Many of us believe that the Internet has made us lose the power to connect. A friend of mine recently told me how she used to find in-person communication easier. I do think that holds true still. After being alone for over a week at my new snow stormed home in Ann Arbor I am done. At the end of the week I am hoping my husband comes back sooner from his European adventures. Chatting online with him for hours is nothing in comparison to sitting with him quietly watching Jon Hamm (as you can tell my current obsession). But I haven’t lost faith on the power of connectivity that the internet brings through. Some of the nicest people I’ve worked with in the last few years, and some of those who have mentored me belong to the Internet. Considering it’s close to thanksgiving and this project’s been going on a while, I was excited to share my final few drafts.
PS: I am hosting an small online workshop, a blogging eCourse on how to create professional blogs this Friday. All the creatives and the ones getting there are invited :-)!
Day 21: Ken Herron power comes with authenticity no matter what the platform is
There are a million experts on social media on the Internet. Many of them are kind and helpful. A few of them are authentic, and genuine, especially when you have to work with them. I met Ken on Twitter, the work I did with him became the first client work for Brandanew. What are the odds right? Ken has a 120K followers on Twitter. Most big social media guys like him don’t necessarily seek out authentic connections.
I was at a fix on whether or not I could just go and start my new company. And at that time, I asked Ken his views. And as is the usual tone of his emails, his immediate response was an optimistic yes. And I am so grateful for that advice already. There’s a ton of things you learn in a big company that someone else runs. But doing so many different things in your own thing is a learning no other experience can match.
Ken’s been my go-to email from social media insights, to random “feelings about work” to my very new foray into American culture. If I hadn’t connected with Ken, I am not sure I would have pushed myself enough to do things that I do. And tried to remain authentic at the end of it all. There’s so much that I’ve learned in technical skills, especially seeing how he would polish off my work, or recommend & share insights. But most of all, Ken’s given me the courage to do things I didn’t necessarily plan for. He’s also shown me how to behave in conditions that may not be entirely conducive. No matter what the pressures were, Ken’s like a calm cat in the middle of it all. I’d like to be that, one day.
Day 22: Syamant Sandhir showing me the signal in the noise
Syamant and I connected during my infant days on Twitter. And he remains one of my first and favorite connects on that platform and possibly also the reason I stayed put on it. At first like most others, I didn’t quite understand Twitter, and I remember in my long chats with Syamant, I started seeing what he was experiencing.
I remember before deciding to leave McKinsey for Germany, I had this very long conversation with him. He gave me an exercise to work on and for the very first time he asked me to physically list down my goals (also my top work regret that I hadn’t done it so seriously before). I still use that to figure out where I should be headed next. It feels simple, but it’s perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned when working on myself.
Since then whenever I’ve had a major work change or a big thought, I’ve always gone to Syamant to talk it out and every single time I’ve felt more optimistic and empowered by the end of it. There are a ton of people who share cynicism on social media to sound intelligent. And then there are those that share absolute empathy and radiate positivity. I’m so grateful that I found the mentor who shows me which one to choose.
It’s easy to feel let down at work many times, and especially when that happens I know I have empathy and support coming from a corner on a DM from Delhi :-). I hope that in a decade, I’ll be a mentor to someone like he is to me! There’s a long way to go, and I am glad I can turn back and feel the support.