I recently came across the tweets and blog of fellow Tampa twitterer @In11Months, and needless to say I saw a lot of myself someone who’s bio read “see how I will successfully use Social Media to achieve some major life goals.”, last year I went through a bit of a quarter life crisis. I still didn’t have a job, my fiancee and I split up, I was trying to run a consulting business by myself, living somewhere I didn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere without a vehicle, taking care of my very ill father and having my family turn against me while I nearly had a breakdown was one of the roughest times in my life. I vouched then I would pick myself up and never look back… well, it’s still been a bit of a rocky road, it’s like running through mud… it’s tough, tries to pull you down but there’s always dry land on the other side. I feel like I am finally at the light at the end of the tunnel.. business is picking up, i’ve got a packed traveling schedule, a possible book on the way, taking better care of my health and I am slowly learning to build up my confidence and trust people again after a rough few months. Most of all, I am learning to love myself and feel inspired… I found some great inspiration in this recent blog post by @In11Months that really hit home, he stated his frustration with his current state, albeit comfortable is wanting much much more out of life.
“A time flexible job, making decent money doing something I love to do! Is it really that hard??? Why is this so seemingly challenging to create for myself.”
Can we really create a different life for ourselves in less than a year through social media? You bet your bippy you can… here’s what I had to respond. Read more
“When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire”- STARS
The weather outside in Florida isn’t the only thing that has been funky. Recently, there has been many life changes that have left me a bit in of what I like to call “mental swampass”. What this means is that, you know that feeling after you’ve been outside in the sun all day? That nasty feeling that leaves you feeling accomplished but sweaty, tired and just wanting to take a nap. Yep, I believe that’s called a “hot mess”… Oh yeah, I am totally there… someone please throw me in the pool, maybe some gold gilded half naked men serving me sushi and cocktails?
I haven’t been myself much lately, i’ve been quite quiet and a little distant. I’ve been reading a lot, thinking too much and not saying enough of what I should say to those I should say to in an epically poetic fashion. I can’t think of words, I have been finding myself in thought running into doors and almost cars. I feel like a stranger in my own town, in my own mind… I should be feeling better, my dad is gaining strength back, I just got a rockin new haircut, i’ve got great things going for me career wise, lots of trips coming up to Vegas, NYC, Atlanta and Greenville, above all I absolutely love what I do. Okay universe, okay… I get it… but why do I feel so foggy? I seriously feel like ET in that god awful Atari game, I just fell in that damn hole…
Yesterday I was invited to speak on a panel at the Homemade Music Symposium in Ybor City, Florida to musicians and artists on how they can use social media to promote themselves. Many artists and bands have yet to fully grasp the full spectrum of platforms they can be using to really rock the internet and increase their fan base and buzz about themselves. I used to work for bands and records labels doing internet and event promotion for almost ten years and way back in the day of the only way to promote online was through message boards and chat rooms… in real life, the flyer and poster was your best friend and getting people to show up to your show took convincing (you don’t know how many artists I know that have helped people move just to get them to the show…) in this new world of promotion and connecting with social media it’s free, easy and doesn’t take a public relations degree to figure out. Here’s how to promote your band using social media.
I think since childhood, i’ve heard the song “Hey Jude” hundreds of times on the radio, in the car, in elevators, crappy cover bands and drunken karaoke. I never really think that song could change my life at such a perfect time, I don’t know if perfect is the right word to use for this time in my life… but it’s certainly a lyrical mirror to my current situation brewing in my head and home.
The last few days i’ve certainly hit a rough point… feeling like a stranger in my own town, helpless to my ill father and wondering if what I am working so hard towards will even work out. I can’t remember the last time i’ve seen a paycheck or a full wine bottle. If there was a hashtag for this it would be #passionFAIL. The other day, I had the radio on and “Hey Jude” was playing once again, almost tuned out like most things entering my brain currently. This time I sat there, listened and sang along. A wonderful celebration of life at one of my darkest hours, the words spoke to me telling me to keep going. To take this sad song and make it better.
“Cause we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why”- INXS
Usually when I get asked what I do, I tell people Social Media Consultant. *blank stare* “Uh, I community manage and create brands online…” *blank stare* “I play with twitter and facebook.” OHHHHHHH….You can get paid for THAT? *faceplant* “Yeah, most of the talented ones make over $100,000 a year”
Okay, as the state of Destructo HQ shows… over the last few weeks it’s been mighty messy. Between my father being ill and helping with social media destruction of Foursquare Day here in Tampa, everyone has been asking how I am able to keep it together without having a complete Destructo sized meltdown. Here’s some ways to keep it together when life gets messy…
(NSFW due to language. Tell the kids to cover their ears…)
In my lifetime, i’ve been through some interesting circles of people. From the richest of the rich to the strangest of the strange and I can tell you *gets out venn diagram* that the line is actually pretty thin in the middle. I’ve known CEO’s, pastors, pilots and teachers that their real lifestyles outside would boggle your mind. Were any of them doing anything illegal or hurting anyone else? No. I have to tell you if I could eat the self-esteem they have for breakfast, I would. Very happy people. I can honestly say there’s no such thing as a “normal society”, we are all a little strange sometimes… that’s what makes each of us unique and human.
