Already this summer may go down as one of the most eventful periods in my life. It started out with me celebrating the first birthday of my son Max. Not to be outdone, the following weekend I saw my brother become a husband. Witnessing the marriage of my little brother, as his best man, in front of our family was probably one of the most emotional moments of my life. So between that and the one-year celebration of my son, it’s been quite a summer thus far. With that said there’s been a lot of reflection a lot of introspective days just thinking about where I am where my family has come from and where we’re going. Knowing everything that emotionally struck me when I found out I was about to be a father to where I am today has been quite a path traveled.
With that said there’s been a lot of reflection, a lot of introspective days just thinking about where I am where my family has come from and where we’re going. Knowing everything that emotionally struck me when I found out I was going to be a father to be where I am today is a major step. In conjunction with that seeing where my brother is at has made me so happy and so proud of everything that he has accomplished.
Interestingly enough, the announcement to my parents that I would be expecting a child and the announcement from my brother that his girlfriend had accepted his proposal all happened within the same November week back in 2015. So to have the wedding and Max’s birthday fall within a week of each other was kind of interesting and pretty cool. I say that now as I think back to the same younger brother who I used to play video games with, play ninja tag and get into fights with, to now seeing him as a grown man and myself now as a father is just a testament to the power of family.
A post shared by Jason Francis – SMM (@smediasamurai) on
I have always said that nothing matters more to me and nothing is more important than family. It is a foundation that not only holds me together in some of my weaker moments but is the foundation that I plan on building and raising my son upon. It’s something that I’m still trying to capture in words right now, where I am where the time has gone and yet almost feeling like we are all at a point of new beginnings. I’m in the early stages of life within Parenthood and now my brother is embarking on the journey of marriage. It really is a brand new world. I look forward to what it will mean for him and I look forward to the life that I’m going to craft out for myself and my son.
THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI: COMMUNICATION SHORTCOMINGS
It seems that every and all things comes down to communication. What you say, how you say it and in my case who you elect to say it too. I’ve always viewed information as selective. Everything isn’t for everyone to know and I would base this on my own personal check list of criteria. What is the overall value of this info, does it relate directly to the person I’d be telling it too, is the info complete in itself or part of something larger I may not want to share at this time, is this something that makes me happy? That’s just an example of what runs through my head both personally and professionally when I express myself. In a time when it seems that a majority of people express themselves first then think about it later I’m definitely part of the “Think twice, press send button once” crowd. For the most part it’s a communication method that has served me well.
Yet, there are still lessons to be learned. In personal matters I’m extremely tight-lipped with things until I’m ready to share. It’s a way that many don’t always get/like but it’s what works for me so I honestly don’t need it to make sense to others. When I’m not happy I play things really close to the chest. When I am happy I don’t want to mess things up by talking about it too much. It’s an internal balance for me and I can admit that in trying to reach that balance I’m not usually worried about other people’s view on it. I’m a guy that overall doesn’t like to waste words so that has resulted in folks not hearing what they think they should.
I’m learning that’s not always the best way to approach things. As much as I speak to the power of family, friends and community, I am realizing that my cause is better served by having more faith in the people I trust to react well to whatever it is I have to share. Even if the initial reactions aren’t that positive, the result of having more open communication in the end will show who truly is down for supporting me.
There is no blueprint to this thing called life. You’re going to get thrown an array of things you may have no idea how to handle and your best bet is that you make sure that with each passeing situation you handle it better than the one before it. I’m committing myself to that level of improvement. Wish me good luck.
THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI – DIGITAL NOISE & CROWDED SPACES
In American Gangster, Denzel Washington portrayed infamous Harlem kingpin Frank Lucas. In one of his most memorable moments, Lucas exclaims that “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” In essence, the statement spoke to the human condition and desire to be seen, heard and noticed in all his glory. The lesson Frank was teaching was that in being the loudest in the room you are affirming a level of insecurity about yourself and inviting unwanted attention.
While the circumstances in my world are not nearly as extreme as Frank’s, It can be said that presently I am in a room where different rules apply. In the digital business space the goal is to get attention and hold it. To do so many must be the “loudest in the room” or risk irrelevant status. This is a difficult way to operate for me. I genuinely believe and understand that the need to stand out is vital. So, many people are now claiming expert, guru, manager status in the world of social media. It’s amazing seeing the growth in this field but it can be equally frustrating when it’s clear that folks aren’t putting in the leg work to truly understand the field they’re now dealing in. Shock and Awe is an often used marketing tool but it doesn’t replace actual knowledge.
The same way I encounter businesses that still view digital marketing as just being on “…the Facebook and the Twitter.” I meet folks trying to sell services without really knowing what it takes to be effective. It’s like someone who spends a day watching basketball highlights on YouTube then tomorrow is trying to offer basketball skill coaching. You don’t get good at this via osmosis. You have to actually get out there and do the work. You can’t just sell folks on the promise of more likes and followers.
Social Media is truly just entering young adulthood so who knows what it’ll be in a few years but it’s established enough that it should be respected just like any other profession. I’ve been on the ground floor and building my brand value well over a decade and even now it’s still an uphill battle getting business to understand what I do. Classic business thinking is clashing with the new views and ethics of a shrinking digital world and many aren’t fully sure how to adjust to that.
