Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Take action to show you're a self-starter...and that you're willing to give back

Jason Feifer is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, and has been a friend of mine for a couple years now.

Last week, he published this post:

Feifer: "Nobody cares about your dreams. They care about your actions.

This may sound harsh, but it must be said. I hear from too many people who are convinced by the power of their dreams, but do not realize what’s actually required to reach them.

For example, here’s what someone wrote to me yesterday: 'Another big dream, I’ve only recently realized, is to be published. I have to start somewhere. Can you help?'

Here’s what I always want to say in response: 'Want to achieve? Dreams don’t do it. Everyone has dreams. You instead must show that, even if you don’t have the experience, you have the drive — and you will bust your butt more than people with twice as much experience.'

Now, let me be clear: I was once an aspiring writer myself, and I owe my career to the people who took a chance on me. In turn, I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of aspiring writers. I have advised them, edited them, and published them. I have given them my time and mentorship. I love doing it, and I will continue to do it.

But you know what drives me to help aspiring writers? It’s when I see how much ACTION they have taken towards achieving their dream! They are writing for anyone who will take them. They study writing. Perhaps they study my writing. They have written something for me to consider. They have ideas, ideas, ideas. They have proven that, with or without me, they will continue writing.

They are not waiting around for *me*.

And that is why I want to help *them*.

Consider the psychology: If you ask someone to help you, and you’ve done no work yourself, then you’re asking them to do a lot of work for you. Nobody wants to do that! But if you’ve done a ton of work already, then you’re like a team on its way to the championship — and who doesn’t want to join that?

Dreams are nice, but they guarantee nothing. They prove nothing. They offer nothing. But ACTIONS? Actions are the thing that other people can trust.

Actions are what make dreams come true."

On the surface, this post sounds like it's coming from a successful guy who's looking to get more people to back up their dreams with more firm action to make their dreams a reality.

But, if you think about the social exchange, it also sounds like a high-value person who's looking for more proof that the people who want his help are willing to give back in the future:

  • "Nobody cares about your dreams. They care about your actions.": I.e. "Anyone can have a dream, what matters is if you have a dream and you're a taker or a giver. And, your actions (or lack thereof) can be a sign of how much you expect to take from me and how much you plan to do for yourself."
  • "I hear from too many people who are convinced by the power of their dreams, but do not realize what’s actually required to reach them.": Convinced by the "power of" their dreams? As in, their dreams themselves have power? Sounds like something you might hear reading The Secret. And, most high-value people will prefer to hear about your plans to work toward your goals over your plans to "manifest" your goals with the law of attraction.
  • "Everyone has dreams. You instead must show that, even if you don’t have the experience, you have the drive — and you will bust your butt more than people with twice as much experience.”: Show that you have the drive and character to outwork everyone else who also wants my help. That way, I can better assess the likelihood of your willingness to eventually put in that same work and effort to give back (for my own support and effort) in the future.

And, of course, there are also the more obvious signs closer to the end of the post of someone who's looking to be careful of who they give their time and value to.

I liked the overall message of being willing to back up one's vision with true, "get your hands dirty" effort. Yet, this post might've been even more insightful (and helpful) for others if it underlined that people can increase their likelihood of securing help and support by considering the social exchange when reaching out.

That said, it makes sense why he might've left that out: focusing on what you can do to make your dreams a reality is a more positive message. And, focusing on what's frustrating you about the people who seek your help and give nothing back might be seen as more negative (and self-focused, which probably also isn't as good for engagement).

He has some other interesting LinkedIn posts as well such as:

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Yeah, this is the passage that most underlines the social exchange aspect:

and you’ve done no work yourself, then you’re asking them to do a lot of work for you. Nobody wants to do that!

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Processing...