From the desk of Elise Tooley
Founder, Outreach Web Marketing
I’d like to welcome you to the Outreach Web Marketing family! Thank you for your interest in who we are, what we have to offer you and for your openness to connecting and potentially exploring a relationship with us. I believe that you’re here because you want to grow and attain more success in business, live with more joy and live your life to the fullest. And perhaps even change the world a little bit for the better…
I hope you enjoy reading because I love to write and share ideas and stories – my own and other people’s. So this is going to be a bit on the long side but I doubt you’ll find it boring! Thanks in advance for sticking with me…☺
Like many people, I’ve struggled with challenging questions such as “What is my purpose? What is this all for? How can my life make a positive difference for other people and for the world? How can I effectively challenge those parts of the status quo that are collectively hurting us and holding us back?”
Entrepreneur and blogger Seth Godin did a presentation on TED Talk in February of 2009 entitled “The Tribes We Lead”:
Given the date, one might assume that this information might be outdated but after listening to this insightful talk, I believe these ideas are as vital and vibrant today as in 2009 and will remain so for a long time to come.
Seth asks an important question toward the beginning of the presentation – “what exactly is it that we do for a living?” He believes “That we try to find a piece of the status quo — something that bothers us, something that needs to be improved, something that is itching to be changed — and we change it. We try to make big, permanent, important change. But we don’t think about it that way. And we haven’t spent a lot of time talking about what that process is like.”
(I think Seth is probably right about that. For most of us, we really haven’t given much thought as to what this process looks like, what it is exactly or how incredibly powerful it can be)
Seth then told a story about a fellow named Nathan Winograd. Nathan was the second in command at the San Francisco SPCA. Nathan and his boss challenged the status quo of the SPCA and ultimately stood up for dramatic change, moving in direct opposition of the charter of the SPCA which (unbeknownst to most people) was actually created for the purpose of euthanizing stray dogs and cats.
Cities wanted a way to get rid of their stray street animals and the SPCA was their answer to that problem.
Nathan and his boss decided that “doing away” with seemingly unwanted animals was unethical, cruel and morally wrong. They made it their intention to make San Francisco a no-kill city, the first of its kind in the nation where every dog and cat, unless sick or dangerous, would be adopted.
They came under sharp criticism and were told they were the ones who were being cruel. People said what they were proposing could never happen…impossible!
Seth relates the rest of Nathan’s story (emphasis mine):
“Nathan and his boss went to the city council to get a change in the ordinance. And people from SPCAs and humane shelters around the country flew to San Francisco to testify against them — to say it would hurt the movement and it was inhumane. They persisted. And Nathan went directly to the community. He connected with people who cared about this: nonprofessionals, people with passion. And within just a couple years, San Francisco became the first no-kill city, running no deficit, completely supported by the community.
Nathan left and went to Tompkins County, New York — a place as different from San Francisco as you can be and still be in the United States. And he did it again. He went from being a glorified dogcatcher to completely transforming the community.
And then he went to North Carolina and did it again. And he went to Reno and he did it again. And when I think about what Nathan did, and when I think about what people here do, I think about ideas. And I think about the idea that creating an idea, spreading an idea has a lot behind it.”
Seth goes on to educate us about the ways that ideas have caught hold and spread in the past. In his presentation, he breaks this down into three distinct cycles that have evidenced themselves in the past hundred years or so.
CHANGE CYCLE #1: THE FACTORY CYCLE
The factory concept was something that Henry Ford utilized to transform America. Because he was able to build an efficient factory that produced large numbers of cars, he was able to pay his workers ten times more than they were previously paid, ($.50 per day, now making $5.00 per day working on Ford’s assembly line).
This gave Ford an advantage that those laboring under antiquated and less efficient conditions and systems could not begin to compete with. With that kind of an advantage, lots of changes took place, such as the building of more roads as more people were able to buy automobiles and wanted to travel farther than they’d ever been before.
There was a strong demand for more highways, etc…and within just a few short years, massive changes took place within society, due in great part to the efficiencies of automobile assembly lines and factories.
CHANGE CYCLE #2: REACHING THE MASSES WITH TELEVISION
As we know, the advent of television was not only a revolution in communications and entertainment; it was also a marketing and advertising revolution. Television – a powerful new tool with which to take ideas and push them out into the world.
Of course, we know our idea is better than many of the other ideas out there, and if we can just pull together the finances to sell our superior idea/product/service to enough people, we’ll be profitable. Could it be possible for an entire industry be built on this approach? If you had deep enough pockets then yes, television could be your answer.
