It’s Amateur Hour on the Internet

It's Amateur Hour on the InternetMy friend Melvin Yeo is a lawyer. And he’s an amateur.

I don’t mean he’s an amateur lawyer. Far from it – he’s a highly-respected corporate lawyer who works for one of Australia’s leading companies. But that’s his day job.

In his spare time, he’s an amateur “foodie” – in other words, a gourmet (though not a gourmand). And he publishes his experiences, suggestions and ideas in “The Frenchman’s Food & Wine Blog”.

When I say he’s an amateur, I mean him no disrespect. I simply mean that he doesn’t do it for money. He’s in no way amateurish in anything he does. In fact, he puts some professionals to shame. For instance, his post about how to enjoy airline food has some world-class tips for frequent travelers. And I’ve experienced his skill first-hand when dining out with him and other friends.

Melvin’s blog gets over 1,000 visitors a month. That’s not going to break any world records, but it’s a lot more than many speakers and infopreneurs get.

Why? Because he’s good. And he’s passionate. And he’s out there.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the world is full of Melvin Yeos. Smart, savvy passionate people who want to share that passion with the world – and can, thanks to the Internet.

And, if you’re not careful, they’ll be crowding you out!

Business owners used to have it easy. It wasn’t easy for amateurs to identify, find and reach our market. It took time, money, connections and a concerted effort for others to be even aware of them.

But that’s changed now. The audiences are there – on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and the Web. And it’s the smart, passionate amateurs who are reaching them.

Why? Because the professionals are too busy. Or too scared of their image. Or too arrogant. Or too complacent. Or too (fill in your favourite excuse).

This is not just about supposedly lightweight topics like food and wine, either. Do a Google search for leadership, customer service or whatever you’re selling, and you’ll find the passionate amateurs right up there near the top.

The good news is that it’s easy to change!

All it takes is a change in attitude.

Stop hoarding your great material – and start sharing it.

Stop waiting for the professionally edited article – publish what you’ve got.

Stop delaying until you’ve bought the latest microphone, video recorder or iPhone – record something and put it on YouTube.

Stop building the business case – just do it.

If you don’t, somebody else will. In fact, they probably already have!

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