One Of My Bigger Regrets

 I really do not have many regrets in life.  Partially because I make reasonably intelligent choices most of time, and partially because I am too arrogant to admit I made a mistake in the first place.  That being said, one of my greatest regrets in life has been my complete lack of effort in attempting to maintain relationships.  I am great at building relationships with the people I work with, but when we no longer work together for whatever reason those relationships quickly fade away.  I don’t make a strong enough effort to keep in touch with people.

 I have been making much more of an effort to reconnect with some of the people from my past.  I have harnessed the power of LinkedIn and used it to reach out to many people that I have not spoken to in years.  I have picked up the phone and called a few people as well. 

I would love to tell you that the result has been a magical rekindling of old friendships and I was able to pick back up right where I left off with all of my old contacts.   I would love to tell you that, but that would not exactly be the truth.  In some cases, I have absolutely reconnected and I think I actually brought some joy to the people I was reaching out to.  My call was unexpected and I was reaching out for no other purpose than I wanted to talk to them.  I think it made them feel very appreciated and special.  In other cases the calls were very awkward and I think they were waiting for me to ask for something or trying to figure out what my angle was.  Every call may not have had a fairy tale ending, but a few of them really made some old friends smile so I would consider the effort a success.

Here is my advice to you, reach out to an old contact today.  Call them, don’t email your communication.  I had a much higher success rate with the phone calls I made as opposed to the emails I sent.  If one of your old contacts is still local to you, then arrange to have coffee or meet for breakfast one morning. My career path would have been far better if I had taken the time to maintain relationships throughout my career.  It took me a very long time to realize the value of maintaining relationships.  Fortunately, I like to believe that I am still evolving so I am taking the necessary actions to correct my behaviors.  Learn from my mistakes and regrets and reach out to someone today that you have not spoken to in a long time.  Step away from Twitter and Facebook and actually connect with someone today.   

It turns out your Iphone can actually be used for more than updating your Facebook page. It can actually make phone calls as well.

Are You Sure That You Are Not A Spammer?

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Twitter has introduced a whole new kind of Spam.

I have confessed several times on this site that I understand very little about marketing.  I am no expert on how to get your message out there to drive more people to your site or to get them to buy your product.  Perhaps my marketing ignorance is the reason that I do not understand sending Spam messages.

Spam email messages are  unsolicited bulk emails that are sent to large numbers of people in the hopes of getting them to click on a link that will take them to site that will introduce malware onto their computer or some messages are just designed to entice the reader to send money.  Have we not matured as a society to where these scams do not work anymore?  Are people still sending money in order to claim their inheritance from their Nigerian uncles?

In 2010, the computer security company Commtouch estimated that 183 billion Spam messages were being sent daily.  Imagine how much space that is taking up on email servers and how badly it impacts their efficiency.  How much money is being spent to combat this problem?

Some of you reading this message now are shaking your head in agreement, but you may be guilty of sending out Spam.  If you have ever sent an unsolicited email to distribution list offering your products or services, then you may be part of the problem.  Even if you have a legitimate product or service, Spam is not legitimate marketing practice and could greatly hurt your company’s reputation.

The explosion of social media has just made this problem worse.  Now we can get spam on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  I know many people use an auto-response when I follow them on Twitter.  They will send you a direct message shortly after you start following them.  Most of the messages are well intended.  They thank me for following them and then ask me to check out their Facebook page or go to their website.  Personally, I find these messages annoying.   Not sure how everyone else feels on this, but I would be curious to know if I am the only one that finds this practice annoying.  Instead of sending out 10 automated responses each day, I think you would be better off not sending anything or sending a personal response to one or two of them.  I have followed a couple of hundred people at this point, and maybe ten of them sent me a personal response.  In every one of those cases, we then engaged in an actual conversation and made a real connection.  I am pretty sure that is how it is supposed to work.

I will make you a promise, right here and right now.  No matter how successful or unsuccessful this site ever becomes, I will never send you an unsolicited email or Tweet for that matter.