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I am deathly afraid of snakes. I hate them. Can you relate?

I was mowing the lawn at my house last summer and nearly mowed over a snake. I didn’t see it at first, so I got closer to it than I was comfortable with. Once I saw it, I shrieked like a child and literally ran away screaming.

I knew I had to end the life of this wriggling, cold-blooded, meat pipe, so I did what any red-blooded American male would do: called my brother-in-law to come kill it.

The thought of shoving a shovel blade through the snake’s body was too much for me to bear. When Ben arrived, I gave him my garden spade and the battle cry of “make sure you cut his head off.”

I had only heard that in movies, but I wanted to pretend like I was being helpful.

Ben struck. I heard the same kind of crunch as when you crack a glow stick open. The snake perished. I picked up its disgusting, lifeless body with a snow shovel and threw it in a plastic grocery bag. What a way to go.

When you cut the head off a snake, it starts wriggling around, thrashing all about. It might even be comical if it wasn’t so damn disgusting.

To quote Morpheus, “the body cannot live without the mind.”

This is true for you and me as well. While our brains account for approximately 1 percent of our total body weight, we could not live without this vitally small percentage.

So much power packed into such a tiny space.

I find this to be true in other contexts as well:

A tiny rudder is responsible for steering a big ship.

A match can set blaze to a forest fire.

An axe can chop down a giant tree.

The tongue speaks words that start wars.

I was sitting in church yesterday and found myself thinking about the Think Digital productivity sheets I’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s a system I’m developing to help me get the most out of each day.

A few months ago I started realizing regular to-do lists just weren’t cutting it anymore.

I had tried every app you could think of—nothing seemed to work.

So I started experimenting with good ol’ fashioned pen and paper and noticed an instant improvement in what I was able to accomplish.

I’m on version five of the system and so far it’s helped me to obliterate my to-do list on a daily and weekly basis.

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Photo courtesy of mopho.to

Photo courtesy of mopho.to

Here’s a question for you: How do you define social media success?

For instance, one of the ways I define social media success is by looking at how many email addresses I’ve collected in the past 7 days as a result of my social media content. Here’s a a peak at one of the campaigns we’re running right now:

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That’s the good stuff I want to know. It helps me quickly determine if I’m on the right track or not.

One of our social media management clients wants to consistently rank in the top of mentions for a specific hashtag. It helps them know they’re getting the mind space they need to further their cause.

We set a goal internally to define success as making as many one-to-one connections with people as possible.

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Knowing what target you’re aiming for when it comes to social media content is key.

There are well-meaning social media folks out there who want to tell you, “social media results can’t be measured,” and “social media is based on relationships and you can’t quantify the value of a relationship.”

Frankly, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. People say those things because they don’t know how to establish social media success. So they make up stuff that sounds reasonable, but ultimately helps no one.

Q: Why do I value the relationship I have with my dad over the one I have with the barista at Starbucks?

A: Because my dad is more valuable to me.

See? Look how easy that was =)

I’m hosting a free online learning event next week where I’ll give you five tips for defining social media success for yourself.

You’ll get real, tangible insights for practical ways you can start building a framework for social media success. You’ll learn:

  1. How to quickly define a starting point for your success
  2. Simple ways to turn social media analytics into actionable data
  3. How to evaluate the most valuable members of your social media community
  4. How to take your success metrics and match them to organizational goals
  5. How to streamline your content to go after the “big whales” rather than the “little minnows”

This event is live and completely free. There will not be a replay. Grab your seat below or head to this page for more details. As an added bonus, if you sign-up today I’ll send you our Big Idea Worksheet completely free.

Start defining social media success for yourself. Get traction. Join us next week!





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Are you a risk-taker?

I’m not talking about the thrill-seekers who jump out of planes or bungee jump or eat at China Buffett at 3 PM on a Tuesday afternoon, right before they change out the pans from lunch to dinner.

I’m talking about taking intelligent, calculated risks. Risks that have real consequences. Risks that lead to major rewards.

I love risk-takers.

Recently, I worked with a team that was willing to take a risk. Their organization was doing fine—great, in fact. But they weren’t complacent. They knew what they were doing now wouldn’t work forever.

So what did they do? Instead of burying their collective heads in sand, they chose risk. They chose to shake up what they’ve always known in favor for the UN-known. Risk.

We don’t know 100% yet if the risk will pay off, but even taking a step in the direction of risk has its own rewards:

  • A new perspective
  • Loss of fear
  • Gaining confidence
  • Learning more about who you are as a person
  • Boldness
  • Empowerment

I love people who are willing to exchange their current reality for a new one—the preferred one. Risk is almost always the fuel to get you from one side to the other.

  1. Making the ask…
  2. Spending the money…
  3. Finally filing your LLC…
  4. Giving your boss two weeks notice…
  5. Telling yourself you can do this—and believing it…
  6. Forsaking the safe route and taking the riskier one…

The risk muscle atrophies if we don’t use it enough, so that’s why it’s time for a workout.

I’m on the verge of taking a HUGE risk this summer and I need you to join me. I’ll have more details in the weeks ahead, but let’s just say it makes me nervous even thinking about it.

Think Digital Academy will turn 1 year old soon, which means it’s time to take it to the next level. We’ve started investing our time, energy, and resources into making Think Digital Academy the one-stop shop for social media education and training.

Members who join before the end of June will be rewarded, as risk-takers should. I’ve got amazing plans in store. If you’ve ever thought about joining Think Digital Academy, trust me when I say this: now is the time.

Like I said, specifics will be forthcoming. But I know this: I’m betting the farm on my next move. Why? Because the possibility of failure is infinitely more interesting than the alternative: a lukewarm life. Blech.

I need you to be a risk-taker with me. You need me to take risks with you. We need each other on the journey. Can I count on you?