Note to (internet) famous people that have forgotten their roots – I will ALWAYS make time for friends & not fleece them with ridiculous fees/schedules. While you are busy being a big-shot, *I* am keeping the relationships *YOU* tossed in the trash. Think about that, and return a phone call/email YOURSELF from time to time. /rant over/
I had a bit of a brain-melt over the past few weeks as seen by the above status update I finally broke down and posted today. I’ve been doing what I do for a very long time. New media, social media, blogging, web video, podcasts, online journaling – whatever you want to call it – I have been in it since 1997. Even longer than that I’ve been a technology strategist and sometimes-janitor (cleaning up other people’s tech messes). I have been blessed for almost *20* years in technology with a strong sense of matching people with the right tools to thrive within their profession. I’ve viewed myself as a sort of Shadchan of meat-space & digital-space. More importantly, I like to connect *people* with *people* … linchpin style.
It would be important to note that age does not equal experience or quality. Just because I was around when an entire industry was birthed does not give me assumed credit for its success. Being a user of an idea is also not the same as mastering the ideas professionally, or even being able to mentor others in the craft. There are plenty of new faces on the social media bandwagon. They have “kicked ass and taken names” and helped to catapult the industry into the mainstream, and are more amazing than folks that have been stagnant over the past half-decade in the industry. Quality over quantity, but having both helps.
On the flip side, being connected to a lot of people does not automatically make you capable of finding synergies between friends and helping to cultivate fruitful relationships between them. That requires actively nurturing relationships and finding out what your friends and professional colleagues need, and what would help them thrive. Knowing how to read between the lines helps.
That brings me to my dilemma. I’ve been around the block and know a lot of the old-timers have worked their butts off that deserve have earned their success. But when I have to schedule time to chat 4 weeks from now and SUBMIT AN INVOICE for their time … they can fall off a cliff. One of the folks I’ve actually mentored. Karma is a bitch though, it will come full circle. It’s interesting to watch and see if ‘fame’ changes people or just brings out their true colors. When friends have reached out to me for help, advice, or even just an ear to rant to, I have been there for them to the best of my ability. When the tables are turned, I get passed off to snotty assistants and sent non-disclosure agreements.
It is harder to keep fame than to gain it. It is easier to keep friends you already have. It can be lonely at the top. Sometimes only people that have been where you were can help you stay where you are. You reap what you sow. I may forgive, but I don’t forget.
No, I won’t divulge any particulars or names, I’m much classier than that. And if your conscious is eating you that this article could be about YOU (and it’s probably NOT) – time to take a good hard look at who you are, how you got here, and the helping hands that pulled you up the ladder on your journey. Give a call to someone you have valued in the past, thank them, and ask them if there is anything you can do for them. And do it. No appointment, fee schedule, or NDA needed.