I was a working actor in New York City for many years. While I was networking or on the audition circuit, I was always puzzled by a certain phenomenon that I encountered. I would run across other people who said they were in the same business at events or at parties and they always let others know they were an “Actor.”
Why is this odd? New York is filled with actors. Let me explain.
I would ask them how often they auditioned or what was the last project they worked on and their response would be that they were taking classes or they were not ready yet or still working on their material. Now going to classes is important, as I had a vocal coach or an acting coach even though I was working, but their response was more of a reason why they were not working on getting a paying job or just getting out to perform.
The reason why I bring this up is that as you spoke more to this person, I came to realize that the person loved with the idea of being an actor versus the reality of what they had to do each and every day to become an actor.
I see the same thing today with businesses and their relationship with new media or new technology. They fall in love with the new hot service or idea at a conference or from an article they read and they rush back to their company saying, “We are now doing this,” or “This vendor is the best and our competition is using it so I just signed us up.”
While this may allow them to feel current or allow them to brag a bit at their next business or social gathering, in reality, they never take the time to examine if this service or product is right for their culture or business model. They fall in love with the idea, but not the reality of how this new service or product impacts their business.
Technology may be able to solve a lot of problems or make a business more effective, but not every piece of technology or service is right for everyone. You have to ask yourself if it fits in your culture, how it can help us, how will we implement it and at what cost.
The easy access to information and the ability for new trends to be pushed out to us, telling us we need it to maximize our potential can be detrimental if all we are doing is shopping to be in the “cool” club.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a business associate who told me, “Some of the best customers for our company were the ones we never took.” It took me a bit to understand that, but not all customers are right for your business. The same goes for new technology or services. Some of the best technology or services for your company will be the ones you don’t use.