Tweeting or Working?

July 12, 2010

For a while now I have struggled with the ups and downs of the Twitter world. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some twitter but with my new schedule I find very little time during my day to tweet out the content, thoughts and news that I am used to sharing with those that follow me. I try to make time to check-in throughout the day to see what is happening or bookmark certain posts to attack later; but for most part I just don’t have the time to dedicate like I used to. So as I grapple with building this into my schedule I started to think about how others remain products and still find time to tweet their faces off.  I also wonder what the company perception is of the of people that tweet too little or too much.

Last week I presented my conundrum to the twitter community. My first question was “do you think tweeting too much creates a negative perception of your performance at work?” I had the opportunity to go back and forth with some great people on the topic. Basically I wanted to know if they thought that their twitter routine created any negative perception; whether it be by a current employer, possible employer or a fellow employee. The response back was phenomenal and super interesting.

Before I talk about what others had to say, I want you to think about the people you see tweeting all time. What is the first thing that comes to mind?  It takes time to tweet and can be a distraction.  Yet their are people that spend much of their day tweeting, interacting and pushing content.  Those that tweet all the time have to be doing something differently.

I understand that is is some people’s job to be on twitter, and be out there (I spend a good portion of my day on twitter @expotv).  I also respect the fact that people have the ability to multi-task.  Although, I have yet to master this science, I wonder if others get negative feedback because of their twitter habits.

Okay now down to the people’s opinions.  Here are a few of the tweets that I pulled from the conversation from last week:

@Davidspinks – well that’s why I started scheduling more often. You can be active throughout the day, without always being there

@MatthewRay – depends what u r talking about. Participating in hashtag convos are good.; Talking about non-biz-related.. maybe 🙂

@dj_justjay – Twitter is very defocusing. I’m not talking about establishing yourself in a community or as a “thought leader” though #u30pro

@Bill_Prange – I always wonder that. Kinda shocked sometimes how it seems some ppl are constantly tweeting.

@shanemacsays – Twitter takes me 5 seconds and I keep open on other screen… The people I’ve met thru it are all worth it

@cubanalaf – I’ve had clients subscribe to my tweets, comment on volume – bosses as well. So, it happens

I loved that I got a fair share of thoughts from both sides of the debate.  Thank you to everyone that shared their thoughts on the topic. (I digress – but follow everyone above, they are great!)

Here is what I’ve gathered from the back and forth.  Those that tweet often said that they have had people question it, but have been able to prove their work ethic through successful projects and getting the job done.   We also established that building your personal brand is important.  Twitter is a great way to do that, but needs to be managed.  Those that struggle like me, agree that twitter is a distraction and takes a lot of time.  They have seen it negatively impact work and believe in scheduling tweets and retweeting to get around the distraction.  Both sides of this debate have good points.

So know that you know where I stand and my opinion, tell me what you think.  What is your opinion on tweeting during the work day? Does it create a negative perception of your work ethic?  If you are a constant tweeter, how do you find the time to master twitter and your work load and maintain face?


Hairy Mole or Light Switch?

June 23, 2010

The selfish people are always so easy to spot.  Come on, take a look around the room.  Can you find them?  To me, finding the selfish people is like looking for the person with a giant hairy mole on the end of their nose.

These hairy moled people seem to fit themselves into two main categories. The first group is composed of those that don’t even know its there and see selfish as completely “normal”. They don’t realize they have the mole  and assume everyone around them is the same way.  The second group consists of the people that have a giant hairy mole but rock it like the stars they think they are. They know they are selfish and don’t even second guess it.

Being selfish is something I’ve always struggled with. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first one to tell you that my days and can be a little less than friendly.  Yet the idea of putting myself and what I want first is really not my norm.  I am very much “the job,” – work will always come first – and then my friends and family. Of course I make time to enjoy myself, laugh and really have a great life but most of it is while doing things for others.

When is it time for me?

As a young professional I know I need to work my way up, put in long hours, and be “the job” to be successful. I have no problem with that. I (like most driven young professionals) have accepted that as part of my road to success.   To be successful you need to not only accept those facts but embrace them.  Something I do everyday when I get up and get pumped to head into the office.

