My Source Code

I’ve noticed something. When an expert speaks publicly about their craft, they go to their trusted advisor afterwards and asks “how did I do?”

It’s fascinating that an expert would question their expertise.

I have someone on my team who helps me with this…I always think I’m a failure and she is always honest.

Me: “I think the topic didn’t resonate.”

Me: “I think we should rethink how we promote this.”

And she responds “Ash, that was solid, you’re good. Relax.”

She can also say “Well, I may have not said xyz, but you still did well.”

I appreciate her honesty and perspective. I tend to surround myself with truthful people who can say “Ash, I think you’re wrong…and here’s why.”

That’s my love language. I don’t enjoy reading subtext. We’re all better people if we say what’s on our mind. And it’s why experts seek validation by their trusted circle.

Here’s my theory: experts are ruled by data. Public speaking lacks data. Sure we can look at how full the room is, sure we can listen for applause or see how many people leave the room. But those data points are meaningless. There are so many variables: a full room means great marketing, an applause is a polite gesture, and someone may leave the room because they had to make a call. It’s meaningless data that we read too much into and stress ourself out about. My data points are my trusted circle.

The same can be said for social media. We are all looking for validating data, likes, retweets, etc. to show that we’re important. But the same variables exist: someone may be fantastic at self promotion (they may have paid for those likes), maybe they posted at a bad time, or maybe your content just didn’t resonate. And that’s okay. But it sure feels good when you go viral.

When I post about my blog, I spend hours looking at the backend data. If I know someone is reading multiple posts, I can infer more things from that data than likes or retweets. And that data gives me an intrinsic reward that I’m posting the right things. When I see people whom I respect, comment and share my posts, that holds a lot of weight to me – their volume speaks more volume than the cumulative volume of all the other shares. It’s validating data. I think that’s why I gravitated towards digital marketing: I can make decisions with data.

Switching gears: One of the reasons I’m opening up about myself in my blog is because it’s silly to expect people to decode you.

I’ve spent way too much of my life being on the receiving end of colleagues who needed to be “unlocked for access”. And honestly, I’m sure people have that impression of me because I’ve always been scared to share my thoughts; very few people “got” my thoughts and I would think my ideas and view of the world was non-sensical. But at this point in my life, I’ve shared my thoughts with enough really smart people to know that my words have worth.

This is me. And, this is my source code.

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