Some people fight change. They think it helps them avoid losing their way, falling, or failing.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Right?
I look at my competitors who are still using elevator music, editing on outdated software, or shooting with old cameras and these words come to mind:
“Today, you’re either going to get better or you’re going to get worse, but you’re not going to stay the same. So which is it going to be?”
- Joe Paterno
In a world of constant innovation and progress, staying the same is getting worse. Your position is slipping, even if you’re holding still. Everybody is changing.
Getting better is the only way to not get worse.
Lately, I’ve wondered if I’m slipping a bit myself. I’ve been seeing a lot of time-lapse imagery in TV shows and movies such as House of Cards, Gold Rush, and Art of Flight. We’ve used time-lapse before, but not at the level I’m seeing out there now.
Regardless of what industry we work in, we’re all going to change. That’s a fact.
Today I’m choosing to get better. I’m saying goodbye to the wife and kids, jumping on a plane to one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, and we are going to master the art of time-lapse for our clients.
I want to be the best, and I need to keep moving forward.
On the front cover of this morning’s USA Today, you’ll see my contribution in a piece called “Tweets, not résumés, are trending #icymi“. My fellow 8pm Warriors were the first sounding board for the idea back in 2011 when I wrote about my experience screening and hiring a social media manager based solely on tweets:
Since the experiment went so well, I honestly thought I would hear of someone else trying it. Nope. Not until years later, when Bruce from USA Today contacted me last week for an interview.
Why is that?
Twitter is very public and even though it makes sense for some positions, most hiring managers would be afraid to interview someone in public.
Not because they’re afraid for their applicants, but because they’re afraid for themselves. Afraid of everyone watching them.
Fear drives most business decisions.
Why else did it take so long for most businesses to get into social media? Same reason why it’s taking so long for them to follow the online video wave now.
Twitter isn’t the right tool for hiring most positions. However, we need to celebrate people that are boldly using Twitter.
We need to celebrate leaders like Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at the tech firm Enterasys Networks, who is filling a six figure senior social media strategist job via tweets only (no resume accepted), or Kristy Webster at The Marketing Arm (part of Omnicom Group, a big advertising firm) who is filling five social media internships based on tweeted answers to five questions over the course of five days.
Cool times we live in.
What say you? Is hiring via twitter here to stay? Or, will we be back here in 2 years talking about it again?
“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”
6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.
(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)
It’s the new year and I have three thoughts on my mind. Thought I would share them with my fellow 8pm Warriors.
1) Focus on the positive stuff.
Yes, the economy has been bad. Some places around the world, it’s still bad.
However, there are still opportunities everywhere if we take the time to look for them. Focus on the bad things will only blind us from seeing the amazing people, places, and opportunities that surround us.
For every dark muddy mess on the ground, there is a beautiful sunrise if we just look up.
Keep your chin up.
2) Don’t be afraid to do great things. Don’t settle.
Just because nobody is doing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Don’t be afraid to be the first.
Stop writing, thinking, talking, and working like everyone else. There’s a better way if we’re not afraid to be the first.
Yes, you may be wrong. But following behind others your whole life will always be wrong.
Nobody changed the world by copying others.
3) Don’t do it alone.
Amazing work is too hard to do alone.
You will fall…and when you do, you’ll need someone to help pick you up.
If you’re isolated and nobody “gets it”, don’t hesitate to use the power of social media and the internet. You’re not alone, even if you want to be.
Let me know if you need help, feedback, ideas, encouragement.
8pm Warriors need to stick together.
A couple weeks ago, I got this shot of an old man walking on the ocean in Vancouver. He was alone.
In 2013, my goal is to do big, crazy, bold things. I’m going to walk across the ocean if I have to…but I’m not going to do it alone.
Thanks for a great 2012 and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2013.
Every year I write up a commencement address for new graduates. This year my alma mater (Wisconsin Lutheran College) asked me to share some thoughts with the warriors graduating this weekend.
Someday I’ll actually give one of these speeches live.
1) Be the Best
You are competing with one billion people in China, another billion in India, and half a billion people in North America. If you’re average, then you’ll also be poor, miserable, or replaced. Pure and simple.
To be in demand with this economy, you must be the best at what you do.
It doesn’t matter how you get there. Experience, training, luck, internships, whatever…just be the best.
2) Be Yourself When You Grow Up
Role models are great. Teachers are wonderful. However, when it’s time to pick a path in life, the person you need to be is looking at you in the mirror.
There are a couple reasons why you should be you and not someone else.
1) You’re the best in the world at it. (see #1)
2) Being someone else is hard work and you’ll never be good at it.
3) It wastes a lot of time otherwise. Everyone with half a brain knows you’re trying to be someone else.
4) It makes you unique. You have talents/skills/knowledge that nobody else has. When you be yourself, those unique qualities shine through.
While parents, friends, and others may challenge you to follow someone else’s path, you must resist. Follow your heart. Do what you love.
3) People First
The world revolves around people. You won’t be hired by your iPhone. You won’t be promoted by the laptop you use. Your car won’t be giving you a raise.
I always hear “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That is wrong.
In a hyper-connected world, it’s not who you know, but who you’ve helped. Everyone “knows” everybody, but everybody remembers when someone helps them.
Help as many people as you can.
4) Mean It
If you don’t really care about people, they will know. You’d be better off working with machines or basket weaving.
If you choose to work with people, you need to mean it. No faking.
If you want to help someone, roll up your sleeves and do it.
5) Run or Stay
When you find yourself connected to bad people, run. They will ruin you.
If you find yourself surrounded by great people, stay. They will help you grow.
If you want to fail miserably in anything, walk.
6) Don’t Spend Much Time Watching
It’s fashionable to dedicate large amounts of time to watching celebs and popular “experts” to see what they’re doing. It’s also stupid.
Learning is a good thing, but watching isn’t doing. Groupies are losers.
Winners do. Leaders lead.
Followers just watch.
7) Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time
In the Attention Era, wasting someone’s time is not only rude, but ineffective as well.
Don’t ask if you don’t care. Don’t talk if you don’t have anything valuable to say.
Don’t be boring.
8) Push Until It Hurts
When it hurts, you’ll know you’re doing it right.
If you care about people, they will hurt you. If you dedicated yourself to something, it will fail you. Get ready to cry.
The key is not to fear the pain you might feel, but to fear a path that doesn’t cost anything. All great things cost something.