What I want to know is when I will not be “the job.”  When will I get to choose what I want to do with my free time?  When do I get to be selfish and be Teresa – the ultra successful 20-something who is going to “have-it-all” :).  When does the time come when I can travel without the guilt of missing a day at work or a family event on the weekend?  Will this be something we grow into or will I one day throw it out the window and make the trip across the world on the chances of finding whatever I am looking for.

As a generation-yer we are taught to go for our dreams, travel if we want to travel and really enjoy and embrace the life we are given.  Sounds awesome right?  Although, it sounds ideal and I am sure many of you are saying “enough whining and go do it,” let’s be real – being selfish and doing exactly what you want to do isn’t that easy.

Turning it on and off

Alright, so after some quick polling most people agree that you need to be selfish it needs to happen.  So now that I know it is okay to flash the hairy mole, when do we turn it on and when do we turn it off?  Should it be an on-off switch or more like a dimmer?  I refuse to grow that hairy mole so I guess it is time to master the light switch.

What do you think about being a young professional and being selfish?  Is it a mole you try to hide or is it more like a light switch in your life?


May 18, 2010

If you are on twitter, chances are that you have heard the term or seen the hashtag #awesomesaue.  This hashtag means different things to all of us.  I have heard it used to describe people, places, situations and more.  When I hear/see/read the term awesomesauce, the first thing that comes to mind is Patrick Johnson.

Back in the fall of this year, I started following Patrick Johnson (@patrickbjohnson).  For those of you that don’t know him, Patrick is a student at USF that had the opportunity to get a taste for New York by transferring to NYU for the spring semester.  Patrick grabbed this opportunity with both hands and dedicated his time to meeting as many people as possible and working his butt off.

I first met Patrick in January on our way to the Digital Somthings event.  We were able to chat before the event and I asked him what he wanted to be one day.  He sat down and proceeded to share a laundry list full of what he calls #awesomesauce.  This is the first time I am meeting the kid and he is basically telling me that he is the best thing since sliced bread.  Those of you that know Patrick know I am definitely not kidding.  At first I was like, “who the heck are you?”  Shortly after this, we continued to chat and discuss a variety of topics.  Today…I completely believed him.

I don’t just believe him because he is a good friend of mine, but because he has substance and he networks his face off.  Patrick knows more people in New York than I do and I grew up here.  He isn’t afraid to voice his opinion and knows when and who he needs to listen to.  Patrick is an inspiration to young professionals.  His go getter attitude and lack of fear for a challenge is infectious.

You are probably wondering why I am dedicating a post to Patrick Johnson.  Last week Patrick moved back to Florida after the semester.  Let’s be real…he does not belong down there.  This post is dedicated to telling everyone to keep an eye out for him.  Patrick is going to take us by storm one day with his #awesomesauce.

So what are you waiting for?  Start following him on Twitter @Patrickbjohnson.  Check out his website and be his friend.  He will keep it real and teach you a lot.

Good luck Patrick and get back to a big city ASAP!

Nothing Like A Little Healthy Competition

May 9, 2010

Superbowl XLIV (2010) became the most-watched television program of all time. Almost 22.5 million people watched the World Series in 2009, and 260 million people watched the world cup in 2006.   So why are people flocking to their nearest sports bar, television set or friends house to watch these teams battle it out? COMPETITION.

The spirit of competition is infections and when ingested properly, it can be the ingredient for something great.  People love watching teams, businesses, and people compete.  Unfortunately some people take competition too far, but when it is handled properly (I would argue) that it is the driving force for success.  As a competitive person, I can say that competition is a major component in why I work so hard and what pushes me to be better and better.

As children we are taught to respect each other’s strengths and weakness and to realize that everyone works/learns at their own pace.  But let’s be real, you always wanted to be a little bit better than your friends or classmates (even if it was something silly).  If you were the best, you had bragging rights and ruled whatever “throne” that particular competition earned you.  This sense of competition is what makes programs like foursquare™ or Farmville successful.  I know I want to be the Mayor of as many places as possible; I want most point and the most challenging badges.  This program has no serious value in my life but provides silly fun and of course some good competition.

