Last week a friend asked me for some advice about publishing a blog. He wants to start his own and had some questions about my journey. Among other things, I shared with him the importance of good titles that capture people’s attention and gets to the heart of the issue. To illustrate, I invited him to review the last ten posts I had published on my blog. As I scrolled through my blog with him, I was shocked at what I saw.
Seven out of my last ten posts had a negative tone in the title. That’s 70%! Each of these seven titles promised to expose and/or solve something dangerous or frightening. Typical best-practice marketing strategy for hitting the pain point, right? Maybe so, but I didn’t feel good about it.
In distress, I have a tendency to emphasize pending doom or danger as a way to motivate. I can easily slip into that mindset of “You know what could happen if you don’t do X, Y or Z.” I can be my own worst critic, and then project onto others that same pessimism.
When I’m not in distress I am the eternal optimist, always seeking solutions or encouraging people to focus on the bright side.
So what does this pattern of writing reveal about me? Unfortunately, I think it’s a reflection of where my mind has been lately.
It’s been a rollercoaster year for me with lots of highs and lows, transitions, losses, and amazing new opportunities. Plenty of positives, and also some fears I’ve let creep into my mind. This year we are celebrating Next Element’s tenth anniversary, and we are planning a big event in October (Save the date! October 18 is the first Next Element Compassionate Accountability Summit in Newton, KS). Lots to be grateful for, and some high expectations.
In the last year we’ve had some of the biggest opportunities ever, and a few that seemed just out of reach or vanished in front of our eyes. I’ve found myself wondering if I am worthy to be the CEO, if we are on the right path, if I’m capable enough as a founding owner. What am I missing? What else should I be doing?
I’ve allowed myself to get seduced by those fear-based, pain-point storylines. I’ve been slacking on the discipline of optimism. It’s taking me away from my best self, the person who sees opportunity everywhere and believes in the potential for transformation in any situation. This is what Next Element is about, and this is why I love getting up every day to do this work.
So, this past weekend I made a decision to adopt a more positive attitude. I am recommitting myself to focus on positive potential and growth. I won’t shy away from the dark stuff, or avoid talking about difficult topics. I will focus more on the solutions and positive transformation that is possible, and you can expect to see it in the titles of my blog posts.
Marketers may tell you to go for the pain, and it may get a few more people to pay attention. As for me, I would rather be a messenger of hope and possibility, because I truly believe that people are worthwhile, capable, and accountable. That’s compassionate accountability. And that includes me too.