It isn’t always about the Benjamins….*
I help a lot of people get their mind right about social media. I help them envision social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, just to name a few, as dynamic, brand-building tools and resources, instead of lonely wastelands where their #inspirational posts wither and die…
Recently, one of the clients whom I helped crack the code of Instagram, started having so much fun that even her husband was intrigued. Not, of course, intrigued enough to create his own Instagram account, or venture on the platform himself, but he did notice her activity, and while happy to see she was busy, he was also left wondering what the bottom line was. How would all this time spent on Instagram add zeroes to their joint family checking account? Where was the money?
Good question, I guess, but in a larger sense, he missed the whole point. Where’s the money? Well, where do you want it to be? And money for what? She just started posting. If I could predict exactly when and where she’d start making bank, wouldn’t I be writing this on a Tahitian yacht, instead of in my Park Avenue office?
I’m sort of being
obnoxious facetious, but in another sense, sort of not: how many of us really know when or where the professional opportunities (i.e. the money), that we need, in our lives, are going to blossom? In my own experience, the more I do, the more I’m able to do. I make friends with people because I’m interested in their world view, and one conversation leads to another, and wow.
Earlier this week, a dialogue originally about helping artists use social media, evolved into me being hired to give 6 weeks’ worth of private, sold-out workshops. The money came because I demonstrated my expertise, and personality and passion.
Trust me, I don’t write these words as some (trust fund) hippie, living a brilliantly curated life of luxury and kale smoothies. I started my coaching business in 2008 with zero money. All I had was debt, determination, desperation and social media. I knew very little about promoting myself, but I did know that social media being free was pretty much all my “budget” could handle, and either I could start learning…or I could stay stuck. And the being stuck part was horrendous. The being stuck part was killing me. I got to work.
Over time, that knowledge, combined with experience, resulted in being asked to give the Wellesley College Latina Month Events Keynote Speech. True, I am an alumna of Wellesley, but you know how they heard about me? Last April, I was featured in Latina Magazine. I got into that magazine, because one of the magazine’s editors, herself a Wellesley alumna, reached out on Facebook, looking for alumni entrepreneurs. A friend pitched me and…the rest is herstory.
Let’s not even talk about the, on average, 3-5 clients a week, my business Facebook page pulls in…or the numerous, international clients who “meet” me on Twitter. On the other hand, I promise you, if way back in the dark ages of 2008, I had said, “Yeah, The Twitters seem kinda cool I guess, but until I can figure out exactly how these tweets are going to help my bank account, I better not, I better wait,” I’d still be waiting. I’d be waiting, and working for someone else. I’d be wasting my time.
“I probably should start blogging myself sigh for my post phd career change…” O.
Ahh: blogging. Yeah, I hear all the kids are doing it. So, you’ll start this “blogging” on your “computer,” using “the Internet,”and hey, I guess you’ve got a plan. Listen, social media, like pretty much anything, rewards effort and commitment. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to end up, and spoiler alert…how could you? But do you at least have an idea of where you might like to go? Do you at least have a grasp of the ideas that excite you, and why your (potential) audience might share your excitement? Do you at least have the guts to realize that over time, you’ll learn, you’ll make mistakes, and such is life.
You can waste your time yearning for perfection, or you can do what the rest of us: use the tools we have today to create the opportunities we need tomorrow.
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