranteed open. It was genuine, heartfelt, and engaging. He sent it because he ran across a lingeringÂ email from my blog, and his note reminded me of why I post to this silly blog.
I startedÂ blogging over a 15 years ago to engage with my friends. The “readers” were people that were in my circle and would laugh at my jokes or comment on a thought, but it was truly and genuinely about engagement. Through several iterations, I started to look for reach, not engagement. I published at specific times, sent an email on the best day, and shared on social to “get the most eyeballs.” People became numbers, engagement became measured in clicks, and writing became formulaic. As a result, I slowly quit writing.
I’m exhausted by social media. Personal branding has killed the social aspect of social media. Sad, miserable people are branding themselves as happy, accomplished personal brands. “Friends” are afraid to engage for fear of offending someone. Kids are deleting pictures because of a lack of likes. Only extremists talk about politics and bland bullshit masquerades as engagement. I miss genuine discussion that’s maybe best found in a simple, old-fashioned, one-to-one email.
So, what was the email about? It was a hello from an old friend and an encouragement that the battle stripes of being a CEO will pay off–“becoming tougher than a whit leather dude.” I had always thought of this process as seasoning, but the tanning of the hide is spot on.
Listen to a recording he attached. A poem he wrote in the 90’s.
Written, recorded, and copyrighted by Michael Haun.
Take a minute. Reach out and touch someone. They may really need it.