Yesterday we had the first V-Club session for 2009. (If you are wondering what V-Club is, then click the V-Club Tag on the right hand side bar to see couple of earlier postings).
V-Club is a great example why you need to make a start on an idea although you may not have a clear understanding what the value could be. My first V-Club session was quite complicated, it had too many topics/presenters/people and didn't have enough conversation time. When planing the second session, I made it completely opposite to the first session; it had one topic and only about 11 people. Yesterday was the 3rd session ... again one topic, one presenter and 10 people. It was fantastic.
Yesterdays topic was "How Can We Use Social Networking Tools For Business". Mike Riversdale (MiramaMike) did a great presentation and there was heaps of interactions/conversations/ideas flowing in the room.
Some of the things I learnt was ...
1. Don't try to promote a sub-standard product or service ... it will be killed by the community in no time.
2.You need a genuine story that your audience can connect with and see value ... otherwise the word won't spread ... It's just a waste of time.
3.You need to have courage to engage through social media, because you can't control what people say about you, your organisation or your products. As long as you are making a genuine attempt, the community will forgive your short-comings. Nobody is perfect.
4.If you are a public sector organisation, then you better start engaging through this medium asap. (I can see the horror in the face of traditional corporate comms people). If you don't do it, then the community will start a blog or twitter account and talk about how pathetic your services are.
5.While there are truck load of tools around, I got a sense of what the best tools to use for my own business and for my clients.
Thanks to everyone who attended the session. Please leave a comment on something you learned or the value you got out of the session.
Special Thanks to Shane Mercer and Herik Jondell from Core Technology Limited for providing the venue, drinks and nibbles.
During most of our lives, we run around like headless chooks trying to find Answers for Questions imposed by other people. At school, we Answered Questions from teachers and exam creators. At work, we are trying to Answer Questions from the bosses, fellow workers, customers or board of directors. As we are caught on this "Answering Treadmill", we have forgotten the POWER OF QUESTIONS THAT WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES.
Here is an example from my own life. I left IBM in 1997 to start my first business. It was a simple idea (exporting software made in NZ/Australia to the world) but the business got very complicated, I made a truck load of mistakes and crashed it BIG TIME in 2003, loosing lots of money and all other heartaches that happen when you loose something really important to you. During the period of July 1997 to February 2003, that is 2190 days, I didn't smile. Sad but true.
Then I did a sales job for couple of years to recover financially and emotionally, and got back in to building another business in August 2005. Looking back, this is the most valuable question that I asked myself at that time.
"How can I design another business, so I can work with some amazing minds from NZ and around the world, do something that doesn't feel like work, and somehow make a living doing that ?"
The answer to that question has unfolded over the last three years and now I have a simple business, work with incredibly fantastic people and live a very happy life.
Please feel free to leave a comment with your own story, where you managed to take a break from the "Answering Treadmill" and asked apowerful Question from yourself, and the rewards you gained by doing that.
Let's say money is like butterflies. Most of us will wake up every day, grab a net, go out there and try to catch some butterflies. Some days will be good, some days will be bad. Few people get lucky and catch heaps of butterflies without too much effort while most of us will struggle to catch enough. We buy bigger nets and improve our skills in butterfly catching. We can build a cage and store some butterflies for a rainy day. Sometimes, the cage may accidently open or someone will steal your butterflies. This is a very tiresome way of making a living. Sooner or later, it will get you down.
Rather than catching butterflies, start to build a beautiful garden. Yes it will take longer to prepare, sow and nurture, but once your garden starts to flower, the butterflies will start to come in droves. The better you look after the garden, the more butterflies will come, and this will create a virtuous cycle. You don't have to worry about someone stealing or losing your butterflies, because there are always more coming.
Apply this concept to your career or business. Get out of non-rewarding careers or exhausting businesses and start to build something close to your heart.
Listening to number of conversations that are going around within my circle of concern prompted me to write this post.
If you speak to someone who is unhappy and if you ask them why, it will be always due to someone else like Horrible Boss, Bad Partner, Lousy Customers, Crappy Suppliers and so on. There is always someone else.
If you depend on other people and other things to feel happy, then rest assured, you will always be unhappy.
Happiness is a state of mind. Every day above the ground is a gift and you can choose to be happy regardless of what the conditions surround you are.
I love this statement ... "There is no such thing call bad weather ... you are wearing inappropriate clothing".
Like most skills in life, you can learn to how be Happy. Here is a book that I highly recommend.