Personally, this puts me in a tight position of being one part entrepreneur, yet also striving to sharpen my skills outside of that space. It’s one thing to create a brand and slowly bring value to it but I understand business in the bigger picture. There is worth to be gained by taking a role with an established company and applying my ability to their business model. It’s a 2 tier attack of proving to be an independent self-starter while displaying mainstream corporate dependability. It’s a strategy that will only open the future up for greater opportunity. The hang up is just getting in that door because the reality is that many businesses give a side eye to freelancers and consultants. They fear they are not truly committed to the long-term goals. Guess I’ll have to prove them wrong. I have no time to waste and a Legacy to protect.
Sometimes To Go Forward You Have To Know When To Stop
From a young age we are taught not to quit. If you start something you need to finish it. See things though to the very end. It sounds good and often times it is the best way to view things. It says a lot about a person that sets to a goal and knocks it out. Yet it also can become a misleading mentality when applied to the wrong situation, As we grow we interact with more people, the value of our time and energy becomes a greater asset to us it’s vital we know when to stop for our own good.
Winners never quit was something I heard a lot as a kid. It was applied to projects, sports, school and a ton of other things. As a result of this by the time I was a young adult I often had trouble separating from situations that I knew weren’t going to pan out the way I wanted but from an ingrained sense of seeing things through I’d ride out hoping that circumstances would improve or people would change. With time you get a better perspective of the big picture and that reveals to you there are other lessons on the flip side of “winners never quit”. You learn that doing that same thing again and again while expecting new results is the definition of insanity. In addition to that, when evaluating what you need to change, sometimes you actually do need to leave a situation altogether.
It’s not quitting to fall back from a pursuit once you’ve fully invested all you can into it with no results. My goal in life is to be happy and successful. To that end, as I’ve spoken on before, I decided to make a change in my career for Social Media vs Human Resources. It wasn’t a move to give up on HR but life showed a new path that I enjoy more and after investigating the possibility of success within it I saw that social media is what I want to pursue.
You have to allow room for personal change and growth. The road you set yourself upon years ago might not be what you need to be traveling today. All the people who started that journey with you may not be with you to the end. Realizing when to stop giving to others and give more to yourself will be a balancing act you continuously perform as you move towards a better you. The closer you get to that end goal the more juggling you’ll have to do but it will be worth it.
There’s nothing admirable about banging your head against the wall because you feel “I won’t quit.” Step back and see if you can go around or over the wall. Or just maybe what’s on the other side isn’t really worth the effort.
When was the last time you evaluated a situation and found it better to leave then to continue on?
Friend. What is that to you? How do you define it? Is it the same today as it was yesterday? Has it become better or perhaps its gotten worse? In many ways I feel it has simply gotten more real.
Friendship is no longer sealed by who you have drinks and hit the club with. Life tests friendships in many ways and it’s rarely in a manner that is easily digestible for us. We have our rules that we claim to stand for. Many of us have codes that we live by but these all get put to the fire at some point. Friendship at its core is about what you give to another and what they give to you in a mutual relationship that improves both of your lives. That give and take will fluctuate over time but it should still be a balance. Should be, but I understand that will often not be the case.
Through trial and much error I have learned that the human concern for self can and will trump what a friendship should be. That is what adulthood has shown me. Logic is relative. Respect is applied when it is in people’s best interest. This sounds horrible but it is a reality I’ve excepted. The truth is that the company I keep, the people I associate with are at an age where who and what they are is pretty much set. We all grow and evolve but the true core of people is pretty much set. That means that when a difference of perspectives occurs the likelihood of changing their view is low. This is why I don’t attempt to change minds. If our core beliefs really don’t link up at this point then that’s fine. That is the way it must be.
This is what has resulted in the end of friendships as I know them. No one likes to admit error. In the best situations when we realize we’re wrong we should own it and apologize to the people we’ve hurt because that’s what adults do. Unfortunately many aim to avoid this. Instead we create our own rationales for what is happening around us. I accept that too. All I look to do now is make sure the error is identified and acknowledged. If you want to lie to yourself and others to create a perception of “being right” go ahead but YOU AND ME will know what the truth is. What others do after that point is on them. If the ability to show humility for the sake of our friendship isn’t the natural course of action then it is what it is we were never truly friends to begin with.
I’ve got about a 1/2 dozen instances in the past month or so that fall into this category and a such I also have to look at the role I’ve played in this friendships going the way they have. I see patterns in myself that I need to change to avoid creating the sense of entitlement undeserving people have felt.
While this all sounds like doom and gloom the truth is I am in great spirits because as god clears my plate of excess I am being shown the power of true love, friendship and support. When folk act out of character towards me my feelings are no different than many others. I often want to lash back out at them but I always pause. The energy to get revenge is rarely worth it. I have too many great people in my life that ACTIVELY show they care to let the malcontents get the spotlight.
I feel that one of the greatest elements of living life is how you treat other people. I’m far from perfect but I can sleep well knowing what I’ve done and how I conduct my self. Thank you to the people who have made the decision to have me in their life. To those that feel they are better off sans Jason, I hope it was worth it. Sleep well.
