Like everyone with a creative streak (most of us), I have loads of ideas. 1 in 10 of these works and makes some money. But several times a day that doesn’t stop me thinking ‘Good grief, this is a brilliant idea. It’ll change the world and make a fortune’
Now recently I’ve had several meetings which have been ‘explorations’. At the end of the meeting, there seems to be nothing to take forward, and no opportunities clarified. And during the meeting, I’ll have waxed lyrical over the many half-baked notions going round in this grey matter.
You won’t be surprised a slight unease starts to take hold here.
Leadership experts like to talk about transactional versus transformational approaches. The first involves ‘let’s scratch each others backs’ and the second involves leaps of faith and trust in which we enter into relationships and change, without expectation of any return. It’s all about taking the progress forward.
But creatives and entrepreneurs tend to have plenty of optimism and blind faith anyway. Transformation is our thing, we have to believe we can make stuff work. And we couple this belief with courage or foolhardiness, depending on your viewpoint.
And yes, free services and products build relationship, market and community. Chris Anderson’s Free is excellent on this.
But I can’t help feeling there’s an almost mystical belief prevailing at the moment that if you do stuff for free you will be rewarded. You won’t. Not unless people think what you produce is useful and helpful, and know where you are.
So if you want a meeting, please don’t be taken aback if I ask: ‘Are we both scratching here – or is transformation the goal?’ and decline if you can’t answer.
As my mother might say: ‘Forget your back, love. It’s your mouth that matters. Shut it’.