Don't Forget to Invest in People

Sometimes you don’t even realize the importance of the things that you’re investing in.

Don't forget to invest in people

You could think that it’s one thing and find out it’s something completely different. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to share a Content Talk with two of my faves in the digital space, but I got a lot more than a speaking engagement out of the deal. It’s important to realize the importance of investing in people. 

As an older millennial, it still sounds kind of nuts when you say to someone that you met someone else online. I mean, we straddle the age when the internet was really a creepy place and strange things happened in AOL chatrooms and whatnot. But we have grown to a new place. This place where real relationships can be cultivated online that begin to translate into real life. 

It’s amazing to have met two extraordinarily talented women on the interwebs by the names of Tyece Wilkins and GG Renee. Who knew? By simply becoming a fan of their work and engaging organically, that we would have the chance to share an awesome experience at Blogalicious 8. The reality here is, a collaboration like this has literally been a few years in the making. 

So often, I know you want to collaborate. This is something that a lot of the gurus tell you is important, but don’t often give you the practical steps it takes to create worthwhile collaborations. So you take off running, reaching out to any and everyone that has a larger following than you, hoping that their magic blogger dust will rub off on you. 

But that’s not really how it works. I know you want to ask people to be part of your big ideas. But have you taken the time to really engage with them first? Have you taken the time to really try to get to know what they’re about? Most of the people that I have collaborated with, I spent enough time on their social profiles and blogs to realize that we had similar core values.  I like working with people who believe in authenticity and the integrity of great writing. I took the time to watch before ever asking anything. 

I always try to emphasize the ORGANIC part of building relationships. It’s just like real life. You don’t just walk up to strangers and say, “Hey, can we be friends?” And so, you take your time. You follow someone on Twitter. See what they talk about. Read articles that they tweet. Participate in their chats and soon enough you may start talking more often than before. You nurture the relationship. 

One of the most relevant concepts in my life lately has been that everything ain’t for everybody. Yes, I said ain’t. Lol. But really. When you are just starting out in things, you try so hard to force it. We try to get in front of anyone who will listen. We work with any type of clients. We take part in any event. But does it really feed our future goal? Are we as strategic as we should be in our decision making?

CLICK TO TWEET /// Everything ain't for everybody

We have a tool that no other generation has been able to utilize in this way. It’s time that we really think about it for more than posting pretty photos or flicks of our kids (unless you’re like a mommy blogger or whatever but you get my point.) Make it a point of investment in people. Find new things that you like. Be a part of conversations that you’re passionate about and it will undoubtedly lead you to places that you may not have thought you could go. 

Take your time in your thoughts about your career. I have seen where every idea that I have is not a right now idea. The collaboration that you are looking to do, may need more time. Build up to it. I love that at our session at Blogalicious, GG talked about having a small ask first and seeing how that goes and then working up to the bigger project. 

Too many of us are rushing. Not realizing that a career entails multiple ideas and repeat success. Take the time to invest in the partnerships and friendships that you would like to cultivate. The big collab may not come right now, but in 3 months, 6 months, the year. 

CLICK TO TWEEET /// Take the time to invest in the partnerships and friendships that you would like to cultivate

Bottom line, I’m grateful for the investment that I have made in my colleagues. Grateful that we came together and realized that something was missing in the blogger conversations - People who cared most about the writing. And so we do it our way, in our authentic way, and we allow others to feel like they can do it their way too. 

The more we realize that our mission is bigger than us, the better we become at deciphering what’s best for our businesses and brands long-term and not just what’s hot right now. I know that there will be more to come with the people that I have invested in. That we can continue to repeat successes over and over because we came together with the same core values and not a “what can you do for me?” mentality. 

Never underestimate your own peer group. Cheer them on. See how you can help. Share their initiatives, invest in your audience. This is a part of the work that we don’t talk about as often. But this work is the foundation of many other things that you are hoping to come. 

CLICK TO TWEET /// Never underestimate your own peer group. Cheer them on. See how you can help.

Check out a few flicks from our trip to ATL below and a quick edit of our Content Talk from Periscope if you missed us broadcast live!