The above image was found on Instagram the other day and after sitting with it for a bit I was put in the mind frame of evaluating friendships, associations and social interactions. For most of us there is a desire to constantly improve. We want to get better in what we do and how we do it. A large portion of that intended progress relates to the people we keep around us. It’s an emotional thing. It’s an energy thing. It’s an efficiency thing. As time goes by you realize just how precious your energy is. You don’t have it to recklessly spend like you did when you were younger. So now, as the planet collectively prepares to usher in a new year I say it’s the ideal time to sit down and take a serious look at your world.
Are you happy? How do the people you spend time with make you feel. Really think about it? Who do you talk to the most? Who do you hear from the most? Pay attention because those two previous questions are often mixed up as being the same and they’re not. When you’re down who do you turn to? Who reaches out to you with questions? Who reaches out to you for favors? All these questions and many more are what I run through my mind as I think on the people I come in contact with.
You don’t need anyone to validate your methods so don’t let other influence this process. It has taken time but I’ve reached the point of legitimately holding the world accountable for it actions. People know what they want. If you observe folk long enough the patterns become more and more clear. Eventually you reach a point where you don’t have to ask any questions. You don’t have to hear the explanations/excuses anymore. The truth of witnessed behavior is impossible to refute. It shows you where you rank on folks respect priority list. Then you can see how that cross references with yours. Is your #1 treating you like a #10. Is someone low on your own list doing more to support you than those you actively look to engage regularly? This is important for both business and personal. It tells you who you need to direct your focus to for the most return. On the personal side this tells you who gives your life the proper balance. It may also reveal who you need to reconnect with. Life is rough and it sometimes puts us in positions where you can’t do everything you’d like. Some folk do legitimately deserve that benefit of the doubt. Just be careful with how much leeway you allow. Very few people will admit “Yeah our relationship just isn’t that important anymore.” Personally I’d rather deal with a straight forward “no” then a stalled “maybe”.
With so many means to connect and communicate with each other it’s very easy to get distracted and caught up. Everyone is busy and running around. You feel like your all over the place yet you haven’t done anything. Regain control of your time and your focus. Don’t grant that internal mental real estate to people not willing to pay that mortgage. In 2015 I hope we all learn to get the most and best from each other.
The Art of Crowd Funding via Evita Robinson & Arielle Loren (Webinar)
As many of you know Crowd Funding is all the rage right now. While it has reached the point that some people are turning to it for laughs and base attention it is still evolving into the most efficient way to get funds for independent projects. I’ve personally supported many campaigns and have been behind the scenes with Evita Robinson on her last 2 projects for Nomadness. We’ve both seen the increase in proposed projects across the various platforms. Many succeed and even more fail. There is an art, if not a science to this Crowd Funding world and finally the tools are available to properly maximize your fund raising potential.
Evita Robinson, Creator of Nomadness and Arielle Loren CEO of Corset Magazine have joined forcing to offer a comprehensive course to break down the vital components that go into a succeed Crowd Funding campaign. They are currently in the early bird pricing phase so now is the best time to sign up. Take a look below at some of what you’re getting with this then head over to the main to lock in your spot for the webinar taking place August 12th.
It’s called crowd funding, and this is your opportunity to finally figure out how ordinary people are raising thousands of dollars to fund their dreams. Here’s the problem…way too many people make the mistake of thinking they can launch a successful crowd funding campaign by simply creating a page on one of these platforms and launching it into the universe. No.
You need to know how to launch and execute a successful crowdfunding campaign BEFORE you put your big idea on a popular platform.
Since the new year started I’ve seen a lot of advancement in my work. This transition period I’ve been in from HR professional to professional blogging and Social Media consultation has had some interesting moments. My folks have seen my work and the direction I’m going and have shared many words of encouragement and support. These sentiments mean a lot. They all run through my head as I reflect on and internalize all the changes taking place within me. I’ve often told people that they don’t want to see me angry. Anger is an emotion I try not to outwardly express towards people around me. Recently what I’m realizing is that in pursuit of the goals I have, while conducting efficient business, that anger is necessary.
Anger doesn’t need to be the predominant thing but letting the people I work with know when I’m not happy is important to communicating just how serious I take things. The majority of my life I’ve handled business with a non-confrontational manner. I was always the bigger man. Even if it allowed someone else to get the profit I felt good about myself. Now I think to myself and ask why can’t I have the profit and the moral high ground? There’s no rule that says I have to let you off the hook for things. The more I surround myself with outspoken, direct business people the more it cements the person that I am and the person I have to be so others know I am to be respected.
I guess you can say the gloves are off these days. I can love you and still be 100% pissed at how business is moving and feel fine in expressing that. With me anger leaves little room for misunderstandings that can often arise when keeping things cordial. This isn’t a business advice piece. What’s working for me isn’t a lock to work for others. Everyone is different with how they handle anger. I liken the manner I focus anger to a Bruce Wayne but others may be more of a Bruce Banner. All I know is that playing nice is a sure-fire way to miss out on something and get the shorter end of the stick.