If they don’t know who you are, then you have been given the gift of obscurity. Let this not be offensive. Let this be a relief. – from the book Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
One of those thoughts that make you go “Wow.”
I am a platform builder.
I work with/for platform builders (among other things.)
I am a charter member of Platform University, a professional education website that helps me grow in various topics related to entrepreneurship, marketing, and managing a lifestyle business.
But the quote above from Simply Tuesday reminds me that having a large platform is not the end goal. Obviously the author hopes her book gets “out there.” But she’s learned and observed that being well-known or “famous” (even if not like a Hollywood celebrity, but within your own region or industry) is not all it’s cracked up to be. It can remove your privacy. Change who you are. Make you too concerned about what people will think.
“What others may think” has been a stumbling block in my life. This may be why my own “platform” has only grown in small increments. God knows what I can and cannot handle well so perhaps I’ve been protected from what can come when you are known nationwide.
I recently had an experience where a casual conversation could have led to me revealing something that would not have been wise. It would not have been an earthshaking mistake, but it was better to act with discretion.
A wise person (Person A) that I’m close to did not reveal too much of their opinion about a certain local situation. Person A knows I have a “platform” in social media and in our hometown. In a totally different environment, I had a conversation with Person B who asked me if I knew what Person A thought about the situation. The question was innocent and not intended to be gossip–they knew Person A was involved in a particular industry–but the situation revealed to me how easy it could be for well-connected people to share too much.
This is a danger of having a sizable platform. You begin to be familiar with so many people that you have to try to steward information well so that it is not shared indiscriminately. You can also lose the personal touch or meaningful interaction with people. I’ve recently been listening to a podcast that was all about how to become less accessible as your platform grows. I admit it’s great information from a practical standpoint, and quite understandable, but it’s also a little sad.
I don’t intend to stop trying to work with–and on–my platform, and part of my job is to help my clients in managing theirs. But I think I’m going to re-frame my thinking to focus less on “building” platforms and more on “stewarding” them…managing them well.
Because solid is often better than big.
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