Over the last week I had a chat with two of my dear friends. These are people that for the past few years have both been very influential in the social media space, and have both garnered a high level of respect.
One of those friends was Beth Harte. I called her up to see what was new with her. Well she had just deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts, she told me.
Yep, Beth had quit cold-turkey on the two biggest social media sites on the planet. Why? Because she wanted a fresh start, and wanted to be using these sites because she WANTED to, not because she felt the pressure to maintain a presence she may not care about anymore.
This is one of the many things I love about Beth: She is true to who she is. How many of you right now are following people you would like to unfollow but you don’t cause want to ’cause drama’. Or maybe you’d like to pull the plug on a social media site, but you can’t bring yourself to do it?
But the other conversation I had with a different friend was the one that really touched me. And I’m not gonna tell you who it was cause it doesn’t matter and I wouldn’t have told you about my conversation with Beth if she hadn’t posted it on Facebook that she was leaving.
The second friend told me that she sometimes felt as if what she had to say wasn’t ‘worthy’ of other people. As if her voice wasn’t as valuable and didn’t deserve to be heard as much as someone else’s.
How many of you have thought the exact same thing? I will tell you the same thing I told my dear friend: That’s total bullshit.
Probably the most wonderful thing about Social Media is that these tools give all of us a chance to express our own unique voice. In my mind, that is truly the promise of social media.
Perhaps the worst thing about social media is that some people will believe that their voice doesn’t deserve to be heard because someone has been talking louder and for longer than they have.
Stop it. The only reason you are reading what I am writing today is because in 2005 when I started blogging I was stubborn/dumb enough to believe I had every right to put my thoughts out there with Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki or whoever the hell I wanted to. And I had every right to make a complete fool out of myself in the process (and often did!).
But the point is…I always believed that my voice had value and that I deserved to be heard.
So do you. It literally breaks my heart that some people in this space believe that their voice doesn’t deserve to be heard because their Klout score isn’t high enough, or because they don’t have X number of Twitter followers.
If I had just one wish for you, it would be that you would stop worrying about what others think and say and do, and find your own voice. Find the passion that stirs your soul, and let it loose. Never believe for one minute that your thoughts aren’t worth sharing. Why do I keep writing about Think Like a Rockstar? Because I believe in my heart that the future of marketing relies on companies better connecting with their customers and cultivating advocates for their brand. If you don’t want to read those posts then I will shake your hand and wish you well, because I’m not changing my voice to suit your ears.
And neither should you.
I’ve never really watched American Idol, but on Wednesday night I was watching and saw this performance by Skylar. Now since I am a speaker, I tend to focus on the delivery of speakers moreso than the topics they are covering. I do the same thing with singers, I watch their posture and how they relate to the crowd. That was what mesmerized me about Skylar’s performance.
First, she’s singing Gaga. A country version of Born This Way that many in the audience probably hadn’t heard before. She swapped up the lyrics in some places. In other words, she took the song and made it her own. And refused to apologize for it. She was completely in charge of the room and totally confident because even though she was singing a version of the song that might have been unfamiliar to some who heard it, she sang it in her voice. Which is why it was so awesome.
My wish for you is that if you aren’t already, that you’ll find the courage to start sharing your unique voice. Because we are waiting to hear it.