Dearest Obama

I have about 9 blog posts to write tonight… and I just dropped them all to rampage on President Obama’s social media team.

30 minutes ago I received a direct message on Twitter from @BarackObama. The notification came through my iPhone and I was like — whoa!!! I read the first line… ‘Twitter influence’… then I saw ‘follow/retweet’… and then fire shot straight through my veins.

Dearest Obama, 

Why the hell are you sending me an auto-DM?

No.

Your #1 fan {except for tonight}, Jillian

I remember when everyone was sending auto-DM’s. EVERYONE. Some slimy message would arrive in your inbox that pleading for you to subscribe  to their list, read their newsletter, check out their website, blah blah blah.

About a year ago {maybe longer}, people started calling out people who used auto-DM’s. Why? They were impersonal. They were spammy. And lastly, no one wanted them.

Fun fact… people don’t really want to be sold to on Twitter. Whoaaaaa! ;) People want you to help them, educate them, share knowledge with them, interact with them etc.

Twitter is insanely powerful at building relationships {especially with people you wouldn’t normally be able to access in your day to day}.

If you are doing good work, providing good content, building your brand, super legit at what you do… people will buy from you. You don’t need to do any of the begging, cold-calling, $1.99 for 10 packs of gum, spammy selling on Twitter. It’s not the marketing platform for it.

Anyways, back to Obama fueling my fire…

3 issues with Obama’s private message:

  1. “Use your Twitter influence” … Yuck. Really Obama Twitter team? REALLY? What even determines Twitter influence? Did you use Klout to determine influence? Did you send this auto-DM based on follower count? Did you send it to all your 21 million followers and just write “Twitter influence” to make people feel they’re cool?  Pretty sure if we were talking “Twitter influence” for this online campaign {and you were wanting to send a nasty auto-DM}, you should have sent this private message to AMERICANS who are of voting age in the youth market {I think that’s who you’re trying to target!}. You may have even targeted youth in specific states you are concerned are voting Romney.
  2. “Follow/Retweet @Obama2012” … People will follow you if they’re interested in your content. People will Retweet you if they want to. Don’t beg. Ever. Blah.
  3. “Join the Twitter team” … What the hell is a Twitter team? Anyways, I clicked on the link because I was curious. FOR REAL OBAMA? “Retweet! Retweet! Retweeet!” Ick. What do you want people to do again? “Join the Twitter team” to Retweet the crap that comes from the @Obama2012 account? Why don’t you create an online discussion forum where people can chat politics? Why not support online conversation and get people talking about why they are voting Obama? Why not unite people over your #Obama2012 hashtag that already exists and track reach and engagement through analytics?

    “Join the Twitter Team” – Obama 2012 Campaign

I presume I’m not the only Canadian who was sent this auto-DM by Obama… not only can I not vote in the American election, but I also cannot join the “2012 Twitter Team” as I don’t live in a state {it’s not a mandatory field, but you know what I’m saying}.

What did I get out of this auto-DM?

A total social media headache. And maybe a little less faith in Obama’s social media team.

Well done team, well done! :P

Another fun fact to end this post. President Obama signs his tweets “-bo”. Kinda cute. :) @BarackObama‘s Twitter account states:

This account is run by #Obama2012 campaign staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo.

Pssst… Twitter is about relationships and community.

If Obama’s social media team was wanting to beg for retweets via this slimy auto-DM, they could have at least got the President onboard with a “-bo” so that people would feel a tad more special and maybe go along with the game. Heh. ;)

I will stop now.

Signed,

Not a social media expert. 

PS – If you’re on Obama’s social media team and reading this post… {hiii!}, please stop by the library and pick up The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck. Fantastic read on building community in the digital world.

Run Away and Hide

When I’m overwhelmed, the #1 thing I always want to do is run away and hide. I want to curl up in a ball, with my head under the covers and wait for the overwhelm to pass.

Last week was a bad week. My 27 years on this planet have taught me that — bad happens. Every week can’t be perfect. With bad and good — comes learning. And learning is the goal right?

Regardless I defaulted to my comfort zone — the little girl that gets overwhelmed by bad — she runs away and hides.

On Thursday I walked away from social media. Yep, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. On Sunday I flew to Palm Springs. I put my iPhone on airplane mode and off I went to the land of hot.

I left the world behind me with hopes of figuring life out.  I wanted to gain clarity on what was important, who was important and most important of all — why.

I learned a few things:

  • You can’t figure out life in 4 days
  • You can’t figure much out running away from your problems

When you head to the land of hot, you generally — sun, sleep, read, eat, drink and do nothing. Well that’s exactly what I did. The 40 degree heat filled my lungs and brought me peace. I spent my days in Palm Springs calming the hell down and taking a moment to myself. One might call it a — ME-cation.

Surprise surprise I returned home just as lost as when I left…! There’s gotta be some good tho — Right? Right? Yep, I was rested, brown, tackled 3 books {Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk, Linchpin – Seth Godin, Fire Starter Sessions – Danielle La Porte} — and no more damn tears.

It’s been 11 days… I thought I would be ready to be back. But I’m not.

