Some people believe that after they’ve met The One, they could never develop feelings for another. I think that if we are blindfolded we may be unable to distinguish touch from touch. This is not an argument against monogamy, but for focus.
In his book Outliers, The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell says that hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning1. In making the point that excellence requires a critical minimum level of practice, he says ten thousand hours is the magic number that researchers have agreed on for true expertise2. That’s an awful amount of focus.
Livelytwist and I have been married for a year and as much as she has pleasured me past our honeymoon weekend of 2,000 views, family, friends, work, hobbies, books, TV, social media, and a hundred other commitments compete for my attention. If I have achieved any kind of excellence in this marriage, it is because I rarely let anything come between Livelytwist and me.
Our marriage has not been without its challenges. Although I spend hours conjuring word pictures to process big ideas, promoting these ideas beyond my small circle tasks me. Learning how to ‘shout’ on Twitter and Facebook does not excite me. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.3
I remember that at twelve or thirteen, my mum gave me the talk.
“You’ve started your period. From now on, if a boy touches you like this,” she tapped my arm, “you’ll get pregnant!”
I did not take her words to heart. But the next day, as I played tag with the kids on my street, the horror of how many times I could get pregnant weighed on my heart. At dinnertime, I watched the boys run to their homes while I trudged to mine, sure that my stomach had already started swelling. I stopped playing tag after that.
My mother had successfully sold me her abstinence formula, which I bought until I turned sixteen and the boys came to play tag in droves. Only then did she change her marketing strategy.
Where I come from, we call every carbonated drink Coke. Such is the brand dominance Coca-Cola enjoys, and yet the company still spends millions on advertising. I realise that I must first write posts that resonate with readers, before I figure out how to get them to read it, and then be ready to change when my methods age.
At the same time, I do not want to be that guy at the airport, who you ask, “What do you do?” and he answers, “I’m in sales, and you?” Then while your lips are opening, he tells you about his eBooks, his tenor rising, rising, dropping, rising, rising, as he shoves a Kindle in your face. You cannot get a word in edgeways, so you promise to buy at least one book and make a mental note to go for confession. When you throw the bookmark he gave you in the bin, all that remains from the encounter is the smell of musk.
The first indicator that someone outside my close circle was anticipating my blog post came a few months after I started blogging.
Lively, how far? It’s 2 p.m. here and we’ve been waiting all day for your blog post.
This email from a reader via my contact form proved that my walk was louder than any talk I could have given for he had noticed my Sunday-Sunday consistency. It changed the game for me. I shovelled out my doubts about blogging and said, “I do” to Livelytwist.
All of you who share my posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and by word-of-mouth, are my connectors to the rest of the world. Your referrals are fresh like 8 a.m. doughnuts and relevant like Google. You helped me stay faithful to Livelytwist. At every crossroad, you lifted the lamp of love, and I saw in your face, the road that I should take.
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
Related posts from Livelytwist:
- Gladwell, Malcom, Outliers, The Story of Success, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), 175
- Ibid., 43 – 44.
- Peter Drucker Quote: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/peterdruck154444.html
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