An idea that won’t leave me alone is an idea I have to pursue, but to pursue my ambitions meant facing two major demons of mine. Demon number one has me cursed to over plan everything! I love that part, to the point my cat was covered in stick-it notes for an afternoon (he wasn’t going anywhere). I have lists of lists and my bookmarking system could possibly defeat Mr Turing! My precipice was to stop thinking and just do it! Sounds deceptively simple, but I am the MacGyver of planning and brainstorming. It was a tough curse to exorcise.
Demon number two I had to face a very simple fact, that I have no business without people. I am by nature quiet, with a few friends and a dear family I trust. I’m not a ‘joiner’ or a ‘team player’ and this had to change. Not being a Chatty Kathy I wasn’t on any social media, and it became evident this would be an excellent resource for me and my service. As it turns out, my social naivety may have been a good thing!
I approached social media objectively, asking myself what I needed it to do for me. Once I identified what I needed to happen, I chose the media platforms that best suited my needs for business. Immediately a new demon presented, the one that hungers to gather as many followers as possible. At first it made me feel validated and popular, an arena I could control and flourish in. I found myself avidly looking forward to the ‘followers’ tally climbing, and feeling crestfallen if I lost some, as if it was personal. Ultimately futile!
Counting the tally was not a productive way to generate business. I quickly learned a few lessons (beyond my own hubris!) Social media is powerful when it is used for building a community tailored to the needs of a business. It helped me to meet others who are where I want to be, and people are very generous with their advice and support. I also discovered social media does not have to be global. There are local social networking forums I simply love that will be vital for fostering that community feeling and bringing in real business leads. Two of my favourites in the UK are Bark and Streetlife. What are your favourite forums that give you real support in business? If you have some great ideas please do share in the comments to this topic, I’d love to hear them!