Renew Your Brilliance
by Chad Lane, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Just the other day, I was driving my daughter home from school when she saw a strange box by the side of a road on a pole. The box had something inside and a blue handset on the outside.
“Dad, what's that?”
“That is a payphone!”
“What is a 'payphone?'”
“People put money in the phone to call people they need to talk to.”
(eye roll) “Why don't they just text?”
At age 9, my daughter is a Facebook master and she has her own blog. Grandma knows that she responds nearly instantaneously to emails, and she is much more natural and interested via email than on the phone. Her other grandparents struggle with this – I recently set them up on Facebook so they could keep in touch with the family and see our pictures – but it has been a long and difficult battle to persuade them to use the new technology that would connect them to the family they so love.
New technology scares us. We aren't at all sure how to use it – and we are fearful of “messing it up.” Companies sell identity theft security programs to an older generation by preying on this fear and making the internet seem much more dangerous than it actually is. However, as individuals and in business, we must evolve and learn to use this new technology... or suffer the fate of the payphones.
I am now going to offer a bit of inspiration to anyone who remains fearful of social networks, internet marketing or “content marketing.” Ironically, this inspiration is derived from a 400-year-old work, The Art of Worldly Wisdom. In it, the monk Baltasar Gracian y Morales states:
Renew your Brilliance
'Tis the privilege of the Phoenix. Ability is wont to grow old, and with it fame. The staleness of custom weakens admiration, and a mediocrity that's new often eclipses the highest excellence grown old. Try therefore to be born again in valor, in genius, in fortune, in all. Display startling novelties, rise afresh like the sun every day. Change too the scene on which you shine, so that your loss may be felt in the old scenes of your triumph, while the novelty of your powers wins you applause in the new.
It is much better to be mediocre when trying something new than to continue to rely on one's older perfections. Reach out, learn and embrace the new. Whether as an individual or as a business owner, let your light shine in previously unexplored space. The internet and social networks are a vastly expanding space right now. We will all either expand into it or be eclipsed by it – the choice is ours.
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