Want to be Successful at Social Media? Here are 13 Steps You Probably Missed (Pt.7)
In previous articles we have discussed Step 1. The Proper Way to Set Goals, Step 2. The Importance of Seizing the Day … Every Day … to Advance Your Social Media Goals, Steps 3, 4 & 5. What To Do Along The Way, Steps 6, 7 & 8. Develop grit, Develop will-power & Develop the wisdom not to make your goals harder to achieve than they already are, Steps 9 & 10. Replace poor habits with better ones & Expand your center of influence, and make yourself available to those who find you influential. and Step 11. Take Action.
Today’s article, Step 12, will address two important caution signs that you must watch for.
If you want to be successful at Social Media:
- Don’t let the risk of making mistakes slow you down, and
- Don’t swerve off the proper course.
To put it another way, momentum and steadfastness are going to be very important to your Social Media effort.
With the speed you will need to travel, it will feel like you might careen off the road and into the ditch. The challenge is to take those twists and turns in stride, and to keep your Social Media wheels on the road. Beyond that, you must accelerate through the curves, not just maintain your speed. You can and should be cautious, but not timid.
Steadfastness means fixed or unchanging, steady, firmly loyal or constant and unswerving. In other words, it’s not enough to stay on the road — you must hug it. And you must stay in your lane.
Let’s face it. On the road to Social Media accomplishment you are going to make mistakes. You cannot be infallible. With all the scrutiny being given to Social Media, and the inherent unpredictability of immense new market opportunities, things are not always going to unfold as you planned.
This is a very important notion to understand, and here’s why: You will never know how close you are to success until the moment it happens. After months of risk taking without discernible results, the next day may be the moment that everything comes together.
The Wizards of Menlo Park and White Plains, New York
Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Alva Edison did not invent the electric light bulb.
He was called the “Wizard of Menlo Park” for his many other inventions, particularly the phonograph, that dazzled the public psyche.
What he did do was to stand on the shoulders of prior inventors, working and reworking the contributions of other developers over the previous three quarters of a century.
Before he finally arrived at his planned destination, however, he did thousands of experiments, on thousands of different materials without success.
Ultimately, (and this is a crucial distinction), he invented the first commercially practical incandescent light.
- He traveled at high speed toward his practical objective of developing a product that the market would buy.
- He delivered it to them economically.
- He made thousands of mistakes (he called them experiments) along the way.
- But he never let the risks of further mistakes slow him down.
- Finally and most importantly, he rode a revolutionary product to commercial success.
Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Mark Zuckerberg needs no introduction. Let’s call him “The Wizard of White Plains, New York” where he was born.
If anything, he was more driven, fearless, (some might say reckless), and focused on his objective than was Edison. He made mistakes, (expensive ones), but he never let them slow him down. He didn’t invent Social Media, but he did create amazing financial success by using it to his advantage.
I love the expression “Stay in your lane”.
It suggests single-minded dedication, focus on essentials, and driven professionalism. You can’t get lost, distracted, or run off the road if you don’t swerve off the proper course.
Staying in your lane virtually ensures that you will get to your destination, with a little money in your pocket.
Edison had many successes that might have nudged him out of his lane — the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the first industrial research laboratory, a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, and a battery for an electric car … to mention only a few of his 1,093 United States patents.
But he stayed in his lane.
He achieved his dream of mass-producing a long-lasting, efficient and inexpensive source of light — and then a system of mass distribution that brought it to industrial plants, businesses and homes all across the nation.
Zuckerberg minimized the many distractions — legal, professional, technical and personal — that could have driven him across the yellow line.
He stayed in his lane all the way to mega billionaire status, and to the cover of Time magazine as Person of the Year for 2010. Now there’s a man who knows how to hug the road.
Final thoughts …
For all the rest of us, the challenge is to take the Social Media twists and turns in stride, and to keep our wheels on the road. We must accelerate through the curves, hug the road and stay in our lanes. We don’t need to reinvent Social Media, we can stand on the shoulders of pioneering companies like Ford, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Mountain Dew, Dell and countless others, who have blazed trails and found commercial success before us.
Thank you, my many friends and followers, for hanging in there through the 7 articles in this series.
Tomorrow will be the last installment, and I hope you have benefited from these suggestions and ideas.
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