I’ve given lots of speeches about outsourced blog writing in general, and BlogMutt in particular, over the last five years.
So when the organizers of the Sum+Substance series of events asked me to give a talk, I said yes.
“No problem,” I thought. “I can just give them a shorter version of the speech I gave in Australia, or maybe a more in-depth version of the speech I did in New Orleans. Or maybe I could give them some of the neuroscience and happiness stuff I love to talk about.”
Then the organizers got in touch with me, and I realized that this one would be different. No slides, just me talking for 10 minutes. No instructions about blogging. No talking about other stuff.
Well, I thought I could rise to the challenge, even after watching many of the exceptional videos of those who’d gone before me on the Sum+Substance stage.
I wrote a draft of my talk, and shared it with the organizers.
It was OK, they said, but was missing one huge thing: Me.
It’s a funny thing. I have a big enough ego that I’m very willing to stand on stage in front of thousands of people or go on TV and talk with no hesitation, but I don’t have an ego that tells me it’s a good idea to go up there and reveal anything personal, anything real about myself.
They said they understood that urge, but they also helped me to understand that people will relate to what I say much more if they have more of an understanding of who I am and of what I’ve faced to get to where I am.
So, that’s how a talk about something as impersonal as outsourced blog writing got so personal.
In each of the talks, the organizers urged the speakers to issue a challenge to those watching. You’ll have to watch the video to see what my challenge was, but in short, it has to do with the notion that even outsourced blog writers are people, too. They are all looking for a safe place to work online, just as employees are also looking for a safe workplace.
I was looking for a safe space to give that talk, and I want to thank the Sum+Sub people for giving me just that.