But we as people are also faulted by our pre conceived notions of the “first impression”, on how we appear to another automatically puts a label on us and shuffles us into a filing system in a person’s brain. It’s all programed in us from childhood, I can remember fighting against be put in a frilly dress for church and told “You want to make a good first impression”. Later on in life, I could also actually see the phrase emanating off of every suited up frat boy working off that hangover at the career fairs in college.
I can’t say enough thanks to Dan Walderschmidt for seeing the beauty in being different. I just read an article he wrote after his TedX experience called “Success Starts With You Being Different“and I have never read something before that completely encapsulated my whole mission statement.
Last week I had a conversation with Trey Pennington about Social Media Marketing and the methods that have worked best for me to find that next step in life whether it be a career opportunity, hobby or even personal life goals. I had discussed being yourself and being unique, this week I would like to further explore that topic as I get asked quite a bit by you the Destructo Devations reader “I want to do something new, but I don’t know how to do it.”
1. Look to the past- When ever I feel that pulling sensation of either cabin fever with my life or just the “feeling stuck” syndrome. I spend a day in a huge tupperware box I have, going through old family photos and home movies. Sometimes when I feel that sinking feeling of “going nowhere”, I look back on my life as a child and it really puts things in perspective on how far i’ve come and to not give up. Every time I go back and view a old home movie of myself at three years old, I realize that back then that these things now didn’t matter that much. It’s amazing the feeling you have when you put that mindset that money isn’t what your world revolves around, it’s that carefree childhood spirit that the best entrepreneurs have tapped into.
2. Get rid of negative people- Naysayers, people that gossip about you, those general debbie downers. Cut em off, don’t think that your friends make you. YOU make you. Many people get stuck in situations where their social circles have control over every aspect of their life and people that would stab you in the back to make themselves look better. This is the real world, people are fake, there are tons of snakes and sharks in any circle. Some people thrive off the success and downfall of others. Listen to your instincts and never let anyone use you for their benefit solely. YOU make your world, there’s a lot in this world we can’t control but take the reins over the things you can control.
At Destructo HQ, things can get a little bit nutty like any office. Phones ringing, dogs barking, tweets tweeting and the occasional burp or two from Cpt. Spauldad. Ever since I was a little destructo, I knew that my work would not take place in a conventional office setting, I think I saw the movie Falling Downand I never wanted to have a “9-5 job”, because in my five year old mind… it made you crazy and want to kill people.
Anyways, my younger self would be proud to know that I don’t have to go to a workplace, however being self employed is more like a 5am to 9pm gig. But I am far from the guy in Falling Down, I love the freedom and being able to work remotely since I don’t drive. But before you go, “Wow, I am quitting my job right now!” You have to keep up your own finances, pay your health insurance and job security… you could be making $50 and hour but that may have to feed you for those times you are without work. Well, technically, job security is made upon your own terms to work hard to gain new clients. Your happiness with self employment depends on your goals in life and organizational skills. If you are going to be your own boss, act like it.
If you are unemployed, you may be making the same face right now. I get asked all the time, “Miss Destructo, you’ve technically been unemployed for almost a year now… how do you do it?”.. okay, maybe that wasn’t so much the people I know rather than the voice in my head going… “What the heck are you doing?”. Bascially, I can honestly say I have embraced my unemployment as a time to grow and explore those things i’ve always wanted to do such as blogging. Honestly, it hasn’t been all glitter and fun times, living off of sardines and yams for three months while living in Greenville, SC. I never was on unemployment or food stamps, I couldn’t qualify since technically I never moved to the state and there was other factors that rendered me unelligible. This should have sent me into a panic, but instead it just drove me further to learn how to beat the unemployment monster. Working odd jobs such as band promoting for Livenation and I started focusing previous band promotion (I worked for record companies since I was 13) talents into social media and started promoting myself.. getting me a few paying social media freelance jobs.. leading me to where I am today. Don’t depend on others, if you work hard to survive you will.
Thus began my life into being self-employment, I made a huge leap and moved back to Tampa, FL… in with my eccentric father and one eyed camera guy Mr. D. This way, we could all save tons of money and have a place to finally set up a DestructoHQ for all our future deviations. So if you are struggling with rent and debating “I don’t want to be that guy that lives with his parents” You need to kick that stigma in the ass right now… if it’s what you have to do…do it. Plus my father makes a mean spaghetti, which is much better than yam-ghetti anyday.
The point of liberation. In my first month back home, sitting in my empty room with just a suitcase. All of material items I had sold or given to charity… That moment was probably one of the most liberating things ever, I was starting over… I knew this was the beginning of something big, something great and I was not going to look back at all the jobs I could of had or those items that were weighing me down. If you want to move forward, get rid of everything that is weighing you down (this includes negative people as well).