What does it mean to make your own show?
Derek Lumpkins talked about the long history of African Americans in Boston—a deeply rooted, fascinating and parallel alternative to the mainstream “Paul Revere” narrative we usually hear, when he was on my show, Intercultural Spark, last Thanksgiving. A week later he was on Chris Brogan’s Backpack show, talking about global finance. I literally scrunched my nose and squinted closer to the screen.
“This could not be the same person,” I thought. Indeed it was. Only the interviewer was different. It does seem obvious when you think, for example, of President Obama on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis on Funny or Die vs a BBC interview with him. But how does this play out in your own work and life?
(Go ahead and watch some of the interviews to see the differences. I’ll wait.)
With Every Action, a Reaction
Watching the two Derek interviews made me realize that we have more power than we imagine. We may think things—ideas and people–come to us already baked—e.g. Derek is his own autonomous person and will be the same wherever he goes. But it is in our framing of a situation, problem, relationship or idea, that we can put our own unique stamp on things. We can’t control what another person says or does, but our own behavior, by nature, influences the other.
Our actions, which we control, have a direct connection to another’s reaction or response. This could be in something planful, like a show or interview. It can also be in everyday conversations and interactions. It’s powerful in building your business—you have the power to try novel approaches and to initiate innovative connections with people to make things happen.
In fact that is the absolute joy of being an entrepreneur, the power to make something from nothing. We all have that. With so much in the world out of our control these days, it’s easy to forget.
Make it YOU over THEY
There’s a profusion of “they” talk going on these days. As in: “They” say a recession is coming! “They” say AI will take our jobs! How can “they” actually believe that? (aka whoever thinks the opposite on any point). But with all the “theys,” there’s still YOU. And you have you today. So, if “all the world’s a stage,” own your show.