We are in a time where the way we do business and exchange information is shifting rapidly. Author Seth Godin says we are no longer in an industrial economy, we are now in a “connection economy” because of the internet. This means that instead of large corporations marketing to large portions of the population, small companies and even individuals are marketing to small, dedicated groups of people who trust, love and support what they are selling or stand for. We are now able to share our talents and voice (go figure, voice) with the world without anyone’s permission. You don’t have to wait around for Penguin Publishing to okay your blog post, you can start sharing with your fellow human beings today.
What I’ve noticed about the connection economy is how people are having to shift from the mentality of guarding their knowledge into the mentality of sharing what they know freely and very publicly. This is a brave new world. And if you are in my generation or older, you have probably spent a few sleepless nights wondering if this is such a good idea. Give this information away. Really? “There is no good that can come from that,” says the fearful ego. It goes on: “I have spent thousands of dollars and years of my life acquiring this information and skill set! I can’t just give it away for free!”
Yes. You. Can.
And I have a list of reasons why giving it all away is good for you and those around you.
The first and most important . . . drum roll, please . . . IT FEELS REALLY GOOD! If you haven’t shared something you are passionate about with a friend or on the internet or wherever, you are missing out on one of the best experiences possible in this human drama. The exchange of excitement between two people, especially of ideas that make your life better, is like an elixir. It heals, it soothes, it inspires, and it raises everyone up.
Another reason it is good to share is because it makes the people around you better. I’m selfish. I want a better world, and when YOU get better, have more inspiration, or heal, the world gets better for me and everyone else.
Maybe I’ll make an exhaustive list of why it’s good to unabashedly share in another post. For now, I’m sticking to my guns in asserting that this is all going to work out fine in the end, and sharing is probably how we are going to survive the current-world-crazy we live in.
We see people sharing their wonderful knowledge on the internet like their lives depend on it. In the world of vocology, there are two people who’s ability to share has profoundly inspired me and several of my colleagues. What strikes me about them is their willingness to share something they are deeply passionate about, which happens to be vocology, and through their sharing exercise brilliant levels of creativity.
Their names are Laurel Mehaffey and David Harris, and they co-author a website called voicescienceworks.org. Oh, so clever! Voice science works! I’m imagining the lightbulbs/fireworks that went off in their brains when they hit on that website name. It is colorful, creative, and comprehensible. Go visit, you’ll see what I mean.
Everything about this site screams inspiration, and they are . . . giving it all away. I see courage and love and strength pouring out of David and Laurel, and when I go to their website I smile. A very big, geeky, cheek-to-cheek smile. Every single time.
VoiceScienceWorks.org is a place where anyone can learn something about the voice. They create voice content backed by science because that’s what they love. And I, for one, am going to continue visiting their site, going to their workshops, and sharing their information because they exude joy and killer information. Connection economy. Get it?
What does this mean for the rest of us? I encourage you to grapple with the idea of sharing freely. This doesn’t mean making a website or even starting a blog, although those are 2 very easy, inexpensive outlets for disseminating information. It means finding a way to bravely give a little more than your ego says is “safe.” Be smart about it, and at the same time stretch outside your comfort zone and use what you know to connect with others, make their lives better. You might discover this becomes an outlet for your own creativity! Just giving my ideas away, y’all. As freely as I know how.