No Such Thing As A FREE Lunch

2 07 2010

no-free-lunchAt least twice each year I hear the following from a credible strategic planner our owners keep good company with – “There’s no such thing as a free lunch…unless you diversify.” Now certainly I realize he is referring to our personal portfolios and our allocation of financial assets, but wouldn’t the same apply to our professional portfolios and allocation of human assets?

Here’s the situation – I’m an avid fan of Mark Ramsey from Hear2.0.
I have the utmost respect for him and I don’t miss the chance to read anything he has written or produced including his blogs, audio and video podcasts. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I tend to hang on his every word. His blog from today was a classic tongue in cheek. I had to read it multiple times because at first I thought he might be condoning the fact that on-air radio talent shouldn’t be required to embrace the digital world. By that I mean contributing on-line content whether it is in the form of a blog, social media or other interactive elements. You know, extending their on-air brand across multiple platforms to effectively connect and build a relationship with their listeners.

Last time I looked, our industry and many others are drastically changing. We’re in the new world and that means you need to do things you’ve never done before and you will be asked to do more than you have ever done before. The individuals that embrace and diversify their professional portfolios will write their ticket in this town. Those who do not will go by the way of the dinosaurs. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are requiring someone to become a writer and they can’t string complete sentences together and you spend more time proofreading what they’ve written than you do ragging them to do it, you lose – they lose – we all lose. What I am talking about is having them embrace the parts of the assignment that they do have the ability to excel at. In my industry that could mean blogging, or an audio podcast, a weekly entertainment video, a very engaging and interactive fan page or tweets about segments coming up in your show. The point being, you have to do something. The positions of being just an on-air talent or whatever it is you do for a living, don’t exist any longer. You have to diversify, get comfortable with being uncomfortable and start building relationships with your audience or customers beyond what you’re currently doing. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in, this same “outside of my job description” attitude exists. I’m not saying let your employer take advantage of you, I’m talking about taking a good look in the mirror and sliding into that bullet proof vest that will make you invincible and a “we can’t live without this person in our organization” type of employee.

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