Quality Not Quantity

Social media sometimes feels like high school.  Many base their personal worth as a reflection of the number of friends they have.  As if it’s a popularity contest and the follower count actually means something.

There are services where you can buy people to follow you.

A simple twitter search shows people who are only interested in you if you will follow them back.

What these people don’t recognize is there’s no prize for a higher follower count.  No bonus for reaching some milestone number.

It may be great for the ego to say “Look at me, I have X number of followers!” but at the end of the day you have nothing to show for it. Buying followers doesn’t make them care about your content or what you have to say.

Caring about, sharing, and acting on your content – isn’t that the point? A tight relationship with 20 people will always bear more fruit than 3,000 people who ignore you and are only in it for the follower count.

Stop wasting time staring at an artificial number.  If you’re looking for a higher level of engagement, spend the time cultivating meaningful and deeper relationships with the friends you have.  Raving fans beget more raving fans.  Empty pockets of followers beget… well, nothing.


Same Old, Same Old

We’re stuck in a rut.  Every day, we go through the same routine.  We go to the same places.  We talk with the same circle of friends.  We order the same thing off the menu.  So, it’s no surprise when someone asks us how we’ve been, we respond and say ‘same old, same old.’  Because very little changes.  It’s a nice comfort zone, a known quantity.

This afternoon, I was at an event where the ice breaker was to meet someone new, learn a few interesting facts about that person, and later share with the group.  What amazed me is how reluctant everyone was at first.  Feet shuffled very slowly around the room.  Each paired group resembled 2 shy kids at a middle school dance.

But then something interesting happened.  Once the fear was gone and the first couple minutes of conversation complete, we learned we all had many things in common.  Which spurred longer conversations.  Facebook invites exchanged.  Connections formed.  All because we were willing to invite one new person into our circle.

Why is this so hard for us, especially when it’s not what we know, but who we know?  There’s no danger.  Nobody going to bite our head off.  At worst, you’re meeting someone who you don’t connect well with, perhaps differing personalities or beliefs.

Do yourself a favor.  Reach out to someone new on a regular basis.  Start easy, a friend of a friend, someone in mutual circles.  Or, someone you don’t recognize on an email chain.  The possibilities and values of new connections in this day and age should easily outweigh any fear of the icebreaker.

It’s Been Tried Before

If you think people are resistant to change, trying pitching an idea that’s already been tried before and failed.

The immediate reaction is usually dismissive – “that won’t work” or “don’t even try it.”  Sometimes the pain still lingers from the last failed attempt.  Other times, the old saying “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is invoked.

What we fail to consider is there’s more than one way to implement change.  Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t me you shouldn’t try.  Perhaps you have a different perspective.  Maybe the timing wasn’t right before.  Or, perhaps new technology makes it easier.

The iPod was not the first MP3 player but perhaps the most successful.

The household product WD-40 was actually named after the 40th attempt at a successful formula.

Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before perfecting the first electrical light bulb.

New approaches are not limited to products.  Failed attempts to improve internal processes, timelines, or other ideas can all be successful with a different point of view.

The list goes on.

The 2 key questions to ask:  Why did it fail before? and What can we do differently this time?

There’s no guarantee it will work the next time.  But it’s important to not write it off completely just because it was tried once before.


The Best Laid Plans

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

This quote, from a poem by Robert Burns, basically means to expect the unexpected.  Have a plan B ready.

It’s a well-known saying.  So why then, if we know that even the most detailed and thought out plans will have flaws, do we typically only expect best case scenario?  We shouldn’t be surprised when something goes wrong.  When planning ahead, spend extra time and think through all scenarios.

What is best case scenario?  What is worst case scenario?  What is the most likely outcome?  How will the client react – and what’s our response to that reaction?

This is why having your desired outcome in mind is so important.  When your plan goes astray – and it usually will – your planning and end goal will help you focus and think on your feet.

The Recipe For Success

Maya Angelou once said:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

A very powerful lesson.  It’s always about the relationships you build with others, both in your personal and professional life.  People do business with you because they choose to, not because they have to.

Treat people well, establish a strong personal connection, and show you genuinely care.  A simple recipe for success which will keep them coming back to you for more.

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