Thirty Thousand

I tend to get anxiety over bizarre things. Like take for example how I currently have anxiety over my next tweet. My next tweet is #30,000.

THIRTY THOUSAND.

[I have written the tweet… I just haven’t pressed ‘tweet’… :)]

My iPhone twitter app tells met that I joined on February 16, 2009. That may be true but I didn’t get into the swing of things until late 2009. I had gone to a conference in Africa that November. When we were all saying our goodbyes, I kept on being asked if I was on Twitter. Sure… I have a Twitter account. Do I tweet? No. I came home — curious. Soon enough, I was tweeting… frequently. I didn’t find my place on Twitter for a long time. I used to tweet about HR, business and the Calgary community. People started following… listening… engaging. I found it BIZARRE. Why on earth are people consuming so much time on this forum? Why are people listening to ME?

A lot has happened in the last 20 months, but one thing I know is that Twitter has given me SO much love. I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am.

I continually preach about the tool to non-users. Similar to Gary Vaynerchuck’s mindset… I believe if you’re not on Twitter, you’re behind. Whether personal or business — a large amount of information is being shared and discussed every moment of the day.

I know that I am smarter because of Twitter. Truly… smarter.

I feel very up to speed on industry, media, news, technology and even the latest fashion trends. My friends have been known to say ‘you texted me about X-Y-Z before the announced it’. Twitter tells all.

I am thankful for all of the incredible people I have met.  As much as I am “anti” any sort of Twitter event, I have met a lot of amazing people. A LOT. To name a “few”: @karenjovi, @joelolandesca, @regtiangha, @socialgrrrl, @anothersupersta, @juniper_gal, @kait_dee, @tnjohan, @tremaine, @jayemkayem, @JLEED, @defcandy, @schamuhn, @c_dig, @_Mitch985, @nicolesaxton, @jeffrutledge, @harpsinyyc, @zakpashak, @haileypinto, @ebarbaric, @matthew_ball, @hrstalker, @katiamillar, @gavinroyseal, @steveshed, @terrimcbay, @missrogue, @yukarip, @urbannativegirl, @greenwooddavis, @juliaroisen, @marktownsend1, @rhiannon, @alexandrarutley, @christi_millar, @chelscore, @amandamhamilton, @ashleydasent, @jaylongshaw, @laurenfriese, @kharazny, @greghounslow, @dansgoodside, @lauravezer, @a_klingbiel, @rpenty, @heather2020, @chloe_lala, @todmaffin, @yumemusic, @judybrooks, @vlitwin, @jcarvy, @sandraoco, @shannonbosa, @katrinacf, @jearthy, @angelmok, @jeremylim, @charwong315, @glennhilton, @erinkellydotca, @lindsay_gough, @rontite, @alkarim, @guygal, @timaarak, @kattte_, @cadijordan. There are so many more. No hate if I’ve missed you — because I’ve missed a lot of you. ❤

I am thankful for the organizations/businesses that I have grown to know and become connected with because of Twitter: @westjet, @calgaryherald, @albertaventure, @talentegg, @melroseredmile, @tastecalgary, @unacalgary, @worldbierhaus, @insomniacoffee, @longviewsystems, @ywib, @fwebc, @benevity, @domogeneous, @aecocktails, @bloheartsyou, @bombaybrowbar, @noirlashlounge, @hoseannaknows, @gogirlfriend, @yyoga, @barrefitness, @theartof, @thebizmedia, @alittlemoregood, @bpwcalgary, @bootup, @socialfeedvan. And again… there are so many more. ❤

I met @marleylynng on Twitter. For those that missed the post… last year I applied to be Marley’s best friend.  We were strangers — and she accepted! [Please note I’ve been a total bad friend since January.]

I was in a Dove commercial because of Twitter. Check it out here.

I met the talented @madiganofstorms — a Calgary based photographer and brilliant creative mind because of Twitter. I was part of a wonderful book called ‘FEMME 2010’ because of Twitter.

I competed in and won KPMG’s: ‘What Makes a Top Employer‘ because of Twitter. Yes, you all voted. Every single freaking day.

I met an incredible leader, @wilsoceo, because of a HR professional who follows me on Twitter.

I met @michellelberg and work for @elevatedhr because of Twitter. Yes, I found my job on Twitter.

I continually place high potentials at my clients because of Twitter. The amount of referrals that we get from social media is ridiculous. Two recent stories: Laura Vezer and Becky Bergeron.

It all seems crazy… it truly does. I can’t imagine life without the beast that is Twitter. Yes, I’m often overwhelmed. Yes, I feel that I have to respond people. Yes, it sometimes makes my eyes roll into the back of my head.

At the end of the day, Twitter is the tool for me. I love that I can learn from others. I love that I can share my thoughts — no matter how random they are. I love that I can engage with and help others. I love that I continually meet fabulous people. I love that people from all over the world seem like they’re just next door. I like that I can connect people who share similar interests. I love that I am up to speed on the community. I love that I have access to people who are truly changing the world.

Twitter has given me opportunity — and for that I am blessed.

