About #UTOPiA2016

I believe that business should be personal. I don’t buy into the “it’s just business, don’t take it personally” BS. I don’t want to work with anyone who isn’t bleeding from their hearts about what it is they do for a living. I don’t want anyone doing anything they believe doesn’t matter — to them or others — ever. I want people to use their powers for good, to push the human race forward.

REVOLUTION. Why this theme? I beat my head against the wall trying to figure out a theme that was “milestone worthy” as I kept calling it. What theme could make our five-year anniversary monumental? What theme could usher in the next five years?

About this time, several things happened:

1. I was teaching another StandUP.StandOUT teleclass to writers that connects the mindset pieces to the marketing pieces for more consistent growth and sales. One of our classes focuses on WHAT YOU BELIEVE and WHY YOU BELIEVE IT. Everyone has to write a Manifesto declaring what they believe and/or what they want to change and/or what they won’t stand for anymore from themselves or others.

2. Cyber bullying in the publishing space was picking up steam in ways I didn’t like. Anne Rice is actually dedicating a research project on this topic.

3. Piracy of books was also becoming more problematic.

4. Changes within Facebook algorithms, changes at Amazon (KDP Unlimited, for instance), and changes at other online networks and sites, were seriously affecting visibility and income for new and established authors. Finding readers was becoming harder.

5. Ultimately, I was seeing yet another shift in the publishing and writing and fan landscape. What was working only a year ago, was not working anymore.

In order for us to take back our futures, we need to lead a new revolution. We need to band together for positive change for all. Revolutions are led by the PEOPLE. Revolutions start with revelations.

Rebel with a Cause

Every great thinker, inventor or movement started with a single person with an idea. An idea that went against the mainstream thought or processes of its time. An idea about how to make things better — technology, health, tools, information, services, products, governments…life. These ideas are acts of rebellion before they are even uttered. Yet, they became. They were willed into existence because they were meant to push life forward. They were planted in the minds and hearts of men and women because they were meant to challenge us.

We are meant to ask “why.” We are meant to provoke, spur debate and instigate new solutions, alternatives and methods. That doesn’t mean that all acts of “idea rebellion”are violent. In fact, in my heart I believe that idea rebellion is supposed to be born of a love so great and so powerful that we do crazy things to push ideas into being. Of course, there are those in history whose ideas are born of illness, hatred and misunderstanding. However, it is in our disgust and because of our love that we push back and defend good with our own ideas. Ideas become causes when shared with others and fertilized with action.

You are called to rebel. What is it about your industry, your work, your environment that needs to change? What cause is worth living for?

In order to stand out…you must stand up

Nobody follows a Facebook wallflower. No one remembers the “yes” man or woman. You’re not the only one out there who thinks what you think, who believes what you believe about your work, your industry, your life or the way the world works. Keep those beliefs inside, and you deny yourself community. Leave things in the status quo when you know in your gut that things need to change or be done differently, and everyone suffers. And that’s the true crime. State your case. Come up with solutions solo, with a team or with a community of like-minded people. Make yourself useful. Find a cause worth living for and stand up for it.

Declare what you will no longer put up with and what you intend to do about it by birthing your idea, ideals and principles onto the page. It’s time for your Revelation.

Let your truth shine. In the months leading up to Utopia, I am challenging attendees and anyone else out there who reads this, to write down what you believe. To declare your revelations. To create your manifesto. It’s time to…