In every public profile I list on Social Media sites, I always state that I am “A student of eCommerce, Social Media, and commercial Web design.” I am invariably amused at the understandings, or perhaps misunderstandings, people take away from this. No matter how insightful, astute, or knowledgeable the opinions I offer may be, the stigma of “student” is what stays foremost in their minds. They think that as a student, I know nothing; that only someone who is no longer a student, that has graduated and gone on to apply what has been learned and make a comfortable living as a result has a voice that should be listened to.
I take a different tack. I see those that actively learn as people that are constantly assimilating new information. They are proactive in gaining understanding of the complexities of the new technologies, the latest procedures that lead to successful outcomes. Historically we as a species follow a path of going to school, getting a gig, and improving our lives. Where is the savvy in stagnation? If you perform the same task over and over, then perhaps you may have developed an awareness of the finer points of that task. But if you learn nothing new, you do not stretch your horizons, you are nothing more than a source of static information with no dynamics, no innovation. I have encountered many who have had doctorates bestowed upon them for their didactic achievements who still consider themselves students, still seeking frontiers to explore, still searching for the envelope’s edge.
The next time someone extolls their virtues as so-called experts, research their work. When someone claims they can increase your Internet marketing efforts, look at their Web sites. I do, and more often than not I find pages that were I to turn such examples in as assignments of work I’ve done as a student, then I wouldn’t long maintain my status. Only those that make an effort at learning, of increasing their knowledge bases, are truly persons whose apprehensions are worthy of consideration, especially when making decisions dependent on outside assessments and conclusions, as they are students.
Author’s note: I have since updated my profiles, and no longer list myself as a student of commercial Web design, a position relinquished to Grannelle’s design director, my lovely wife Nelle. I am fully focused on the business arts, and so my profiles now read, “A student of eCommerce/Social Media/eMedia marketing and founder/publisher for Grannelle.”