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A list of things that I am concerned about these days

Sometimes you've got to start sharing what you've written earlier than you expected

I’m using my blog posts to process what I’m thinking about.  That includes networking and entrepreneurship.  And it also includes things I’m worried about, and things I’m learning.  The blogs I read the most are the blogs written by men who candidly share their flaws and use what they write to process their experience.   Their posts become public accounts of personal growth and lessons they’ve learned, including some of the uglier times.  I find them incredibly engaging.

By publicly sharing we learn more, and we learn it faster.  I’ve heard Manuel Zarate call this process, “entrepreneurial self-actualization.”

In an age of layoffs, recessions, protesting in the streets, financial crises, and on, I believe that we, as human beings, need public places to make meaning of the daily events that make up, and can shake up, our lives.  A safe place to make this sort of meaning needs help to exist.  It won’t crop up on its own.

At first glance, to write about “making meaning” may not have enough concrete behind it.  ”Making meaning” can mean so many things that it ends up meaning nothing.

I guess I’m talking about a process of sharing the challenges we face with our community and then listening to what we hear in the echoes that bounce back.  The more honest, the better.  The less perfect, the better.  The scarier it feels, the better.

In no particular order, here’s a list of what I’m concerned about today.

  1. The Eurozone
  2. America’s debt, both personal and sovereign
  3. Making too many mistakes as a writer
  4. Trying to sell a new idea before it can stand on its own
  5. Messing things up with a girl that I love.  What does love actually mean?
  6. Is Startup America really supporting startups?
My blog should be a very clear reflection of who I am.  That includes the experiments that I do with networking.  That includes the analysis of networking business I like to think about.  That includes the entrepreneurial communities that I’m learning how to build. That also includes the detours that would confound me as I make on the way from A to Z.

 

The process of writing benefits the writer first of all.  Writing the first draft he discovers thoughts and ideas he didn’t realize he was thinking.  When he edits, he realizes which of those things were actually important, and how to coldly remove everything else.  He learns how to tell himself no.

 

The part that remains needs to be shared, especially when it’s pretty, and especially when its ugly.  In this way, writing is similar to developing a brand new project.  You release as you go.  If you wait until everything is perfect before you put it out there, you’ll never launch it.

 

Launch your concerns.

 

Launch your fears.

 

Launch your mistakes.

 

Launch your successes, too.

 

Launch them all, and learn what makes the difference between one and the other.

Keep launching and allow yourself some space to make mistakes. Let the writer inside of you explore new terrain. Give him permission to write, and then give yourself permission to edit.  And then share what you discover.  But don’t wait until it’s perfect.  By then, it’s probably too late.

I hope this helps.

Austin W. Gunter

Hunter S. Thompson examining a leap of faith

What is a Social Architect?

Bridging the gap to network entrepreneurs

Bridging the gap to network entrepreneurs

This blog is going to take shape according to my work with Tech Ranch Austin and the BarnBuilders.  People ask me pretty regularly what it is that I’m doing at the Tech Ranch that I’m always so excited about.  I have a hard time coming up with a static answer because the things that I do are constant only in their ability to change every day.  This is frustrating for my listener as well as for me because I often stumble around for catchphrases or conceptually rich words that will clearly illustrate that which I spend all my time and energy doing at the Tech Ranch.

The catchphrase that I have started using most often, Social Architect, has, thus far, not done much to clarify my nebulous rhetoric.  I’m going to fix that right now, and define Social Architect as I see it.  So for those of you looking to cross-reference at Urban Dictionary, don’t.  It won’t be there.  This is Austin defining Austin.  Who woulda thought, right?

When I use the catchphrase, Social Architect, I am referring to the process of building a social connection, a bridge, if you will, between formerly disparate individuals.  The goal is to create a connection that would otherwise not exist between two people.  This connection allows both parties to engage in what I call a dialogue of value where each party freely shares knowledge and resources with the other.  The dialogue of value, where each party shares their unique information, means that both parties are measurably better off by participating in the dialogue because they both received specialized information for free.  This free information may be put to use to take an entrepreneurial venture to the next level, or to create a new product.  Other times the information results in a partnership between the newly connected parties.  However, the inevitable result is a net gain for both parties as a result of their connection.

As a Social Architect, my job is to facilitate that connection and build bridges between people who will have a tangible benefit to one another.

This is the basic idea behind the Tech Ranch BarnBuilders. More information may be found at the link, and I’ll write about it in my next post.  The BarnBuilders is a group of Austin-Area entrepreneurs and local tech talent helping one another out.

Hope that helps.  Until next time.