Often when my wife and I are taking our dog, Shadow, for a walk, we go past a house in our neighborhood that has grabbed my attention.
There are two vehicles parked out front bearing license plates that include variations on the word “beeswax.” The front yard of the house is decorated with a variety of ornamental beehives and other bee-themed items.
I‘ve concluded that the family that lives there is in the beekeeping business, and I swear that one day I will knock on their door and ask them to tell me about it.
You see, while I know nothing about beekeeping, it fascinates me. We are raised to fear bees, and yet here is someone who makes a living off of raising them and harvesting their honey.
It’s outside of my frame of reference, and even my comfort zone, and yet I could see myself trying my hand at it someday.
But I’m a marketing and communications guy. Why would I be interested in bees and honey? Shouldn’t I be focusing on honing my craft instead?
In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I think this is why so many of us struggle with creating content for our blogs or other online social properties. We focus so much on our own business and what it is that we do, that we don’t allow ourselves to breathe. We seek to tell stories, but too often the stories are too me-centric.
I blog every day, and if all I did was focus on marketing and communications and social media, I’d be pretty boring. OK, perhaps some of you already think that, but I love learning about all sorts of things. I want to be a well-rounded person. As I blog, I want to draw in ideas and concepts from other disciplines.
As individuals, and as businesses, we often operate as if we are the center of the universe.
By reaching out and learning about things that are “different,” we understand that everything else doesn’t revolve around us.
I’m grateful to my friends who use Twitter and Facebook to share their love of different types of music, a wide variety of authors, and even strange and exotic foods. I love learning from my friends who live, or have lived, in other countries, or even other parts of the country.
Don’t be defined by what you do. Instead, learn from others. Incorporate outside elements and influences into your work in order to make it more interesting.
Heck, it’ll make you more interesting, and you’ll be surprised how it will help you connect with more people in deeper, more meaningful ways.
In fact, that personal touch of being interested in others, and being able to communicate with them about the things that interest them might actually be the element that wins them over and makes them want to work with you as opposed to your competitor.
So think about the bees, and cricket (are you sensing a theme?) and step outside your comfort zone a bit.
You might actually like it.
And chances are it might make you a better business person.
What areas outside of your business realm do you find fascinating? What topics make you multi-dimensional?
A version of this first appeared at Waxing Unlyrical.