Television is marketing to the masses, and as Seth comments in his presentation:
“Mass marketing requires average ideas, because you’re going to the masses, and plenty of ads. What we’ve done as spammers is tried to hypnotize everyone into buying our idea, hypnotize everyone into donating to our cause and hypnotize everyone into voting for our candidate. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well anymore either.”
(Well…this was before the election of Donald Trump!)
CHANGE CYCLE #3: THE IDEA OF TRIBES
Seth refers to the idea of tribes as very good news for us. I got excited when he said that. Who doesn’t need good news these days? He states that tribes are a simple idea that goes back many centuries. So what are these tribes, exactly?
SETH GODIN: “It’s about leading and connecting people and ideas. And it’s something that people have wanted forever. Lots of people are used to having a spiritual tribe, or a church tribe, having a work tribe, having a community tribe. But now, thanks to the Internet, thanks to the explosion of mass media, thanks to a lot of other things that are bubbling through our society around the world, tribes are everywhere.”
As Seth observed, the Internet did not have the homogenizing effect that some people believed it would have once everyone could connect so rapidly and instantaneously. Instead, people formed and strongly identified with other pockets of people who shared the same interests as theirs.
For example, those keenly interested in the Syracuse Orange college basketball team can now find each other and gather online in ways that were never open to them before the Internet. Online, the Syracuse Orange folks can more easily find each other now – they can more easily connect, identify and form a tribe all their own.
More recently, the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota expanded their “tribe” via the power of Facebook and other social media forces to get the word out about their mission as water protectors…(they do not identify with or accept being labeled “protestors” which is a colonized term).
The Sioux are determined to save their sacred burial grounds and the Missouri River from being destroyed by the handful of billionaires who stand to benefit the most from the completion of the over 1,100 mile long Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Their idea was simple. “Water is Life”. And conversely – “Oil is Death”.
The Standing Rock Sioux united around a simple idea that began to resonate within certain pockets of interest, carrying with it a sense of justice, passion and urgency of purpose. An idea that began to move within the hearts of more and more people, stirring them to action and allegiance, including thousands of U.S. military veterans who gathered with them on the banks of the river to protect not only the Sioux’s sacred burial grounds but the fresh water supply of fourteen million+ people downstream.
The vets were there in solidarity – they became part of the “tribe” and were determined to be a peaceful presence while upholding the Constitution of the United States, having sworn the oath…”to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.”
For the Sioux and their newly extended tribe family, standing strong together in protection of the land and water we all share – standing strong for the health of the Missouri river and its life forms is what they are “doing for a living”. There is nothing more important to them than carrying this movement forward until all of us who claim this movement as our own celebrate victory in the face of corporate greed.
For the first time in well over a hundred years, Aboriginal tribes from all over the country joined with the Sioux to unite behind the sanity and urgency of the idea: “Water Is Life”.
The Sioux found their cause. They found something worth changing. As Seth states:
“That what we do for a living now, all of us, I think, is find something worth changing, and then assemble tribes that assemble tribes that spread the idea and spread the idea. And it becomes something far bigger than ourselves, it becomes a movement. So when Al Gore set out to change the world again, he didn’t do it by himself. And he didn’t do it by buying a lot of ads. He did it by creating a movement. Thousands of people around the country who could give his presentation for him, because he can’t be in 100 or 200 or 500 cities in each night.”
Would the Sioux engage everyone (the masses) to embrace their new movement?
No. There are those who stand to profit from fracking and pipelines and do not view the land or water in the way that they do. There are those who don’t care either way.
The Sioux believe that we (humans and all life) belong to the land, not that the land belongs to us. What an outstanding concept. Imagine how different our world would be today if the invaders had embraced, adopted and lived by this one simple idea?
The Sioux realize that there will always be opposition and that it will take time for their movement to go to the next level and the next and then the next…
What they did successfully was create an important tribal movement within their community that grew to include like-minded supporters within the country and the world. This is a movement that continues to gain momentum and members. With every person who actively engages and becomes part of the “tribe”…those people then become the next wave of change leaders that help to collectively advance the movement forward.
These small changes, beginning with each individual member of the tribe have the capacity to ultimately result in a major lifesaving change – the global transformation to clean energy and lasting protection of the planet’s water for generations to come.
As Seth mentioned – you don’t need everyone to have a successful movement that affects real change.
