I was sitting staring at my laptop screen, struggling with a marketing tutorial ..which i was reading as a break from building our website and this overwhelming feeling hit me of how rubbish i was at the things i was doing. Certainly it’s not a waste of time learning new skills, but as i mostly run Focallocal myself there are always soo many things i need to do.. some which i’m good at already, and others which i’m not yet.
The amount of time i’ve spent making very little progress in marketing, and some terrible feedback i received about our website was weighing heavily on my mind, and so i decided that a complete change in approach was needed for now; by using my strengths i could make much more progress than i was making in area’s i’m weak in .. and retain more of my own sanity, i’m not at all fond of web design.
What do i do well? well, everyone tells me that they love the activities i’m creating, and i get a huge amount of verbal support when i explain the story behind Focallocal, and why i believe it can make a noticeable positive change in the way people interact with each other in many places around the World. I often doubt whether i have the skills to create a Global movement and build a large community around the world using our simple events to bring people closer together in their local communities ..but i certainly have no trouble painting my vision for others and explaining exactly why i passionately believe it can work! (perhaps i missed my calling as a used car salesman 😉
So creating positive events, and i have telling stories to share my vision with others i have. Most of my adult life i spent travelling, hitch-hiking around the world, living in tents on beaches, working in one place i wanted to experience for 6 months and then rolling my life up into a bag, sticking out my thumb and heading off chasing after for the next adventure. Weaving those 3 strengths together, added to my newly re-discovered health following a serious neck injury, the best way i could share our message and events with the world was simply to go everywhere and bring them there myself! while filming a documentary and blogging to tell my story!
I may not be good at marketing and online advertising, but surely people would be interested enough to tell their friends when they hear about a random guy drifting around the World doing that! ..and if i write to other social projects and charitable groups and ask them to put the events on together, then their members will all get to hear about us – and hopefully some will join up and start creating their own Focallocal events!!!
So i worked relentlessly for 4 months, at the expense of any form of social life or leisure time, counselling troubled young people to save up for the trip and working to build the project up as much as i could in London, to make sure the events would continue while i’m away; I bought a van, and asked my community to help me decorate it – and now i’m sitting here in Paris in a cafe by the Eiffel Tower, writing this Prologue to the incredible adventures which have already unfolded over the past few days! I’m moving right along to write post number 2 now i’ve finally been able to sit down, there has been some great news i want to share with everyone ..and a terrible tragedy, serious enough to force a complete re-think of everything!
Thanks for sharing the ride with me,
Sending you all sunny smiles from Paris,
Andy at Focallocal :O)
(btw, i’m also just beginning to learn video editing, so there’s loads of raw footage of our events in desperate need of turning into amazing tales of happy people, being reminded of how many good people live near them! if you’d like to join in amazing to have people playing around with our videos and turn them into videos to tell the World what we’re doing here)