How Do You Go from Great to Greater?

going from great to greaterGreat to greater. It is that part inside of us that pushes us. As a parent we want to be the best parent, teach and show our kids all that we can and be that great parent to them. In our relationships we want to be the great friend, lover and the go to with our BFF. In business we want to be greater than great. Come on, I admit it. I want to look in the mirror and know that I am giving it all I have to be greater than great. If we just wanted to be great we would not try and learn more, better ourselves, move up in the company and for the small business owners, offer new services. First we have to be great at one thing and people acknowledge and believe that, then once we attain that, we want to go from great to greater. But how? We are stretched to the gills sometimes and as we try and find the time to grow within ourselves, our family and friends, we sometimes have to search for the ways to become greater.

Going from Great to Greater

We go from great to greater when we invest in ourselves. Investing in ourselves is difficult sometimes. We feel the time pressures, the guilt of not spending that little extra bit of time with our family or friends. How many times have we had to choose between sleep and getting that last little bit done, or hunkering down on a weekend to catch up on some webinars, blog comments or reading a book that has been staring at us on the counter day after day? I know for me many times. I joke about being a superhero but in a way it is not really a joke, is it? It is saying I want to invest in myself to better me as a better me is going to benefit me, my family, my friends and the entire community that supports this blog. Seems simple when we say it that way but we are not that naive to think that it is this easy.

How do we invest in ourselves?

We invest in ourselves through the relationships we build, the dialogue we create and engage in, the webinars we listen to, the conferences we attend and even the classes we take. Yes, classes that we take. When is the last time many of us took a class? I know for me it was in 2002. That is a lifetime ago. Why? I got busy and shifted my efforts elsewhere. I learn every day from the community around me and while this is true is it enough? The community does not make us necessarily responsible as a class assignment. We can look at Lisa Barone who writes a lot but yet she takes writing classes. Kinda makes me feel a bit inferior to be honest. I write blogs but yet I never thought of taking a writing class. The challenges while at first glance may feel less than writing a blog each day as there is only one that is critiquing the writing in a class as opposed to the blogging community. Is a low traffic day indicative of a blog that was not worthy of reading? Sometimes yes, but, is this a real measure if we are writing and growing within our writing? There is always that popularity and cult of attention that creeps up and people read because they feed our ego or like us and not always because the article was a home run.

What happens when we are not able to take classes or not as big to have internal training sessions? What if we are only able to dedicate certain amount of hours that are almost off hours to try and go from great to greater? While this may to some to be an excuse as wanting to better yourself should have no obstacles, we know that this is not always realistic. We have responsibilities at home and work that are demanding and finding that time when the classes are offered is not always something we can juggle. So what do we do? Self teach? That works as there is a lot of information out there that is helpful but then who are we talking to about it? Is there a different POV that you are missing?

Learning within a community

We learn from our community constantly. The blogs they write, the ebooks they share, the conversations we have but yet come on we know that many times they are not giving it all away for free. Do not get me wrong, our communities give away a lot and a lot of what they give is the ability to take an idea and make it our own. Sometimes this works and sometimes we need some more. Telling us the best apps to download is a whole lot different on how to create a social media policy for your company. The notion of learning within a community got me thinking. There is Third Tribe which is a great community but as a(n) absent member I never really grew from it. I never gave it my all to participate but yet have not left as someday I will return. ItĀ  is not that there was is enticement to stay, it is not where I have felt comfortable and stay as well maybe tomorrow I will feel comfortable. So, when Kitchen Table Companies was launched today I was hesitant to join. Would I go again into something that I would not be active in?

The Vara-Brogan love fest is still in full swing but yet where does the loyalty end? Then, I took Chris out of the equation and have been thinking about what a kitchen table company is and the struggles that they/we have. I am a small business owner who has struggles of going from great to greater. When we hit this point, we search deep to push harder but as we try and push harder, it seems the other parts of life push harder. Is a community that is based upon the small business struggles the right place to be? That seems like a no brainer but then again is there time afforded or will we be shifting efforts to a community that we may nor may not be active in. What happens if the others are not active? Then we have to think about Joe Sorge and Chris all that they share on Kitchen Table Talks. We can only think that there will be more shared there and the community is such a niche of folks that are trying to go from great to greater. Does the monetary commitment outweigh the commitment and the learning experience? As a new community can the members make it beneficial for all of us? I think so. If you are a member and have some insight, good or bad, please fell free to share your thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE: I slept on this and then I just did the math. If you are considering this, I recommend signing up for the whole package. Why? Well $27 x 12/months = $324. The entire package is $447. So think about his. By signing up for the membership community forum you are going to spend $324 for a year. Why not spring for the additional $123. It makes a lot of sense as you are getting the classes and the ebook. The tools you need to improve by investing in yourself pretty much for $123.

great blue heron photo credit: mikebaird

Disclaimer – I am friends with Chris Brogan. At no time have I been approached to talk about or mention Kitchen Table Companies, the programs, the community or any of the offerings. There is no monetary gain for me to talk about this venture and these are my own words and thoughts. I am have not signed up for any of the classes or the community at the time of this writing however I am giving it a lot of thought and consideration as a small business owner who wants to grow and break away to go from great to greater.

