I used to be a punk. Well, I guess I still am, but I work in an office (well, not anymore) and I wear collar shirts more often than not.
There’s still a punk rock center under the (somewhat) professional exterior of my life.
I visited my hometown in Southern California this week and spent a lot of time with one of my best friends. Nowadays, he’s the Founder and CEO of InvestedIn, but back in the early 2000s we were in a punk rock band together. We used to play shows all over California; sometimes at bigger venues, but more often than not, we played at dive bars, in garages, or in backyards.
The best part of any show was that moment when people get so pumped up, they start a circle pit.
No, it’s exactly what it looks like. We’d get so revved up that we’d start running in a circle (counter clockwise, we’re not savages). It sounds super weird, but it made sense at the time.
Knowing that music I made was a part of what made that insanity happen was incredible. It was never about being on a stage and having people admire you for being a rock star; it was about bringing people together, getting everyone worked up, and leaving the place inspired, motivated…or just deaf.
It’s been about 7 years since I last played any kind of show and people still ask me if I miss it. Sometimes I do, but most of the time I don’t even think about it, because I’m still doing it. Every time I go to a conference or present something to a client, I get the same kind of nervous energy. I get the same rush when I get a positive response. My goal of getting people worked up and leaving inspired is still the same. Going to conferences and sharing cool ideas about digital marketing is my punk rock.
Punk rock was always about going against the grain and questioning the status quo. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that way of thinking is what led to some of my best ideas (like tracking structured data using tag management or doing link building by just doing stuff you’re geeked about).
So come get worked up at my next show. I’ll be getting my punk rock fix up in Seattle for SMX Advanced in June. I’ve come to equate Twitter interactions to the circle pits from the good old days. So, if any of the ideas I share get you pumped up you can Tweet about it and I’ll know I accomplished my goal of getting people motivated and getting people to think outside of the norm. You should probably refrain from starting a circle pit. The SMX team probably wouldn’t be very happy about that.
But you can totally start one if you want; I’m not the boss of you.