Unfortunately the spirit of competition can bring out the worst in some people.  You know the people I am talking about.  They have this weird fire in their eyes and almost shut down when they lose whatever competition it is they have created in their head.  This is not the type of competition, I am endorsing today.

The type of competition I am encouraging you to embrace is the kind that gets you out of bed everyday and makes you better than you were yesterday.  It is the kind of competition that created a hunger for success.  Take the fire in your eyes and put it to good.   Evaluate your priorities, establish your goals, find your competition and then go and get them.

Find your competition!

What type of competitive person do you consider yourself?  How does it affect your everyday?  Do you think it is the driving force of success?

What Are You Waiting For?

April 27, 2010

Okay…fine, I am sorry.  I know I have been a slacker on the blog front.  I will work on it, I promise.  Tonight on the train ride home all I could think to myself was “You wanted this blog, what the heck are you doing?”. Not going to lie, I still am mad at myself about it.  Usually, when I want something, I go for it.  I wanted to go to college to Florida, I did it.  I wanted to move to New York City, I did it.  I wanted to get a job in the city that I love, I got it.  So why am I dragging my feet on maintaining my blog. Something I wanted, and want to be successful.  Okay, kicking it into gear now.

My hour commute this evening was dedicated to beating myself up about being a slacker.  This got me thinking about all the people (myself included) that drag their feet on something they want.  Yes, around New Years Eve we all hunker down and dedicate ourselves to a new start.  We are all going to lose that extra weight, dedicate our year to training for a marathon (I will get to it), be this or do that.  But really, what the heck are you waiting for?

I want to be a blogger.   I want to be someone my peers can rely on for good content or insight.  So from now on, I am going to dedicate as much free time as I can find to making that happen.  I am going to get back into my blogging routine – please feel free to call me out if I fail at any point.  So now that I have come to this revelation, the question becomes: “what was holding me back?”

I’m obviously telling you all this information for a reason.  We all have something we are putting off.  There is something we really want, someone we want to be, or goals that we can’t wait to reach.  What is it that you want?  Calm down. Don’t jump to a laundry list of things like winning the lottery.  Hold on…Stop for a second and think about what you really want?  Focus on one thing.  That big thing you know you need for the rest of your life.

Do you want to move to NYC?  Do it.  Do you want that job?  Go get it.  Make a plan and execute it.  The only person that is going to make this happen is YOU.  I am so sick of listening to people say that they want this or that.  They are waiting for it to come to them.  Guess what, IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN (sorry for being harsh).

Maybe this is a little pessimistic, but really.  Life isn’t going to come to you.  Go out there and find it.  Grab it with both hands.  You’re never going to get what you want if you sit back and wait.  So I ask you, what are you waiting for?

It took me a long time to figure out what I want.  Trust me, I do not have it all figured out, no one does.  We need to hang in there and stay focused on the goal.  When you look at your checklist everyday (yes, I have a checklist and I look at it daily), question what is standing in the way.  Figure out the next step.  Constantly remind yourself what the next step is to reach your goal.

Make your life happen.  Please don’t wait.  You are too good to sit and wait for life.

What is your story? What are you waiting for?

People Don’t Change…or Do they?

April 11, 2010

Someone very close to me once told me that the most important lesson I needed to learn was that “people don’t change.”  At that time I was 20, optimistic about life, and was honestly perplexed by the statement.  I didn’t understand how people could “not change” when I felt like I had already changed so much during the past three years at FGCU.  I brushed the statement off and went along with my life.

For those of you that don’t personally know me, I spend a lot of time trying to better the people around me.  I love having the ability to help people grow and change.  You see, growing up I was given a helping hand by a group of amazing group of people.  I always wanted to pass on the gratitude I was given to others in my life.  So the philosophy that “people don’t change,” really goes against the way I think about a lot of the relationships in my life.

A couple of years after I was told “people don’t change,” I went through a heart break, left my home behind, and moved across the country to restart my life.  During this restart I carried that philosophy with me.  My life started to revolve around the idea that people don’t change, and no matter how hard I would try to help or influence their lives, there was nothing I can do.  They will always be who they are.

