by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
(Hey folks, sorry for the late post, I'm on the left coast.)
I wanted to share some of the things that I've learned the hard way over the past few days (more like hours):
1. Sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission - especially when it comes to social media. I made a really great suggestion to a business colleague about a month ago. The suggestion was to start using Twitter to promote an upcoming event. Their team and I exchanged email about my suggestion. They asked a bunch of questions. I answered. Back and forth. Blah blah blah. One of the event speakers (a male) just started talking about the conference on Twitter. He didn't ask a soul. He just did it. And, of course, he got the "credit" for sparking the conversation on Twitter. And, yes, maybe it was superficial for me to want the "credit", but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was bummed that someone - particularly a guy - got the jump on me. I don't know why I approached this in this way. It goes against everything I know and my usual M.O. Lesson learned: Talk is cheap.
2. You need to be able to rally to get the job done when it needs to be done. The more I learn and gain experience but, more importantly, the bigger my business gets and now, as I'm fielding requests from major publishers for books, the more I realize that I have to be the source of my own motivation. Seriously. It's no longer acceptable to not "be in the mood to write". I need to be able to shift gears -- IN A WAY THAT'S KIND TO MY ENERGY CYCLES. I put that last part in caps because you know how I feel about honoring yourself, but I'm teaching myself how to switch gears effortlessly. Lesson learned: Get over it.
3. You need to know where the heck you're going. This is no joke. When I started my company, I defined my success with dollars. Now that those financial goals are met, I find that my company's "currency" is changing. That is, the things that we value are shifting to other things like market share, brand perception, etc. With the launch of our new brand next month, I have been asking some hard questions - most of which center around: just where are we going with all this? Lesson learned: Your goals will change, pay attention.
4. The only person who matters in my corner of the world is me. That might sound egocentric or narcissistic, but if you get past your ego, you'll see that it's true. I can't give to my family, friends, community, company, MYSELF until I'm OK. I am an admitted fan of bad TV programs. I was watching Snoop Dogg's "The Fatherhood" and he was set to perform at a concert in Germany. For some reason, he didn't want to eat the food of the region. He wanted American food. The concert promoters were really slow in getting the American food to him. He told them this: "You asked me to do this concert because you know I can WOW the audience. Now, in order for me to do that, I need certain things. If you want me to perform, I need what I need to put me in the right frame of mind. So, if you want a happy crowd, you'll get me my food now." Needless to say, he got his food shortly thereafter. Lesson learned: I can't give what I ain't got.
5. Don't sit next to a heavy breather at a conference. 'Nuff said.