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Guest Post: Who Do You Run With?

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runBy Steffen Dziczek

I’m not talking about your Couch to 5K Buddies or P90X playmates. No. I’m talking about your entire “pack” that surrounds you. Who have you chosen to surround yourself with? Now, this brings me to another very important and often over looked question; where am I going? Where do I want to be in 3 years, 5 years, a decade? We all know, and if you don’t this article might be an “Aha!” moment.

Life is interdependent. Some slogans tell you to live for now and its all about you, you, and only you. I challenge you to try that for a day and watch your friends fade and your work associates rant behind your back. Maybe it might even land you a comfy seat at the unemployment office come Monday morning because you decided to show up at work 2 hours late with a boom box playing the 2001 Space Odyssey wearing nothing but Sponge Bob boxers. But, hey, you’re living for you, right? Wrong. We need not only to be independent to the point we can pull our own weight, but also recognize we need others strengths where we are weak.

Who we run with currently does not have to be whom we run with in the future. If you dream of being successful at business, then surround yourself with people who are wiser and more successful at business. If you want to be a marketing director then surround yourself with people and knowledge about marketing and leadership. Don’t settle for being an employee; raise the bar to become a team member. I want to take a second to define employee verse team member. An employee is someone who shows up inconsistently on time, punches in, does what he/she has to do, and punches out. They are comfortable enough to stay but not uncomfortable enough to leave. However, a team member shows up early with an air of enthusiasm, because they know that at the end of the day they were a part of something greater than themselves. They are part of a team making a difference. They run with similar people. They are inline with their passions. Not only with themselves, but also with others who they surround themselves with five, maybe even six, days a week.

Are you a thoroughbred running with petting farm ponies, or are you running in your own Kentucky Derby? Are you running with like-minded people in all aspects of your life; personally, professionally and socially? I highly challenge you to take the time to ask yourself where you want to be and where you are going? Once you have the answer, then its time to execute with your inner thoroughbred compass. Yes, you may have to decline the weekly all-night beer pong competitions with your old college roomies because you meet at 7am with other industry leaders in your field for coffee on Saturday mornings. They may take it personally, but you have to stay your course and run like your life depended on it.

I guarantee, looking back, the things that were pleasure centered will not matter. Steve Jobs said, “ We can only connect the dots looking backward.” Stay focused. Stay determined. Start right now making those dots count. Hurry, the race has already begun!

Steffen Dziczek currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He’s a Detroit native, a place he will always call home. Steffen is an innovator, entrepreneur, and a teacher at heart. When he’s not busy building sustainable business’s for the future you can find him traveling, playing the drums, golfing and seeking out new experiences. Lastly, he relishes any chance to give back and volunteers his time at local community food banks. Be sure to check out his upcoming blog, Go Humans Go!

Know The Past to Look Ahead

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“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” At the time Winston Churchill uttered those words I doubt he considered that he would be contributing to the world of social media. In fact, in his time ‘twitter’ meant to utter successive chirping noises. Fast forward to the 21st century and everything lives and dies on social media. Everyone wants to have the next trending topic and be the first to break the next big story. This content creation generation that we live in can at times be a double-edged sword.

Google the term ‘social media fail.’ What do you see? 154,000,000 results. That’s a lot of issues that public relations executives simply would not have had to deal with 10 years ago. This is the doubled-edged sword I am referring to. Social media has increased the visibility of many organizations by leaps and bounds. This is why we need to be careful. The person that is moderating your social media speaks for your brand. When you Google your company name the last thing you want to see besides it is #fail.

So now you ask, how do we stay away from the dreaded #fail? It is easy.

  1. Do your homework. The solutions, issues, and lessons are out there. It is your job to learn from them. Study the epic fails. What did they have to do to come back from it. Have they come back from it? Knowing this information can help you not only learn from someone else’s experiences but it may open your eyes to a way of dealing with a situation that you would have never thought of.
  2. Plan ahead. Plan your social media posts and framework in advance. Taking on the task of planning this out allows more time in the future to continue the conversation on the social networks. Of course when a hot topic is trending you simply cannot plan ahead. However, what you can do is your homework on the topic before you post. You may also actually have something in the queue that is relevant to the trending topic that you could bump up.
  3. Double check. Before any posting material, know what you are posting. It seems simple but it makes a difference. Double check things that are controllable such as tone, links, punctuation and spelling. Even if you have checked previously give it another look before you post. Also, double-check what is not controllable such as the trending topic that you are commenting on. Do not make the same mistake as Celeb Boutique with their #Aurora social media fail. They forgot the homework and did not do much planning for what would come next.

We are working in a content era where everything has a very short shelf life. The mistakes are being made by professionals around the world on a daily basis. Now I leave it to you. Would you rather make the mistake yourself, potentially losing your job and hurting the company’s image? Or, would you rather take the advice of Sir Winston Churchill and study the past to build the future? I choose the latter.

Read my original guest blog post on the Eastern Michigan University PRSSA blog: