July 30th, 2009

Mask

Friend Speaks My Mind

One of the best things I learned during my undergraduate career was the phrase "Friend Speaks My Mind." I went to a Quaker college, and though not Quaker myself, I felt very comfortable with their philosophy. There, I learned the phrase "Friend Speaks My Mind" which is meant to be said after someone says something you agree with. But it's more than just saying "yeah, you're right." It's saying that this person is a friend, someone I respect and care about, and that what they are saying connects with what I've been thinking. It spares you from giving a monologue mirroring exactly what someone else just said, or just saying "You're right".

This is my friend, and they are speaking the truth of my own mind.

It's a phrase I wish the whole world would use.

Here, J.C. Hutchins speaks my mind about giving content away for free: http://writerunboxed.com/2009/07/30/why-giving-it-away-is-okay/

He breaks down what you could lose and what you could gain. He doesn't say it's easy or that it's always going to be successful, but he makes a simple and eloquent case for those of us who choose to give content to the world for free.

One thing he mentions that is different than the empty marketing advice that I've heard from other places is friendship. Friendship is something that isn't often discussed in promotion, but friendship is a key to success. And not simply networking, not just connections, though those are great too, but actual friendship, people who you admire and care about connecting with you and each other, using their skills to make a rising tide that lifts all boats. The people I have met though podcasting and social networking have become close friends. They've helped me promote my projects, but I've also been to birthday parties, baby showers and intimate movie nights because of the community of friends that surround me now.

I used to be around people who believed that if one person succeeded, others would fail. Now I'm with people who believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. Who believe in friendship, who believe in helping each other, teaching one another, in trade and collaboration. This community inspires me to move forward, when I might otherwise sit still.