"The surest way to guarantee nothing interesting happens is to assume you know exactly how to do it." [Kathy Sierra]
One of the reasons why I'm inspired by people like Kathy Sierra, Guy Kawasaki, Charlene Li, Brian Solis, Hugh MacLeod, Robert Scoble, to give a few examples, is not just that I got to know them through their writing, and meet them in real life. It's also because each one of them has had interesting evolutions in their work - what they do and how they do it.
And no, it's not about the tools. It's about the people.
They've become popular for the one thing they have in common. What they have in common is the fact that they give power to their users. They do it differently and in different ways, depending on who they are. They are not afraid to make changes in their projects and direction, either.
That got me thinking about the times when I've leaped in my career. It happened when I've ignored limitations - those imposed by the rules and the self-imposed kind, too - and when I've helped my readers/colleagues/peers/family/friends (insert your word here) kick ass.
My top ten observations about how to go from here to kicking dust - in no particular order:
(1.) Make it about others and the community
It's counter intuitive, I know, but when you give power away, you get influence in return.
(2.) Be human and approachable
The only barriers that exist are those you may erect - so don't.
(3.) Stay curious and interested
The most interesting people are those who are most interested in you, in learning, in doing stuff.
(4.) Pick your projects well
If you have a choice, do you know which one will give you more joy and thus yield?
(5.) Have courage
You could be the first one or the only one.
(6.) Be grateful and practice
It takes years of practice for something to look easy.
(7.) Give value, give credit
The biggest compliment you can receive is that someone gets an idea you shared done.
(8.) Get out of your comfort zone
Sometimes taking an outright risk is easier than stretching beyond known territory.
(9.) Put skin in the game
The only way you're ever going to succeed is if you figure out what you can offer the world.
(10.) Accept what happens
This is probably the most difficult of all.
The best way to get your wishes done is to help others realize their dreams. I created a permanent page on this blog that is about you to help you get a start. I'm listening - connecting ideas and people is not just a clever tag line, it's what I do and who I am.
What are your top ways to kick ass? Who are your rock stars?
[photo courtesy of livepath]
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.