#PassionDriven Conversations: Guest Blogger – Mark W. Schaefer

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Today’s Passion-Driven post is written by Mark W. Schaefer, an award-winning business writer, university lecturer and innovator. He teaches at Pellissippi State College in Knoxville and serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers University. Enjoy!

Passion — My Weapon of Choice

I am a writer. Some would say I’m a blogger but it’s hard for me to call myself that. I don’t have the wardrobe for it.

My blog is called {grow} and I’m audacious enough to tout it as the most unique blog on the social web. And at least among the major blogs I read, I am confident in this claim. The difference is passion.

The normal mad, glad, sad human emotions rarely show up on business blogs. Occasionally “mad” creeps in, but in our world it is called “snarky” or a “rant.”  By comparison, I swan-dive into those emotions, splash around in them, and usually get everybody else wet in the process.  I have based entire posts around the topics of shamesuffering, vulnerabilityspirituality … and even love.

And this is my competitive advantage. Passion, my weapon of choice.

I also demand passion of anybody who writes a guest post for my blog. I prescribe that they write a post that ONLY they could write. This excludes subjects like “The 10 Biggest Twitter Mistakes.” Seems like titles containing a number, the name of a social media platform, and the word “mistakes” make up about 75 percent of all marketing blog posts these days.

By demanding a unique emotional imprint from myself and any collaborator, I’m assured of writing on a topic that nobody else has ever tackled before – thus my claim to unique-tivity. I also make up words. 

Digging deep and exposing passion in a public forum dominated by business analysis can be frightening. But when I hear the voice inside of me saying “this is too risky,” that’s when I know that I MUST publish the post. And I think this has made a real difference in how I have been able to connect to people. As a blogger it’s easy to depict yourself as a super hero. You sit behind a computer screen and only display your brilliance. But everybody suffers. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody experiences doubt. Let’s address that shall we?

There have been tangible benefits to writing with passion. I think being human has helped me connect with people on my blog (who have become true friends) because I celebrate the fact that I’m NOT a super hero and I don’t have all the answers. In response to a blog comment I often encourage people and state that “we’re all in this together” because we’re ALL still learning and all still trying to figure it out. Let’s just help each other and try to do better tomorrow — with grace, understanding and yes, with passion.

Mark W. Schaefer is a college educator, author and marketing consultant who leads Schaefer Marketing Solutions in Knoxville, Tennessee. On Twitter, he is @markwschaefer.

Photo on Flickr by Grzegorz

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