  • There is never time to do all we want to do is there? One has to have priorities, that’s true, and the challenge to become greater than great naturally requires a lot more effort than your average task.
    Sometimes though I think that it’s also a matter of perspective. I mean, are you sure reading all those books, participating in all those seminars or being active on all those communities will really help you become greater in the end? How does one know what’s the sure, straight path to achieve that? I personally believe it’s a matter of instinct, knowing what’s better for you, knowing your weaknesses, working on them to strengthen them and “level up”, so to say. I am saying something obvious perhaps, but it seems to me knowing how to do it is sometimes harder than doing it.

    • Gabriele

      Not here is never enough time. The risk vs the rewards need to be weighed. I know that I sign up for webinars and then other things come up and poof, time for investing in me is gone and I try and play catch up. The problem with this is that we never end up growing as we can roll over the information and knowledge that we have and think of it differently but it is not growing.

      Knowing what to do is a whole lot easier than actually doing it as you say. This is the struggle of time and going the extra bit to invest in yourself.

  • In my case, I work on improving myself all the time because I think that’s the only way that I’ll be able to help others more than I already do. If I had stopped in 2006 when I was figuring out how to do podcasts, what would have come of that? Nothing, really. So, I continue to strive to be something bigger so that I can give more to others.

    Great post and it made me think. Also, exciting to know that Lisa takes writing courses. She’s one of my favorite writers in our space.

    • Chris

      Thanks for dropping by. So nice to see your smiling face. I agree that if we do not improve ourselves then we cannot give more to others. I see where there may be opportunity with KTC between the classes and the community where we will be given the resources necessary to grow. What we do with them is always up to us.

      I was really looking into the classes and trying to find the budget but then I did the math and the whole package is the most economical as the $27 per month alone for a year is $324. So then when you take the ebook out the classes then come to $26 if you did them all separate. Ok I thank you for letting me think out loud. I should put this above as an update in the blog.

  • Really appreciate your personal thoughts on KTC here. I especially enjoyed you thinking out loud in your comments. So what’s your final analysis? What’s the best value purchase here?

    I participate in 3rd Tribe at $27/mo and every time renewal comes I can’t ever bring myself to cancel. Seems like I find at least one idea per visit inside there, so I’m really curious as to your take on the best way to get the most value out of KTC.

    Thanks again for all your support of the project Suzanne.

    • Joe

      Thrilled to have you stop on by. The best value has to be by far is the whole package. I am not looking at the community as being free with that package as most would sign up for community and never have the heart to cancel (like you and me and many with 3T). So keeping that in the equation, minus out the book, the classes are $26. They are 6 weeks so that makes them $4.33 per class. Find me a college class that is $4.33 per session.

      For members to get the most out of this, from the admin side/your side: I think a lot of attention needs to be paid to the industry that the members are in. Presuming that they are all owners of the business as they are KTC, you would not have to look at that.Keying in on the industries and what their challenges are and addressing them through their participation will be very helpful. We have seen with the show that many are not calling in but are tuning in. Will this happen inside the forum – possibly. If it is small reaching out to those that are not very active maybe beneficial as because an inactive member is not good for them nor anyone in the forum.

      Joe- this is getting a bit long and if you want to hear some more, let’s schedule a skype as I have some more ideas on this as I want this to succeed and not have people cringing when they are charged each month. KTC owners need the support from you and Chris but also from people just like them who are struggling. Let’s talk.

    • Joe

      Thrilled to have you stop on by. The best value has to be by far is the whole package. I am not looking at the community as being free with that package as most would sign up for community and never have the heart to cancel (like you and me and many with 3T). So keeping that in the equation, minus out the book, the classes are $26. They are 6 weeks so that makes them $4.33 per class. Find me a college class that is $4.33 per session.

      For members to get the most out of this, from the admin side/your side: I think a lot of attention needs to be paid to the industry that the members are in. Presuming that they are all owners of the business as they are KTC, you would not have to look at that.Keying in on the industries and what their challenges are and addressing them through their participation will be very helpful. We have seen with the show that many are not calling in but are tuning in. Will this happen inside the forum – possibly. If it is small reaching out to those that are not very active maybe beneficial as because an inactive member is not good for them nor anyone in the forum.

      Joe- this is getting a bit long and if you want to hear some more, let’s schedule a skype as I have some more ideas on this as I want this to succeed and not have people cringing when they are charged each month. KTC owners need the support from you and Chris but also from people just like them who are struggling. Let’s talk.

  • Fantastic job, Suzanne.

    (I’ve subscribed to your blog, now.)

    Anyway, I have not joined KTC yet, either. I may in the future, but I just can’t make the commitment of time.

    Yes, I am a huge fan of Chris’s. He’s helped me a lot. Actually, He’s probably responsible for some job creation, too.

    (Some folks that are employed as social media director’s etc. should probably hand-write a thank you note to him.)

    Blue Heron’s are amazing,

    The Franchise KingĀ®