Happy ‘30,000 tweet’ birthday Twitter.

I am utterly impressed. xo

business reading goals

One thing that came of this weekend was that I am so behind on reading fabulous business books. So after some serious discussion with friends (i.e. peer groups aka awesome people who are successful and know business books inside and out), here’s where we’re at – a massive reading list.

Note: I operate best when I write things down and hold myself accountable to real people, fake people, internet people, whoever really. :)

My very public reading goals for August 2011 to July 2012:

August

  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Lead Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

September

  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  • Rework by Jason Fried
  • The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach – Finished August 7, 2011

October

  • Who: A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street
  • My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman
  • The Greatness Guide – Part 1 by Robin Sharma

November

  • The Greatness Guide – Part 2 by Robin Sharma
  • The Anti 9 to 5 Guide by Michelle Goodman
  • The Dip by Seth Godin

December

  • The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
  • Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
  • Crucial Confrontations by Kerry Patterson

January

  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath
  • Women and Money by Suze Orman
  • You Inc: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry & Christine Becksmith

February

  • The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  • Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott
  • Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus

March

  • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
  • All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

April

  • Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck
  • The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt

May

  • Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard by Chip Heath
  • Enchantment by by Guy Kawasaki
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

June

  • Built to Last by Jim Collins
  • The eMyth Mastery by Michael Gerber
  • Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage by Scott Keller

July

  • Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland

Tired yet? Yah, me too. But I’m going to work with Tony Robbins to get me some energy quick. ;)

One year. 36 business books.

Wish me luck.

PS – This list will likely evolve. Who knows… My list could dramatically change. I could be married, divorced, a house, a dog, a cat, some kind of rodent and a baby on the way by mid-2012… kidding… kidding.  Well, I hope I’m kidding, cause that would be awful. :)

PPS – When I finish these, can I consider myself having complete a Masters Degree? Masters of Management by The University of Indigo Books. People would respect that right? ;)
PPS – If you have an opinions on the above or any other book recommendations – let me know!!

Life Done Differently

This week has been such an up and down rollercoaster of emotion. Today I went from completely excited about the future to absolutely disappointed in employees and organizations to questioning what’s next. At 11:30pm, I sit here and think… Where do I start? What risks am I prepared to make? What is truly important?

Earlier today I told the CEO of a Human Capital consulting firm in the States [someone I don’t know anymore than the average stranger] that all I want to do is do what I love. So Gen Y of me eh? ;) I want to truly make a difference in organizations. I want to work with leaders to become better leaders. I want to mentor and support employees to become successful in both their current roles and career to come. I want to give back to both my profession and community.

It’s not about job security, a pension, or a benefits plan. If I’m doing what I love and feel that I’m being fairly compensated – none of that matters.  All the time I get asked…

  • How do you have time to mentor young women in business? Do you find it exhausting?
  • Why do you do speaking engagements? Are you getting anything out of it?
  • Do you really have time to volunteer with the HR Association’s mentoring committee? What is your role?
  • Why do you tweet and promote jobs at WestJet? Are they paying you?

The answer: I am committed to my profession. I am of the belief that a true HR professional will work with people to be the best they can be. Define it as you wish, but to me it means setting youth up for success, providing people (whether internal employee or external applicant) with opportunities, supporting best practices, and making innovative progress on how HR is incorporated into business and bottom line.

I sat here tonight frustrated. I know there are people that think like me, but where are they?

What are you looking for in life? Is it a degree, a boyfriend, $50,000, and Wednesday wing nights?

No criticism to anyone else in this world, but none of that is me.

I dream big. I live my life thinking anything is possible.

For me, life is about so much more than an ok job, standard education, and hanging out with friends. My requirement is that health is always made a priority [learned that last year].  My goal is that I make a difference in the lives of my friends, family, the community, and my profession.  My heart hopes that I work towards being an active citizen continually contributing to positive change.

Tonight I strolled the internet looking for inspiration. Yes, albeit my recent online finds that I sapped about yesterday, I needed something else. I needed to find confirmation that other people think like me.

Gary Vaynerchuck (one of the most engaging people I have ever had the opportunity to hear speak) asks the question:

“What do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life?”

Lessons learned:

  • Whatever you want to do, make it happen.
  • Care about everything and everyone.
  • Find the balance between waiting for the next opportunity and finding opportunity.
  • Transparency is what will get you ahead.
  • Success is defined by happiness.

I am truly committed to the HR profession.

I am committed to doing HR differently and living life differently.

I want to change the way people think about both their careers and their role in society.

Years from now I don’t want to be the exception; I… sigh… want to be the norm.

Tonight I’ll be going to bed asking myself the following question…

What will it take for you to be happy?

My last little bit of GaryVee advice: Position yourself to succeed. Do what you love. And lastly hustle baby hustle. xo

[Insert transparency here > For too many reasons to count, the last two weeks have truly been hard. At the end of the day I know that life is about learning and everything happens for a reason. My heart goes out to the families of Greg Audley and Gerry Brookwell. With absolutely all my heart, may you both rest in peace.]