Social Media: Who Are You Becoming?
Shaping Our Future One Relationship At A Time
There Ain’t No Betty Crocker Cake Mix Here
Some of us are the result of an improvisational recipe of the intuitive brand; fluid works in progress. Use me as an example. I didn’t arrive on this scene Ready-Made: Open package, Empty contents into bowl, Add egg, water and oil, Mix, Pour into pan and Bake.
Nope. In fact….
I’m still perfectly situated on ‘Open Package’. Yet something big is happening, taking shape right now. It may be delicate enough that we need to whisper. Or knock wood. Cross fingers. No jinxing, please.
An old story [mine] has morphed into a still unfolding new story [also mine]. It’s wandered into my life in bits and pieces and I’m slowly waking up to the factual reality of it; fresh, as it’s taking place, news from the front. Not with a bang, but surely and slowly, similar to the sputter of the heat coming on for the first time in winter. Or a dripping faucet slowly filling up the sink. A slow starting pace is not unusual for me. I’m used to it. It’s my nature’s way of preparing me for what’s ahead.
Yet unhurried as it may be, this thing is forceful, daringly exhilarating providing a thrill each time I stop and notice and each time I project into the future. It is also somewhat uncomfortable at times, nerve wracking and a little frightening. Wading into new territory is like that.
I’ve had a satisfying number of successes in my life. Some pretty grand in their [smallish] way. They’ve made me feel worthy and proud of whatever it was I was doing. This new narrative-in-the-making has a twist and is different than anything I’ve experienced so far, though. It’s got a broader spectrum, a heartier grasp, a more enticing flavor to it. And it’s got, by far, the most unknowns and lack of specific end-goal. I don’t know where it’s leading.
It has already taken me beyond what I had previously believed to be my own limitations. Limits I hadn’t quite identified but could feel nonetheless. They were dangling just beyond my peripheral vision, beckoning and teasing with their threat and menace. A menace of improbability. Murmuring quietly enough that I could ignore the noise and pretend it wasn’t really there. Not an especially friendly noise, it’s just the kind that can keep us from daring to step into new shoes. I am stepping, busting through my own barriers into new frontiers.
This recent, widening chapter opened in the fall of 2012 when it became clear that I had to shift some of my work effort to increase the oomph and substance of our online business vitality, remedy some search drift and come to its rescue. This meant wading into different waters. Challenging waters. I didn’t realize at the time that I was heading into a new life altogether. I failed to predict just how dramatic the change would be and how it would awaken parts of myself that, like I said above, were there but not much more than some noisy static below the surface.
I’ll take a moment right now to plug my own efforts at helping to guide those around me, which is a big part of my job. Watch and listen carefully. This unfolding tale can be used as a model. Come along and join me for the ride. It’s not proprietary by any means. Accept my influence and see where it might take you. I am trying to let you know in every way I can that this is for anyone. What you might do here is substitute yourself whenever I speak of myself. Imagine.
Communication in general and more specifically, precision in communication has always been a pressing concern for me. Everything we do is a form of communication. And nowadays we get to hone our communication skills in more ways than ever.
I have never known myself to be a writer even though I was competent enough. I’ve always done the writing for our business and in other professional situations prior to that. I journal but it’s really rather lousy writing because it doesn’t matter one iota to me what the quality is as long as I’m talking to myself truthfully.
When I started this blog I was faced with the common concerns and trepidation. The same worries you say you have. But I couldn’t afford to procrastinate and went at it piece by piecemeal letting it morph and evolve over time. By now, it has a life of its own. It informs me what’s next and I find myself enjoying the pleasure of lovingly crafting my choice of words and phrases.
Knowing I had to become more active on Social Media seemed a somewhat less threatening prospect. Even though I’m inherently shy, people interest me. I like them and community is important to me. Friendships are practically a religion. I had the requisite curiosity so it seemed a natural extension. But I was still somewhat clueless about how to get traction on Social Media in any meaningful way for our business. I’ve been learning how one relationship at a time.
Now We Are At The Apex
I would like to hear a hush in the room. (I’ll make my own hush) There will be no gigantic fireworks display. This is probably going to be a much smaller thing than you are anticipating.
But for me, it’s almost divine to say I am somewhere I’ve never been before and I see an open stretch of beckoning road ahead. And this is ultimately a Love Story for the people who have helped to bring it about, co-created it with me. Demonstrated the way. Befriended me, treated me with respect and interest, helped me learn. You know who you are.
I discovered that there is no formula unless you consider that doing things in a way that is natural to you a formula. I tripped on people who were inventive, creative and each doing things in the ways that fit best with who they are.
In the past, my art was purely visual. Not so now because the options are wide-open. Why hold on to old rules? And why not realize that we can bring our creativity directly to business? In the current landscape, I am finding freedom.
Google+: It’s Just A Social Layer, Right?
Anyone who talks to me for more than a few minutes has (likely) had to suffer my Google Plus Mantra. If you don’t stop me, I might go on until you’ve got a complete glaze over as unattractive as a comb over. The platform isn’t new to me anymore, but alive and well, my evangelist momentum just keeps powering upwards.
I have only met one of you in person so far. I know your faces by your profile photos and your physical presence, voices through video. You are changing me and allowing me to become more myself than I have ever been. That’s not to say I haven’t spent long years preparing for this. I have. But still. It’s a remarkable thing, this new unfolding story we are writing together. You. And. Me.
So Why Am I Devoting A Blog Article To This? There Is A Point.
It seemed important that I write this as a testament to what’s transpiring. While my fears and shyness aren’t exactly gone, they are shrinking and I am getting a taste of what’s possible for me given these right circumstances I find myself in. It may go slowly, but I can imagine looking back in a few years with fondness at the woman [me] who started out on this once-upon-a-time-scary adventure. When I look back, things will be so changed that I will be in an extended state of awe at how it came to be.
One thing I’m curious about is this.
On Google Plus we talk a lot about the serendipitous nature of our encounters, our topics and the depth of the relationships we are developing, cherishing, as the case may be. We stand back and applaud, gasp and laugh in delight at the sheer force of the energy that is bringing us together and also bringing our businesses along making us more fruitful, happier in our work, more productive and creative. We talk about building our brands, earning trust, being authentic, transparent, the disruptive nature of what’s happening, how it is evolving our businesses organically and creating new business without even having to advertise.
We are all around the world bridging multiple cultures and languages and the group-ness is acknowledged regularly. We know we are either at the cusp of or in the midst of tremendous change worldwide, web-wide.
It’s Important To Note
What I haven’t seen as much of is how it’s transforming each of us as individuals. We are changing our breathing habits. We are human beings living out here in a physical plane, blurring the lines between on and offline. We necessarily have to be different than when we started. How has it changed you?
I can only answer for myself. I am changed. I am growing bigger, more multi-faceted, more self-confident, more courageous, more creative, more knowledgeable, more flexible and last but so not least: happier and happier in my work. I am having FUN. Working.
I am excited and a little afraid of the enormity of the possibilities that stretch out in front of me. While I don’t know where it’s leading, parts of the puzzle are flourishing and consistency is brewing. I am embracing it and putting one foot ahead of the other in a tiny march forward with the support and encouragement I am fortunate enough to receive. From you.
How’s That For Love?
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Photo Credit: Gina Fiedel