Getting Attention Is a Stupid Business Plan

by Chuck Westbrook on April 7, 2009

Tweet version: “Starting a business is about providing value and making money. It’s not about blog readers, Twitter followers, or impressing friends.”

These words from Shakespeare describe many who claim the title of ‘entrepreneur.’

“…A walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
-Macbeth

They can be spotted at networking events, at parties, and online making lot of commotion and doing some serious talking about themselves and their experiences and ideas. But there’s little to no real business happening. The actions and results are lacking. It’s like playing pretend at entrepreneurship.

Business is about earning a living and adding value to the world and the people in it. It’s not about cocktail chatter or friends and followers, as fun as that can be.

Here’s the real problem. Some have latched on to this stuff as a plan, as a full-time occupation. They blog, tweet, email, network, scheme, and dream so that the attention comes pouring in.

There’s a market for sound and fury. Plenty of people will gladly trade some of yours for some of theirs. If that’s the currency you’re after, be advised: It has a lousy exchange rate.

Image by theparadigmshifter.

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» Links Worth Reading, 4/15 - tom alison dot com : blog
04.15.09 at 7:47 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Ed Roach 04.07.09 at 7:35 pm

Interesting perspective. Reading your post immediately planted certain people of whom I am acquainted into my head. Bluster *ucks you could call them. They have little substance. I love the ones who brag of their success only to see them going under months later. They are at least entertaining to watch.

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2

Pankaj Chauhan 04.15.09 at 2:32 am

Totally agree with the point of view. I am a firm believer that your work should speak for yourself. I can figure out people from a distance who are smart talkers but can’t do much in real work place. I have just turned entreprenuer and at times I am worried by the kind of attention I am generating in blogs/PR for being one whereas the matter of fact is that I have hardly done anything. I plan to focus on implementing my ideas and let my work speak for itself.

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3

Dan 04.15.09 at 3:14 am

Agreed. But i think its important to break out the aspects in play here. Collective synergy around ideas isn’t a bad thing. Just cause like minds get together and rally on ideas doesn’t make it lame, in fact for people standing in a closet all their life, that collective synergy is what they crave to help validate their uniqueness. They find others like them, share ideas, make more ideas. BUT!!!!

Yes, the bs of all of this leaping to this would be could be rock of groovy company magic is 98% prime dream. But organizers of said events and sponsors not to mention those that feast on new fresh minds to manipulate are less likely to stop such synergy events. Bucking the trend does you little. You might as well let people gather and express themselves and maybe you’ll harvest an idea or two outa the mix.

They do say showing up is half of the biz right, there are “alot” of people showing up, attention is made, but the biz model.. yeah thats lacking.

I hear it gets ya down, and be glad you can blog about it and get some attention in your own right to be heard but recognize the good that comes from it as well.

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4

Robert 04.15.09 at 9:56 am

This is a great post. It reminds of some ‘entrepreneur’ that I know. And they are not making money. Many of these forget that business=profit. Anything else, it is a ‘hobby’.

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5

ticktock 04.15.09 at 10:16 am

“It has a lousy exchange rate.”

It is definitely not Zero! Check the Adsense rates my friend.

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6

Mike Wilson 04.15.09 at 12:29 pm

This reminds me of the people who take out ads in the back of “New Business Opportunity” magazine to sell you a report on how to make money by buying ads in the back of “New Business Opportunity” magazine selling reports…

Internet has made it almost cost free to do it. It’s a pretty scummy way to make a buck.

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