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Online Yearbook – The Revolutionary Word

Remember in high school when we measured our popularity by the number of people whose photos we had circled in our yearbooks and the amount of graffiti others had taken the time to scribble on the margins?  The more ink you had, the more popular you were–even though most of the comments were silly at best, and downright vulgar at worst.  In twenty-first century adulthood, social media are our new yearbooks, and “likes,” “endorsements,” and “followers” are our new graffiti.  Just as we did in high school, we sometimes derive our self-worth from the thoughts and sentiments of those in our online “yearbooks.”  We quantify our success, in part, by the size of our online networks.

But unlike our high-school yearbooks, our online yearbooks matter for much more than making us feel liked.  Through my vast social media network–yes, I do pride myself on the size of my social-media network; and so should you–I have almost-instant access to some of the best and brightest in my field.  If I have an idea, I can instantly assemble a team of professionals I trust and respect to take things to the next level.  My network of industry professionals brings essentially unlimited potential, and the time I spend brainstorming about how to harness it is among the most productive time in my day.  I have been amazed at what I and others have achieved simply because we were all connected in the right way, and online networking has made it even easier to grow relationships.  Gone are the days when I had to spend hours each day on the phone just to keep even a distant line of communication open with a small number of people.  Now I communicate with thousands of people every day, and as a result, when I see them at industry events, we are that much closer.  Moreover, now that I no longer spend hour after hour on the phone, my day is free to allow me to work on advancing our industry alongside the people I respect most.  Now I have time to push the envelope, rather than pushing papers or rolling calls.

I always say “someone you know knows someone who can get what you need done.”  Making connections for people is one of my favorite parts of this industry.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network and ask for help, share ideas, and forge ahead.  Have a wonderful week!

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