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Twitter- You either love it or hate it!

  • There are those who feel it is self-indulgent and useless when it comes to promoting your business or career.
  • There are those who find it fun, powerful, engaging, entertaining or just plan addicting.

Regardless of which category you fall into, I want to share a couple of quick stories themed “How Twitter can help you face-to-face network”. I want to share some of the powerful connections I have experienced using those pesky 140 characters.

Great Connection Moment #1

On a date at my favorite NYC restaurant in December,  I tweeted about the delicious meal I was having and the spectacular quality of the ingredients. That tweet aroused the interest of the owner who does his own tweeting (love that!). Over the following weeks, we talked back and forth on Twitter about my love of the restaurant (been going there for almost 20 years but never met him) and some funny exchanges: quality of the food vs. quality of the date (smile). Fun. Authentic. Hysterical at times. Told him I was headed in there for brunch on yet another date with a different person a few weeks later. I was greeted with a reserved table sans the hour-long wait, special attention and a fully comped meal. Business owners and food lovers alike take heed. Brand loyalty is rewarded! All starting with 140 characters!

Great Connection Moment #2

Headed to the Do It In Person Party during NY Entrepreneurial Week a few years ago after just starting my business, I was certain I knew absolutely no one at the party.  I was on my own, but I enjoy meeting people so I thought, “this will be fun!”

After getting a drink, I wandered over to a guy, Nick, who looked nice and was not speaking to anyone at the time. We struck up a conversation about technology since that is his passion. Soon another person joined us- a lovely female copywriter named Sara. The conversation soon took a turn to social media (big surprise since it is one of my favorite conversation topics) and lo and behold we discovered that both Nick and Sara learned about the party on Twitter. How Fun!

We vowed to keep in touch and sure enough, the three of us continued to tweet.  A few months later had a meeting of the minds at a funky downtown hotel one afternoon.  Sara has since moved to Denver but we all send a tweet out to each other every once and a while keeping each other in mind for referrals.

Great Connection Moment #3

Matthew, a friend and colleague of mine who used to live here in NYC hosted a virtual telesummit of fascinating speakers a while back. I spent much of my time during the interviews tweeting nuggets of wisdom and observations to pass on. I was not alone in this. Another person named Jared was doing the same. With each interview it became more and more fun for me to share the space with him. And from that point on, we followed each other on Twitter and shared a few thoughts from time to time.

Not long after the telesummit, Matthew and I were in Seattle at a weekend event at which I was speaking and he told me he was getting together with a new friend who had recently moved to Seattle. Cool. But even more interesting was that the two of them had struck up a friendship first on Twitter and then over the phone. This was the first time they were meeting. When he told me it was Jared I squealed with delight! Oh I wanted to meet him too! And I did- he is as smart, quirky and generous in person as he is on Twitter.

And there are so many more of these stories! Stories from sporting events, coffee shops, concerts, lines at stores, Amtrak train rides and the list goes on!

Twitter is just a tool. A tool that can absolutely be used to help you to build your networking circle and provides for fun and often off-beat face-to-face networking opportunities with people you may not have interacted with in any other way!  Don’t be afraid! Try it! All you have to lose is a few 140-character thoughts!

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This week was my niece Chloe’s sixth birthday. I traveled to celebrate with her and this fortunately also coincided with “Special Persons’ Day” at Kindergarten. What a treat! Not only did we each lunch together in her classroom, but then each of the children in the class read aloud the book they wrote and illustrated entitled, “When I Grow Up”.

My heart swelled with pride as she read beautifully from the book and told all of us gathered in much detail that she wanted to be a paleontologist, a mommy and a horse trainer. She had excellent reasons for each of her career choices and determined with no hesitation that could do them simultaneously. It really got me thinking…. When did I begin to shift my thinking to a single career from a head full of dreams?

When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher, an author, a veterinarian, a private investigator, a singer and a psychiatrist. Pretty much all at the same time. And although I am not entirely certain, I believe that I started to get “realistic” about my career choices when I hit late high school and college.

Choose a college. Choose a major. Focus on a few extracurricular interests. Build my resume. Get a job. Excel in a big corporation. Master my grown-up life and grown-up responsibilities.

I did this very well for 25 years.

But those dreams never really left me. They seeped their way into most of the positions I pursued and choices I made. They snuck in through the side door. Then at some point in early 2009, they got a voice of their own!   All of a sudden that head full of dreams started to scream in my head. THINK BIG. THINK FUN. THINK JOY. Of course, for those of you who know me well, you know that I loved the position I held, the company I represented and the more than anything, the people I worked with every day. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to be that six-year old girl confidently pursuing all of her dreams at the same time. Surging forward with no reason to believe that they could not all come true!

Of course, the dreams have changed a bit- but the motivation behind the dreams is still very much alive.

  • I can teach people (although not necessarily in a traditional school setting).
  • I am writing a book, newsletters, blog posts, articles on a daily basis (so I am indeed an author).
  • I have a love and compassion for animals that consumes me at times (and I no longer wish to be a veterinarian but I see now that I really had no other knowledge of options for working with/rescuing animals back then).
  • The dream of being a private investigator makes me smile (I now solve problems for a living but at the time, I was going to be Nancy Drew or Harriet the Spy!).
  • I still love to sing (and if I am living big maybe singing in my apartment is not big enough).
  • I am naturally drawn to helping people with their issues and feelings. I see the world through an emotional lens more so than anything. (I no longer wish to be a psychiatrist but I do think that my impact on the world is not big enough yet. Psychiatrist was just as big as I could think when I was little).  

So my vow to myself is to act much more like that 6 year-old girl I once was EVERY DAY. Free to dream and believe with the utmost certainty that none of my dreams are too big and that they WILL each come true!

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