recruiting vs evangelizing

Chris Guillebeau talks about building an empire by recruiting – not evangelizing.

Here is the difference as I see it,

When you evangelize
, you stand on the street corner and you yell at strangers as you pass they pass you by. Your message may be fresh & truthful & compelling – but no one ever knows because you’re just another crazy yelling “the end is near.”

When you recruit, you ask you buddy to tell his buddy to tell his buddy about your ideas. It takes enthusiasm, authenticity, passion – and the ability to pull together a tight network. But the hard part – the authority – is done for you by virtue of your close knit circle. Everyone feels like they know you & what you stand for. They accept your message because it comes from a person they trust.

You build an army that is strong, focused, and knit together with a common purpose.

Recruiting requires a shared experience & a shared goal.

When we talk about embracing craftsmanship and design and creativity and independent business, it’s really easy to be the evangelist. It’s really easy to wear the sandwich board & grab the bull horn and pray that someone hears you through the noise.

It’s much more difficult to hold small meetings of the newly recruited. It’s much more difficult to embrace the people close to you, look them in the eye, speak to them with enthusiasm & passion, and ask them to pass on your message. It’s much more difficult to practice what you preach – not in a heavy handed or judgmental way but in a contagious, aspirational way.

But, if creativity and beauty and purpose is important to you, I ask you to pass the message on.

Need help recruiting your handmade army? Try the goodies above.

Wanna help me recruit my handmade army?

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16 thoughts on “recruiting vs evangelizing

  1. Love this post! As someone who is in church ministry (youth & worship pastor’s wife), the title is what drew me in, but I love this perspective for many things other than handmade, but that too. I find that not only is ‘recruiting’ in this sense more difficult, but it is also more lasting and has more dramatic effects on the lives of others!

    1. Hey Mandy – right on! As someone who used to be involved in youth & worship ministry, I agree – good evangelists are good recruiters. Well, you know what I mean 😉

  2. i am a recruiter, and organizer at heart. i find it so disheartening to encounter so much competition (and distrust) in my efforts to organize artistic endeavors. i’m hopeful though… ideologies are changing…

    i am so inspired by your site!

  3. I too love the way you think. I never thought I could start a business myself because I am so not a sales person. This idea of recruiting, or you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours brand of promotion is what changed my mind. I am still not comfortable blowing my own horn, but it becomes a lot easier when I am crediting all those that inspire and help me! Sadly I am not a purse girl, but I do like a nice tote bag :-)

      1. I try! In my head I’m the class clown, even though growing up I was too much of a goodie two shoes to be that.

        (In my head I’m also a badass superhero. Or super villain. Depends on the day.)

  4. Well, you’ve definitely sold me on Scoutie Girl! I love Chris and I love this article, because you’ve captured the essence of what I’ve been struggling with for months, ever since I began to clarify my own world goals. I think that when we hit upon a message we want to share with the world, the first instinct is to evangelize. I’m totally guilty of it- I always want to share my revelations, resources, latest book I read, etc. to the point of being pushy, even though my motivation is simply to share great ideas. But in the end, what I’ve realized is that evangelizing rarely reaches people, and even if it does, those “converts” are just buying into your words temporarily, not actually thinking anything through for themselves- which renders the whole process useless and more than a little detrimental.

    Now, my focus is on original thought, and inspiring others to inspire in their turn. Your point about a “shared experience” is insightful indeed. This is an issue I’m going to have to keep mulling over. Thanks for the inspiration 😉

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