Put in the answer

I have a friend who often says, don’t just criticise; put in the answer.

The world is full of people (I’m one of them) who criticise, because it’s easy. But far fewer of us offer solutions to the problems we see.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m prone to making biting remarks about formulaic blogging and online marketing tactics. And I genuinely believe those things need challenging, because they pose a threat to creativity and honesty in business. But what alternatives am I offering? What solutions? It’s much harder to come up with those—especially when you have to put them into practice yourself.

And that’s one of the things about criticism: it’s often a way of diverting attention away from ourselves, so we don’t have to address our own failings and do the hard work of modelling an alternative.

So, I’m writing this to issue a challenge to myself, and to you, to be a person who, if criticising, offers an alternative or a solution, and puts it into practice.

That may mean I have to implement a new way of doing business, or of living, and that’s scary, because who knows whether it will work or what the consequences will be.

But can I live with anything else? Can you?

This seems like a solitary road, but maybe others are waiting for us to step up and do something different, to show them an alternative. Maybe they’re thinking the same things, but don’t know where to begin to actually make a change.

Let’s put in the answer.

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