You have to be well rounded. You have to take chances, and stretch yourself past where you think you can go. Do you make sure to do this on a regular basis?
I am an idea person. I don’t like to see a good idea die on the vine, choked by excessive caution, hemming, hawing or general “over thinking”. Sure, you need to plan, but there comes a point where you also have to take that leap and try the idea out – set it free to roam the wild. It’s the only you can grow as a person or business.
Some ideas fly high, like Uptown Uncorked (now Magnitude Media), the Topics on Fire podcast (currently on summer hiatus) or the recent Twitter for Dummies project with Laura Fitton and Michael Gruen that just wrapped (hitting stores soon). Some build momentum more slowly. Some struggle to get past the enthusiasm stage. Some end up being put aside as not viable after all.
Some of my projects are building momentum at a nice steady pace now, like a new book I’m going to be writing with Jim Keenan from A Sales Guy. Some are building momentum slowly, like Social Mic, a fun music side project I’m noodling on with Maria Thurrell and a new hush hush project I’m creating with Alexa Scordato.
A few took off like rockets, going much faster than anticipated. One of those was Social Media Breakfast NH. The people in the business community of NH have embraced this idea and are instrumental in how successful it has been, and I can’t thank you all enough for the enthusiasm you bring to each month’s meeting (next month: Education 2.0 part two, by the way – save the date: 7/17). SMBNH grew so quickly I had to bring on the fabulous Kevin Micalizzi and Matt Turner to help. Another of these is PodCamp NH, which is really starting to gather steam behind the scenes. It’s a good thing I have a good team helping with that (Thanks team: Kevin Baringer, Kevin Micalizzi, John Herman, Christine Major, Nick Plante)!
One of my favorite ideas is struggling to get past the enthusiasm stage, mainly due to unexpected issues with red tape. That one is Strong Women in Tech, which I discussed the other day. Luckily, I reached out and am now getting some fabulous responses to that cry for help, and this idea may finally push past Stage One and really take off.
Some people look at all of the irons I keep in the fire – clients, speaking, writing, side projects, blogging, and more – and ask how on earth I can do everything I want to and still have a life. Simple: my network. Every single project or idea, as you can see, involves me reaching out to someone (or several someones) from my network I think would be a great fit for the idea actually getting legs and growing. If I didn’t have a strong network, none of this would work.
It isn’t just about me tapping my network, either. My network taps me for their projects all of the time (case in point, Laura tapping me for Twitter for Dummies). Be helpful. Be willing. Be supportive. This collaborative culture and collaborative economy we are in now is a two way street. Grow your network, take leaps of faith, help, support, DO, be bold – and you will grow in return.
Starting yesterday I will be running a series on Mashable that is all about one of my favorite topics: effecting social change in the real world using social media. You can see the first post in the series at this link.
I got a nod from Gradon Tripp and Dmitri Gunn over on the Social Media for Social Change blog for helping (such small help as it is) with the SM4SC fundraiser. I appreciate it, but in reality, it’s the fundraiser that deserves our undivided attention. The October 10th event will benefit Jane Doe, Inc., a local charity near and dear to my heart.
The best part about this fundraiser is that it started as a small, offhand idea and has grown exponentially into something fully scalable to a multitude of charity events of all types. From a vague notion of “helping effect real world” change, Gradon Tripp and friends have grown this into a way to leverage our formidable social networks into a force to be reckoned with, and that is something I’ve been preaching for ages, using our networks for real, tangible change.
Kudos to Gradon and Dmitri, and to their sponsors and the rest of the social media community for embracing this wave of giving back.