In many marketing discussion we hear that you must connect with your audience. You must enter the conversation taking place in your customer’s mind.
I’d like to add that your ability to connect with an audience is directly related to connect with yourself and your own experience. Here are some examples of what I mean:
Lately I’ve been making plans to build a tiny house similar to what they make at Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. One issue is the plumbing on something that’s more or less off the grid. After reading a book on humanure, I realized our plan as a society is to separate ourselves from our own waste and transport it off to treatment facilities when your yard or garden is where it really ought to go. We’ve removed ourselves from that part of the cycle of life.
In the past year or so, I’ve taken to eating more raw food. Rather than vegan, I’ve headed down the raw-paleo path. As a people, we’ve generally separated ourselves from our food supply and production. Most of what we consume comes out of plastic bags and cardboard boxes instead of from the ground or from an animal. I can tell you, I notice a huge difference when I switch over to processed or cooked (dead) food for a meal or two. We’ve removed ourselves from that part of the life cycle.
Over the years, I’ve studied violence. As I’ve mentioned, I was an army medic. I’m also now an instructor candidate with Target Focus Training which teaches how to handle violence by creating injuries in the other guy. Through those experiences, I’ve seen how deluded most of us are about life, death and violence. Most people hope the police show up in time if something ever goes terribly wrong. We’ve separated ourselves from the reality that criminals have no problem using violence to get what they want. We see news about more people killed in our various wars. It seems like most people don’t realize none of those people died peacefully in their sleep. We don’t even get to see flag draped caskets anymore. We’ve removed ourselves from that part of the life cycle.
Over the last year, I’ve been using running in Vibram Five Finger Shoes. My muscles had to relearn how to run but once I adjusted, I’ve never had another stress injury. Evidently, the vast majority of foot, ankle, knee, etc problems people attribute to running are actually caused by their expensive footwear. If we went barefoot or nearly barefoot, all that goes away. You were made to experience the world through your feet as well. Imagine if you lived your life with your hands in oven mitts all the time. How much sensory input would your hands miss out on? Locking our feet up in allows us to ignore where we’re going and tromp through life totally unaware. We’ve removed ourselves from that part of the life cycle.
Steve Pavlina is the number one personal development blog by most any measure. He recently posted on Intimacy and Label-Free Relationships. We’re separating ourselves from really connecting with other people by our use and dependence on labels. I highly recommend his post to you.
All that’s to say, if you want to connect with your audience, connect with yourself first. It’s not about perfection but progress. It’s all about your effectiveness and ability to impact the world around you.