When I was a young kid, 8 or 9 or so, I almost drown. I was in a pool with lots of other kids, we were trying to see who could sit on the bottom. On my way down I ran out of breath. Like kids not knowing their own limits I tried to push further. When I looked up and saw how far down I was, I panicked. I swallowed a lot of water while climbing back to the surface. I coughed and shivered and wrapped myself and my embarrassment in a towel. I felt how kids feel when they are standing out and everyone is watching. This incident stayed with me for most of my life. My brother was a compeptitive surfer in california, My sister in her youth on the fast track to olympic level diving until an injury took her out. My family swims, well. I have done some pretty risky things in order to keep this fear of deep water hidden from them. The only one I’ll mention here is the surfing trip I took with my brother to the Canary Islands. I never told him that swimming in the ocean was and to some extent still is the number one fear I have in my life.
We went out several times, and he always went out so far and I tried so hard to keep up, the entire time basically having multiple small heart attacks everytime a wave would confirm all my fears. Since that trip I’ve yet to go back in the ocean. I decided last year on my birthday that this year I would swim in the ocean anniversary of my first breath in this world. Janurary 10, 2012 I got back in the pool. I am currently enrolled in swimming lessons, adult level 2.
Why is this relevant at all? As far as I know your company has no pool. Well I have started a few things in my time, one thing that I needed each and everytime I set out to start a new project was to acknowledge all of the ways that it might go wrong or all the ways that it would fail, but to ultimately do it anyway. I am compelled to think that this kind of thinking and acting is one of the most important charateristics in your company. I know there are many others that have value, but let’s talk about this one.
Yours is a new business just 4 years old, I’m not sure who was first to market Hootsuite or Seesmic. Either way there could not have been too many companies in this market space when you launched, how were you to know that it would be successful? For a company moving forward this far, this fast, fear just can’t be a significant factor in your thinking. It can be a motivator, but not a princial driver. This mirrors how I as an indiviual live my life. In writing this blog daily I have no idea if anyone will read it, if it will be good, if you as my target will even take any notice at all. It is hard to talk song long and openly about yourself without thinking you come off as self-centered or arrogant, especially with no respondents. I take my comfort knowing that I do this for a reason, not because I like to read/write about myself. If I can do this for ten days as good as I can then the result doesn’t matter. What matters to me anyway is that I gave this an stalwart effort, I’ve seen and read a lot about both of you Dave and Ben, I’ve listened to your music, looked at your pictures, and as much as this is a one way conversation tried to engage you in discussion. Do you like music? Here’s some I like. Do you like homemade content? Here’s some I’m in. Trying to balance a friendly and a professional tone. Like the two of you. Dave in your TDcanada video you come across as an expert but with the same level of openess and warmth that I found in speaking with you at the open house. I am not an expert at social media however I might be willing to say that I am an expert in people. I am a people professional, I’ve worked with them my whole life. In any number of very important ways that is your business, people. People I know.
Back to the pool, it’s so much like this blog. Maybe people are watching maybe they aren’t, my goal is still the same. I have since starting the lessons, taken my goals in water further than a quick swim in the ocean. Currently it is my goal to enter the first swim race I can in January of next year, and the year after that to win an ametuer swim meet. Same thing for your company I like what I read about Hootsuite and you Ben and Dave inspire me. I’d like the opportunity to get to know you both better, to learn all you have to teach. I want to be around positive open successful professional people because I see myself that way and now just need my life to catch up. I going to work in social media like I am going to win that race in the pool in two years. Do you know how I know? I do what scares me. And I do it til I am the best.
Tomorrow Reason #6 – ….?