The second start-up I did was with a guy who had great data about city governments but didn't know how to turn it into an Internet company. So I wrote a business plan and got it funded.
It turned out that he also had no idea how to use the Internet. He had a secretary, Laura, who printed out his emails for him to read and then he dictated responses to her.
He hid this from me until one day I needed to dig through his emails to find correspondences from investors. I said, “Give me your password.”
“I don't know it.”
“Okay. I'll get it from Laura.”
“No. Okay. I'll give it to you.”
“What is it?”
“Hold on. There is stuff about sex sites in there and I want you to know I don't know how it got there. ”
“I know. Everyone gets spam from sex sites. It's not just you.”
This is funny now, right? It's funny that he thought typing was not in his job description. It's funny that he thought he could get by without learning how to use the Internet.
But that was 1996. The corollary to that today is people who think they do not need to be good at using social media.
The whole Internet is going to be social media: shopping will be social, your resume will be social, your whole career will be built on social media, and your kids' education will be built on social media. (And if you think you don't want kids, then the way you are going to get to a place where people don't bug you about that decision is through social media).
I wrote very early that social media is the key to a good career. It seemed so crazy when I wrote it, but I was sure it was true. And now that I am running a vibrant tech career from a rural farm, I thank god every day that I'm great at social media.
Do you think social media is too much work, and you have a life to live? This is what social media gets you:
Social media gives you control over your life and your career so you can prioritize however you want. You can achieve what you want. And you can ignore what you want. That’s why I get to post photos of basketball on my career blog.
Being great at social media makes the odds better that I’ll be where I want to be when I want to be there.
But watch out. Because social media isn't a skill you list on your resume. That would be like putting “Internet” on your resume. (Yes, I swear. There are people who still put that in the skills section of their resume. We should gather those resumes for the Smithsonian collection while we still can.)
So then the question is, “How are you going to learn about social media?” You could do what I've done: I've spent the last five years of my life doing nothing but social media. Trying everything, making mistakes, working 100-hour weeks.
I do not recommend that.
So what do you do? The first thing is, start rewriting your resume to show that social media is a part of your life. It's just what you do to get the job done. Think of this as similar to what people had to do in 1998 when it was too late to put as your job title, “Internet Manager.”
The next thing is that you need to start learning from experts. And here's where Brazen Careerist comes in. My company. For those of you who have forgotten, even amid farm fights and pig sales I still own a large share of Brazen Careerist.
I will love Brazen Careerist the most when it sells for millions of dollars and I can be a farm princess. But until then, I love Brazen Careerist for its amazing track record for using social media tools. That's just what we do to run the business, and we are totally great at it.
So we have decided to offer a Social Media Bootcamp. And honestly, I think every one of you should take it. First of all, I'm teaching part of the course. But each of us needs to learn from a range of people so we can figure out what's best for us, and the course will be taught by a collection of people that even I am excited to learn from.
So. Here's the link. Sign up. It's $245. And I’ll see you there!