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One year ago I took this online creator journey seriously. I started approaching Twitter with intentionality. I began to think through what a newsletter would look like as I planned a July newsletter launch.
I didn't think it was all that interesting or that people would want to read about it but the other day I posted this tweet:
That tweet did 65,000 impressions.
So in my true form…
Let me tell you a story about 1 year online.
The wild ups and downs
I watched the growth of people like David Perell and Jack Butcher. I thought that Twitter would be the same for me.
Early on I realized that which meant I needed to focus on better metrics. Instead of followers, likes, and retweets, I searched for how I would judge my growth. I grew frustrated for many months as I kept looking at the traditional metrics.
I’d put together threads that I knew were filled with great information but they wouldn’t blow up. Here’s something you might not know…
I hate writing threads.
So I never put the time or effort into them that I should. I’m sure that’s a big reason mine haven’t taken off like some of the great thread writers on twitter. Maybe that will change but honestly I’d rather write an article with more depth and nuance. But that has also hurt my traditional twitter metrics so I continued to search.
For those that don’t know, when I started taking Twitter seriously last June I had just shy of 300 followers. As of today I get to talk to and with over 13,000 people.
It’s good to remember that your Twitter journey will be different than mine.
You need to enjoy it but also take it seriously.
Let’s keep going.
The first big metric I started using was how it helped Performative Speaking.
In the very first cohort, a fair number of the 35 students signed up because of my twitter or a thread by someone else.
That meant revenue for my business, future testimonials, and helping people which is what I was after from the start. So by all accounts the success had started to come from Twitter.
But here’s the truth
I thought it would be easy after becoming a full on course creator. I expected those other metrics to take off.
I grew frustrated.
I felt resentment.
Many days I thought about shutting it all down.
Twitter felt like work from October until December.
I didn’t want to work on Twitter. I wanted to have fun and build connections.
But then came the whirlwind December where On Deck approached me about Performative Speaking. In large part because of my Twitter presence and personal brand I developed over the previous 6 months.
I learned that multiple On Deck employees vouched for me because they followed me on Twitter. They had never met me. Never talked to me.
But they knew my thinking because I shared it openly.
So at the end of December we agreed to an acqui-hire to bring Performative Speaking into the On Deck universe. It might be the first of it’s kind to happen as On Deck embraced the online education revolution under way and agreed with me that this Performative Speaking experiment made sense inside of On Deck.
This isn’t a part of this story but what an incredible success. 113 people took part and the results were mind-blowing.
The Tide Turns
A bunch of good things started happening in January and I grew less and less concerned with those traditional metrics.
I had multiple job offers come my way that I would have never received otherwise.
I met more and more people that continued to elevate my network. In February I actually met a group of friends in Brooklyn that I made on Twitter. It felt like we had known each other forever.
I found future business partners in the fundraising world, the creator economy, and for my primary passion of Performative Speaking.
None of these things happen without Twitter and taking this journey seriously.
Because of this approach I’ve helped people give massive keynote speeches, advise companies in exciting industries, and build connections to people literally across the world.
The metrics I began to care about is simply this: Are good things happening in my life because of Twitter?
It’s a resounding yes right now.
There are still challenges
That doesn’t mean I and my guess is you won’t still have struggles even when good things are happening.
You will judge yourself against friends you’ve made. Why are they blowing up but you are growing slowly?
It happens to me too.
But then I remember the metrics I’m comparing are those traditional ones because my metric is simply if good things are happening.
If my answer is yes and their answer is yes, we are on equal footing.
There’s no need to compare further. Stop competing and start enjoying your success. Stop competing and start celebrating others’ success.
The past 2 weeks
The last two weeks have been especially wild.
The live cohort of Performative Speaking inside of On Deck wrapped up. The end of the journey was filled with emotional goodbyes, thank you’s, and transformations.
It’s led to discussions with major government bodies interested in having their founders work with me.
It’s led to an invitation to speak at the ASU + GSV Summit speaking about the creator economy and Ed tech in August that will be live in San Diego with other panelist like Wes Khao.
It’s led to the opportunity to advise other creators and take part in new and interesting incubator type programs for them.
It’s led to more than I would have ever imagined one year ago.
How you should do it
Here’s the quick how to.
Stay focused and dedicate one year. Evaluate at that point. Not before because you will want to quit.
Choose your focus. 3-5 topics you love to talk about. Stick to them. People need to know you for something.
Consistency matters. Don’t take days off. Be like Jocko or Goggins.
Treat people like people. It’s easy to hid behind a screen. It’s hard to be vulnerable and cheer for other people. Do the hard thing. It’s worth it.
Tell your story. Personality matters. Find ways to share it while still focusing on your key topics. That’s why stories are so important.
Where will year two take me?
I don’t know.
But I’m excited.
I just need to remember to focus on the right metric.
Are good things happening in my life?
That’s what I’ll keep asking myself.
“The Soldier’s Minute”
Have any thoughts? Send them my way
Want to work with me? Shoot me an email to see if you’re a good fit.
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See you next week,