He goes on to say: “The Beatles did not invent teenagers. They merely decided to lead them. That most movements, most leadership that we’re doing is about finding a group that’s disconnected but already has a yearning — not persuading people to want something they don’t have yet.”
This underlined sentence above hit me like a ton of bricks because it’s true, not only for building a successful movement but is also for revolutionizing what we as entrepreneurs do in our own businesses when it comes to leadership and adding value to those we serve.
If we look at what we’re “doing for a living” as simply giving people what they want in a way that is fair, in a way that makes them comfortable and in a way that earns their trust and loyalty, then everyone wins. There is no need to “sell”…no need to “persuade” or talk anyone into anything. It’s just a natural flow of energy between two parties who genuinely value one another and have mutual respect for one another’s talents and gifts.
Change cycle #1 – the efficient factory and the idea that a powerful entrepreneur/innovator who owned an efficient factory could affect massive changes within society.
Change cycle #2 – television and the thought that if one could grab the attention of enough viewers and if you could bombard those viewers with enough ads over and over, you could win all the business you’d ever need or want and become the dominant player in your marketplace.
Change cycle #3 – the tribal model of leadership which isn’t dependent upon massive funding or power to leverage an existing system, but works by courageously leading and empowering others to join in and embrace the change, becoming a part of and also leading and going beyond any constraints that a closed system necessarily contains.
ARE WE HERETICS, THEN?
According to Seth, yes we actually are! People who will not allow the status quo to stand, who cannot abide the hurtful aspects of it and who dedicate themselves to changing it are most definitely considered heretics.
We’re the ones who look at something that has been the accepted norm for so long and say “No…this cannot continue any longer. I’m willing to stand up and even risk my life to stop this madness, to take us away from this hurtful thing”… (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and whistleblower John Bolenbaugh are two that come to mind).
Seth refers to the “sheepwalkers” of the world, those who go through life drifting along (or dozing along perhaps)…following orders, fitting in, never questioning anything but then along comes that singular one who takes a stand, who rises up and says “This matters and we need to join together on this.”
The good news – the heretic just needs a few people to join their fledgling tribe to start things moving. Then it’s a matter of connecting with those passionate few who identify strongly with the new movement.
These are the people who clearly see how ridiculous the rules are…those hurtful norms that are detrimental in some way and aren’t afraid to challenge those norms. These are the ones who realize the old way makes no sense and have the strong urge deep within to connect with others who believe the same way they do. It is then that things start to happen…
YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION FROM PEOPLE TO LEAD THEM…SETH’S CLOSING REMARKS:
“You don’t need permission from people to lead them. But in case you do, here it is: they’re waiting; we’re waiting for you to show us where to go next. So here is what leaders have in common. The first thing is, they challenge the status quo. They challenge what’s currently there.
The second thing is, they build a culture. A secret language, a seven-second handshake, a way of knowing that you’re in or out. They have curiosity. Curiosity about people in the tribe, curiosity about outsiders. They’re asking questions. They connect people to one another.
Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don’t show up. They want to be missed when they’re gone. And tribe leaders can do that.
It’s fascinating, because all tribe leaders have charisma, but you don’t need charisma to become a leader. Being a leader gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that’s where charisma comes from, from the leading.
Finally, they commit. They commit to the cause. They commit to the tribe. They commit to the people who are there.
So I’d like you to do something for me. And I hope you’ll think about it before you reject it out-of-hand. What I want you to do, it only takes 24 hours, is: create a movement. Something that matters. Start. Do it. We need it.”
OUTREACH WEB MARKETING’S MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE
This movement is a collection of ideas, coupled with a strong desire that has been taking form for a while now and I’d like to share it with you here. I welcome your feedback, your engagement and your ideas!
Yes, I’d love to hear about your new movement for change!
Firstly, I’m building a distinct and unique digital marketing business that helps other business owners get clear about what they want to achieve and then design a way forward for them to receive exactly that. I want them to feel that they have a partner who truly cares about their long term success.
I want business owners to feel encouraged to have found us because we’re helping them achieve their goals with expertise, compassion and caring. That’s what I want other people to experience and what I want this business to achieve on the client side.
This facet of the “Outreach Web Marketing” movement to place clients’ needs and considerations before all else. This “leading by example” is meant to inspire other entrepreneurs and business owners to adopt a similar philosophy when it comes to serving first, generating profits second. When we focus on others first and give them outstanding value, the rest takes care of itself.
From the heart and soul side, I believe that human greed/corporate greed is killing us and destroying our planet. Every year we lose precious habitats to more and more development. The destructive paradigm of human self-indulgence, of generating profits at any cost has not served us well and it needs to go, quickly.
