(Join my brand new Facebook group devoted to JOY • HOPE • PEACE • LOVE here.)
"What problem are you trying to solve?"
This past Saturday I finished an 8-week digital marketing class online, and that was one of the first questions I was asked to answer. In other words: "What service are you offering?"
I was a little perplexed on how to answer it. My work is pretty diverse. I write music, I sing, I produce events, I create videos, I blog, teach yoga, organize and lead community. I couldn't seem to suss out a through-line between all these things, an elevator-pitch of what problem I was helping to solve.
So I gave myself an exercise. Over the 8 weeks of the class I kept continually changing my email signature to try and reflect what it was that I thought I did.
At first I literally listed all of the services I offered, but that felt too scattered and salesy (here's a screenshot.)
Then I went more thematic with it. I started examining the themes that have been consistent in what I've personally created over the last 8 years: the music, the events, the blogging, the videos, the teaching.
I came up with an answer that I'm sticking to (for now):
"Ben Caron creates experiences that
inspire joy, invite hope, incite peace and invoke love."
Joy, hope, peace and love. That's what's on the menu at Ben Caron Creates.
This was good clarity for me, but I had one problem. Over the past number of months, probably since October of 2017, I've been struggling to access any of those four things. I have almost entirely stopped creating, feeling like I'd be a fraud and a hypocrite if I stepped out in public, offering something I couldn't access.
This perspective changed when I read Derek Sivers book, "Anything You Want." Derek is the founder of CD Baby, and he describes in his book that he started his business by solving a problem for himself. As an independent musician he couldn't sell his CD online, so he taught himself to code a website to do just that. Then, as people started finding out that he had this skillset, they began imploring him to help them sell their CDs online, and thus CD Baby was born.
This made me realize that in some ways I'm in a similar place to Derek when he first started. I'm learning how to solve a problem for myself. The problem is: I'm struggling to access joy, peace, hope and love.
I think this is actually a pretty common problem in 2018, so I'm not alone. Fortunately, over the past few years I've learned tools and tips to help myself and I'm going to continue learning more that I can share with others.
So, I'm going to start again, from right where I'm at, bringing people into my authentic experience through this new Facebook group devoted to sharing tools, tips and experiences for accessing joy, hope, peace and love.
Be on the lookout for updates on this journey. Thanks for taking the time to read this.