“Fear and risk are vital components for personal and business development.”
I don’t usually tackle something this heavily emotional but today I read a post by Jacob Morgan on fear and risk which totally struck a chord with me.
And before you think I’m going off topic, this is absolutely tied to social media.
Talking about his own risks, Jacob says he one day he threw all his clothes in his car and moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
While I didn’t make an impulse decision, I made a big upheaval in my life in 2003 and emmigrated from the UK to Canada at the tender age of 29.
It was and remains my single most life changing event.
I fantasized about it at first telling myself there’s absolutely no way it would ever happen. But it did. I was more excited and scared than I’ve ever been. And it was by no means easy. In fact it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done for so many reasons. Yes, there were times when I nearly gave up and headed back to Europe where I’d had a successful marketing and communications career and fabulous friends.
But I stayed. I knew I had to make this new life work because it’s not something you get a second chance at.
Thankfully things eventually fell into place.
I found meaningful work, a wonderful relationship (and my baby Sadie Shih Tzu).
This experience taught me many things which were put into words by Jacob Morgan’s post about the importance of fear and risk.
My dad always told me that the darkest part was just before the dawn. So I’ve tried to live my life knowing that when things are super hard, they can only get better.
Which brings me to social media.
About two years ago I ventured into a new job – I sort of morphed into the job and along with that came myriad new responsibilities and emotions. That job was web manager for the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI). At the time I was discovering a whole new way of working in the form of Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Each required an element of risk on my part.
And, it seems, I wasn’t alone in my apprehension about being thrust into the online world. To manage social media effectively requires a lot of ‘self.’
There are folks I know who still struggle with the idea of a Facebook account (my mother: all this internet stuff is so anti-social.) Their fear comes from different places and sometimes has to do with feeling exposed or simply a lack of understanding.
So I’ve been ‘putting myself out there’ for a couple of years now and it’s become easier and easier.
Then in May 2009 my personal blog was hacked. You can’t get much more of scare than that – I felt violated and wondered who had access to my personal information.
After a couple of days I stopped feeling attacked and found the process of rebuilding my blog to be rather cathartic.
All this to say that for personal and business development you must take risks, put yourself out there, face your fears and even create your own challenges. It’s vital to your growth.
My favourite excerpt from Jacob Morgan’s post is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt which every marketer should heed:
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”