The 3 C’s of modern currency – The 1st ‘C’

Common: Underestimating the impact of communication, community, and creativity in the digital age.

Uncommon: We all know this century has seen an immense amount of change in a very short period of time. Some of these changes are creating completely new social and interpersonal consequences and some are merely amplifying age-old tenets of success.  What is most often overlooked and underestimated, however, is where the new and the old collide.

Amidst all of the change, I continue to see three timeless principles increasing in importance and impacting our personal and professional lives in new ways. I call these factors the 3 C’s of modern currency.

Why “currency”?  Applied effectively, these skills will pay their weight in gold. It’s now time to rate yourself – each ‘C’ ends with some discerning questions. And if you believe these 3 C’s don’t impact you, ignore them at your own peril.

#1 – Communication:

You cannot not communicate.” We’ve heard this many times, but today, putting this phrase next to a megaphone still wouldn’t do it justice. Welcome to a world where communication is everything… and everywhere. The Internet and other technologies have magnified the effects of both poor and excellent communication. For this reason, it’s necessary to master what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

This topic couldn’t be explored appropriately without acknowledging a few modern rules that have changed the personal and professional game:

  • What happens in cyberspace, stays in cyberspace (ah, the Internet: Las Vegas’ evil twin)
  • What is communicated offline, often ends up online (did I really say it like that?)
  • What ends up online will (most likely) be forever searchable (chat rooms in 9th grade… if only I knew)
  • Communication online is frequently misinterpreted (what is Kent talking about?)
  • We can ALL count on being Googled multiple times in our lifetime (in fact, my business card is actually an image of Google’s main search page with “Kent Healy” in the search field – that’s all there is, nothing else)
  • Communication today takes place over more channels than ever before (brb, I just got pinged)
  • For better or worse, our online reputation either competes or cooperates with our offline reputation (discrepancies happen – have a plan?)

Communication is more than words; it’s personal marketing. It’s an expression of our opinions, values, and psychological predispositions. Yes, it’s quite telling. Thus, communication is the mirror of character and the fabric of reputation (hence, being the first ‘C’).

But most importantly, communication lays the foundation for trust. It’s an essential ingredient for a life full of uncommon experiences. Without it, life is an upstream journey.


Chris Brogan, a popular figure in the online world, writes in his book, Trust Agents, “Today, the most valuable online currency isn’t the dollar, but trust itself.” Every relationship (professional or personal) involves communication – and the course of those relationships always depends on the level of trust that ensues.

The topic of communication has filled volumes of books over many centuries – far too much to explain here – but, nonetheless, here are 5 essential guideposts:

  1. If you say it, mean it.
  2. If you say it, be able to back it up.
  3. If you’re going to say it, take the time to say it well and say it right. Even in the midst of the information age, quality communication is still regrettably very rare. This is great news for those who master the art.
  4. Express your personality (your life need not be an academic thesis) and be real, but don’t be careless.
  5. Commit to constantly improving your communication skills (verbal, written, and non-verbal) and your proficiency in utilizing new communication channels.

Bottom line? Good communication adds value to your life and the lives of others. You literally cannot live without it, so the question is, how are you choosing to live with it?

Reflection questions:

  • How is my online and offline identity communicating with the world?
  • Where is my voice absent? What channels of communication should I learn and utilize to reach my goal of ______ [fill in the blank]?
  • What is my personal brand? How is it being portrayed via my daily attire, logo, business card, website – or lack thereof?
  • Is my communication consistent across all channels? A lack of consistency is an excellent way to dismantle trust.
  • How aligned are my offline and online reputations?
  • How aligned are my communication and my behavior?

The next 2 C’s of Modern Currency are coming soon. Stay tuned.

Your thoughts?

What are your thoughts on the topic? Post your comments below.

Stay uncommon,

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