This facet of the movement puts our planet’s needs and considerations before all else, because this is the only home that we have and it is unjust to abuse the Earth. Ecocide is crime against Nature.
Following the example provided us by the brave warriors at Standing Rock, we must inspire others to be protectors, for our young and for those who have no voice (animals and habitats)
Combine both facets of this movement and we have a movement where the primary drivers are giving and protecting, as opposed to taking and making money for mostly selfish reasons, for short term gains that in the long run are anything but gains.
I want this business to be known for its Outreach (as the name states)…not only when it comes to connecting with other businesses and people in a meaningful and transformative way, but also to be known for being truly revolutionary in terms of our overall Mission and Outlook, which is to give a larger percentage of company funds away for worthy planet and life sustaining causes every year than the last.
One mastermind group I belong to focuses primarily on cutting edge organic search marketing. One of the leaders asked people to post what they wanted most out of life and what they were building a business for? What were their main motivators? Over 95% of the people who responded talked about wanting mansions, luxury cars, more expensive toys and so on. It was truly depressing to read and it got me thinking more deeply and thoroughly about this much needed paradigm/mindset shift.
In western “culture”, we are taught that success is evidenced by what we have, i.e. our physical possessions…our “accumulations”. Those who are “successful” live in a beautiful mansion or penthouse apartment with a swimming pool, a few sports cars in the garage to choose from, a designer wardrobe, a few Rolex watches and a yacht or two…
We have become slaves to our own selfish desires and these chains that bind us to them are heavier than we could have ever imagined…
What do you think? How do you feel about a refreshing lifesaving mindset where humans are driven by a strong desire to protect Earth’s resources and habitats, protect and teach our young to respect and care for the water and the land as sacred, as opposed to the old, worn out life destroying norm of exploiting the Earth for profits above all else?
I believe we must create a paradigm shift that embraces these ideas of giving and protecting first, if life on Earth is to survive long-term.
Biodiversity matters – it’s important! The January/February 2017 edition of “Sierra”published an essay by biologist Edward O. Wilson entitled “50/50 – a biologist’s manifesto for preserving life on Earth.”
Wilson writes “Only by committing half of the planet’s surface to nature can we hope to save the immensity of life-forms that compose it. Unless humanity learns a great deal more about biodiversity and moves quickly to protect it, we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth. The Half-Earth proposal offers a first, emergency solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: By setting aside half the planet in reserve, we can save the living part of the environment and achieve the stabilization required for our own survival.”
If you would like to learn more about the Half-Earth project and the biosphere, please visit this website: http://eowilsonfoundation.org/half-earth-our-planet-s-fight-for-life/
We can create a movement of giving and protecting the planet. We can embrace this paradigm shift and still fund our retirements and take care of our families. This movement doesn’t mean we cannot have a nice home, take vacations or enjoy life.
What it does mean – we can have a lot of fun together creating meaningful change that will benefit so many for millennia to come! And what we discover is a much deeper joy than “having things” could ever provide…
What I want is for more and more people to feel excited about being a part of this shift, to feel thrilled to their core about adopting this totally freeing “giving and protecting” mindset because this is what our higher purpose IS. It is the way Christ taught – to give and to serve and to put others’ needs before our own. It is what many other spiritual traditions and Aboriginal cultures emphasize as well.
I’d like to share a little story with you before wrapping up for now. There’s a yacht out there owned by a company CEO with two words engraved on the stern which says “Never Enough”. This is what this boat states emphatically to the world.
This way of thinking is a recipe not only for lifelong unhappiness and disaster, it is wreaking havoc in our world as the Takers just gonna “Take, Take, Take”…(and keep on a Takin’…!)
What if we were able to stop the madness? What if more and more businesses experiencing annual growth and steady profits began to give a healthy portion of their profits away, in thanks and appreciation to the Earth for all that we’ve been given? What if we began to collectively give a healthy portion of them away, to help those humans and non-humans alike who are suffering intensely because of human greed?
What would the world begin to look like, if owners and CEO’s were no longer driven to become richer every year? What if we join forces and rang the death knell once and for all, holding a celebratory funeral service for the destructive culture and mindset of “Never Enough”…?
What if employees were actually paid a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work? Or at least fair to the extent that those employees didn’t require subsidizing by the government…? (Wise up, Walmart: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/#de901017cd84 ).
Now there’s a paradigm shift whose time has come. There’s a movement that just might save the world…