Why #2 Is The New #1 (And Updates On The Blog)

We live in a society of ruthless self-promotion. The game is all about how many followers, subscribers, and likes you can get. In the internet writing world, I’ve learned that you can buy your way into Forbes and other ‘esteemed’ publications.

If you spend long a long enough time working with people on the internet, you realize that everyone thinks they can (and should) be somebody.

I overheard a conversation at a coffee shop the other day between two life/business/marketing coaches (by that, of course, I mean that I eavesdropped hard). They were both complaining endlessly about some ‘mastermind’ that they’d felt had failed them. They weren’t hitting their revenue goals and were watching their businesses fail.

One of the ladies had gone out and hired another coach to help her get out of a rut. She admitted to her friend - in a whisper - that she’d spent quite a bit of money hiring this second coach. Which, she then claimed, in turn justified her raising her own program price from $3,000 to $18,000+. The best news? She wasn’t teaching anything that different, just a few additional marketing tips.

I almost threw up. I’ve worked with my fair share of executive, life, and mindset coaches. I can say honestly that a handful have been charlatans. More often than not, however, they are rockstars. Genuinely good people on a mission to help others. So this isn’t a knock at the coaching industry.

It’s a knock at the culture that’s perpetuated a belief that building a personal brand is more valuable than serving a moral purpose.

As a young person, hungry for knowledge and skills, this strikes me as the wrong approach, though I must bashfully admit that I’ve fallen trap to this ‘me, me, me’ mindset at times. [Hint: look at the name of the website you’re on.]

I say, “I want to write books” and what I really mean by that is “I want to put my own name on books, tell my own story.” Tsk, tsk.

We each believe that we are the center of the universe. You do and I do. I mean, not rationally, not even theoretically, but practically. In the throes of the day to day, we are so consumed by the myriad of unsexy and tedious details in our own lives that we forget that we are part of a larger unit. We don’t realize that if isn’t optimizing for you or me; it’s optimizing for the whole.

What matters is not you or me—but humanity.

In a world that’s filled with shameless self-promotion, the last thing I want to do is sit around figuring out ways to promote myself better.

As Herb Brooks might say:

“The name of the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. Get that through your heads. Again!”

The problem is I don’t know yet what the name on the front of my jersey is.

I don’t think many of us do.

We haven’t pledged an allegiance to something greater than ourselves, not in any formal way. We are still holding out for something better to come along. In the meantime, racking up points with the bosses, building some social capital, and looking out for number one.

==

Behind NBA players like Aaron Gordon is a mental coach who is a good friend and collaborator of mine. He’s the guy you call when you’re hitting some rocky territory at the free throw line, struggling with an injury, or trying to keep your confidence up when the press is ripping you down. This guy has no social media (though I’m working on him) and hardly any footprint on the internet. Yet, he’s a well-known genius boy in the NBA.

GB said something to me the other day that struck me:

“Number two is the new number one.”

I said nothing, but in my head I was like “OHHHHHHH snap.”

We need more people like this who are willing to sit behind the scenes—planning, strategizing, and offering guidance. They take pride in doing the right thing, not getting credit for it. They stand behind stage making sure everything goes off without a hitch. These people serve at the pleasure, with a deep sense of moral purpose.

If there’s anything I want to become in life it’s that.

Not published author or an entrepreneur or the President of the United States.

But a person that serves at the pleasure, with a deep sense of moral purpose - in whatever capacity I am called.

==

With that said, this ‘blog’ and my ideas about what’s possible are in constant flux. I have an ask of you, if you’re willing, which I’ve structured into this handy-dandy bulleted list:

  • My platform is small, but growing. In the first month of launching this blog formally, there were nearly 1,000 visitors to the site. It’s time to take it up a notch, make this a little less about me, a little bit more about the principles behind it (which I must admit are not fully developed yet).

  • The reason I love writing on the internet is because every once and awhile I get an email or a message from someone that says: “this made me cry” or “this changed the way I think about X.” To increase those number of emails, the writing and storytelling needs to improve.

  • If you have a company, project, story, idea, or really anything that you’d like to share on this site that is loosely related to topics I’ve been discussing, I would love to speak with you. Email me at: bykateward@gmail.com. A huge goal for me in 2019 is to start spotlighting the good work other people are doing, not only to show support, but also to inspire whoever is watching.

  • Perspectives and minds change through inspirational storytelling. I only have one perspective—mine. I’m pursuing avenues of expanding this as ‘this’ grows. In addition to wanting to explore my own voice more this year, I also want to explore yours.

  • The best I can ever do is step out of the spotlight. It’s what I do every day in my ghostwriting work and all I can hope to continue doing for years to come in everything I do. Thank you for being a part of this community and I look forward to the prospect of working alongside you in the future.

  • Xo

Kate WardComment