“There is no failure except in no longer trying. “
~ Elbert Hubbard
Failure and success…the two really do go hand in hand.
In business, innovation rarely comes without taking risks. Risks rarely are taken if the thought of failure is too great an obstacle. Failure as an obstacle is usually the result of being told, either directly or indirectly, that to fail is to be weak, to be threatened, to be insecure.
I say that you cannot truly succeed if this is the environment that you exist in.
I’ve been thinking about the ever-increasing blurry line between public and private lives now that social media is mainstream. I’ve personally been opening myself up to the world for about a decade; I started blogging by developing my own (very basic) blogging platform before the term “blog” was popular…and I haven’t looked back since then.
There have been a couple of times that I was alarmed by what people are capable of thinking or doing. A few years ago I started getting anonymous comments on various videos of my children, asking me to pose them in certain ways or have them do certain things. Naturally I deleted all traces of the videos online (yes it is possible) and became very aware of what I was posting after that. Although I was always careful to never name them or reveal the location of my children even before this incident, I became very protective after that and have been quite conscious of what I would and would not publish. Over the years I have become more widely known because of my marketing and social media work, and although I’m certainly a small fish in a big pond, I do have a lot of connections with people that I’ve never met face to face.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my social media life. I’ve turned so many of my digital-first relationships into real-life relationships, and I love social media and the way it connects the world. But, and there is always a but…
Those of you that have been following my adventures for a while know that I put my heart, soul and mind into social media. Since writing my own blogging platform a decade ago (the billion dollar idea that I never capitalized on…) to my almost-obsessive fascination with brand interaction on channels like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, I am constantly observing and strategizing ways to make the interaction and engagement between companies and customers better through social media. I have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of years consulting businesses of all types and sizes regarding their engagement (or lack thereof) within these online communities. From Fortune 100 companies that distribute hardware all around the world to non-profit agencies that are doing their best to make a difference in the world, I have worked with groups to lend insight, support, ideas and action to social media programs. Given all of that, I’m quite pleased to announce that I have taken a new role within the industry.
I think social media is amazing for many reasons, at the top of the list is the ability to turn online connections into real life relationships. I’ve experienced this many times, from tweetups to business meetings, and I marvel at how far we have come with technology over the last decade. Recently I wrote a post asking if there was a photographer in the San Francisco area that would be available to join me for an afternoon at Alcatraz Island with my kids, and advertised it only via my blog, Facebook and Twitter. I wasn’t sure what kind of a response I would get, and was surprised that I actually received over a dozen serious inquiries! Photographers from the very new to the very experienced got in touch with me, and all of them sounded great. I ended up picking Matthias Giezendanner from Matthias Photography, he sounded like he would really fit in well with me and the four kids, the pictures on his site looked great, and his bio really made the decision for me.
I’m looking for a photographer that is in San Francisco (or close enough that they could easily get here) for a shoot lasting most of Saturday, September 5th. I think the ideal photog would be somebody that has a little history with taking pictures of people and places, but hasn’t broken through to the big time yet. The project will be taking pictures of me and my kids for most of the day, and in return I’m going to promote the heck out of you. Here is the deal:
On Saturday, September 5th I’m going to be hitting some cool points of interest in San Francisco with my four kids. I would really like to capture it all with pictures, but I’m getting tired of lunking my own camera around everywhere, and frankly it’s a little challenging to get in any of the pictures with them. We’re going to be going to Alcatraz Island around noon, and after all of that we’ll go for a quick hike/exploration in The Presidio, ending up at an old gun battery pretty near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not really wanting posed photos (although a few would be nice), but rather would have candid shots of the experience…me and my kids, them doing things that kids do…the good and craziness of life with four kids in San Francisco. The total time commitment for this would be from 11am to about 6pm (maybe a little earlier).
This blog is about technology, social media, marketing and all of that stuff, and I rarely write anything about my personal life here. However, all of that is just that…stuff. It’s my work, and although I’m deeply passionate about it, it isn’t my life. My life is made up of friends and family, relationships, memories, common joys and sorrows and the hope of the future.
I woke up this morning to the incredibly devastating news that one of my best friends, Scott, had died last night in a plane crash. He loved to fly and was an incredible pilot who was happiest at about 10,000 feet in his favorite little plane, November Four Yankee Hotel. Although I moved out of Oregon a couple of years ago and haven’t had much face time with him, I saw him just a week ago when he made a surprise visit and stood with me on Malibu beach. We stood barefoot in the sand, laughed, talked and caught up. That time will now be burned in my memory.