Pretty pessimistic right?  Before you judge me, know that it was a hard year and although I believed this, I still made time to help the people in my life.

Recently, I’ve been questioning this theory that was passed on to me over three years ago.  Whenever I start to question something, one of the first things I do is ask around.  I love getting insight other minds and it really does make for some really great conversation.  Most of the people I spoke with agreed that certain things definitely change and evolve: daily activities, goals, and what they are looking for out of a career. They also agree that your core values remain the same through the years.  My argument was that core values control your day-to-day, what you are looking for out of life and what drives you towards your goals.  If those are constant, how can the others change?

I know I am being a little close minded and stubborn, but I need to play devils advocate here.  So hang in there and bear with me.

During one of the conversations I was challenged to put my finger on the one thing that I could change in my life (if people do in fact change).  He was looking for something that would change my life.  I haven’t felt that “on-the-spot” in a long time.  I thought about it for a bit and then went into a long story about what I would change.  He listened and then asked me what I could do to change it.  Again, I thought about it for a bit and came back with a long list of things that I could do to ultimately change my life.  His response… “What are you waiting for?”

Damn!  What started with me questioning if I should even try to “help” someone ended up with me digging into my own life.  So now I am stuck.  Do I want to open that a can of worms all to find out that ultimately it isn’t going to change my core values and who I am?  The jury is definitely still out on that one.

So do you think people change?  If there was one thing that could change your everyday, would you do it?  And if there is, what are you waiting for?

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Why I love the “Daily Grind”

March 27, 2010

As most of you know, I recently started a new job.  Prior to this job, I worked for Redwood Collaborative Media.  The last four month’s of my tenure with them were spent working from home.  My daily routine consisted of waking up everyday right before 9, working in my pajamas most of the day.  I usually wrapped my work day up shortly after five and (maybe) checked in a few time through the evening.  For a lot of 20-somethings, this seems like the ideal work situation.  I had flexible hours, could work from anywhere and really had tons of freedom at a company I loved. Sounds great, right?

After about a month of this routine, I realized this just wasn’t for me.  I am an extremely social person and couldn’t handle my only human interaction being online.  I am motivated by social environments and on being outside.  I spent most of the winter staring at a brick wall in my little apartment.  I couldn’t stay motivated and I was easily distracted; especially since I live with two people who are home most of the time. I wish that I was able to only work from home, but I knew that to be happy with my work and career, I needed to move on.

So now I am back to the 6 am wake ups, long days at work, coming home from work and to finish email for the day and having very little free time.  Honestly…I couldn’t be happier.  I know it might be a little weird but I can say with little hesitation that “I love the daily grind.”

Obviously everyone has a different perspective of what the daily grind is, so let me give you some insight into my version.  To me the daily grind consists of early wake up calls, 10 – 12 hour work days, a commute to unwind a bit, having little free time – but making the most of the little you have, and pushing yourself harder and harder every day.  I love feeling like I can’t give any more and then somehow giving it anyway.

Some people love having free time and flexible hours.  They have no problem staying on task and push through the day at their own speed.  They are able to be successful all from their home office.  I on the other hand hate free time and am motivated by the “busy bee” lifestyle.  It might sound a little backwards but it’s when I have almost not free time that I get most accomplished.  I prioritize, move through work, keep pushing, sleep little, but spend more time with friends.  I stop thinking that work, life, and friends and family can be pushed until tomorrow.  I live in the now and am motivated to make the most of every second of the day.

So now I am back in the daily grind.  Five/ Six a.m. wake up calls, quick cup of coffee out and out the door to take on the day.  I am using my commute to read blog posts and news on my Blackberry and getting pumped for the day with only the best music on my iPod.  Eating lunch from my desk and being so busy at work that you don’t want to leave your desk at the end of the day.  The less free time and the more overwhelmed I am, the better I work.

Now that you know my daily grind…am I nuts?  I want to know: If you could have the option of working from home or an office, what would you choose?  What environment makes you work harder and keeps you motivated?