A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Alicia Jessop on Twitter. She rocks, guys. I loved her Tuesday Truths and was so excited when she asked me to guest post for one! So hop on over to her site, to check out my Tuesday Truth on being in the right place:
The second I heard that Amy Jo Martin was writing a book, I knew I HAD to read it. Things got even cooler when she let her followers help name the book Renegades Write the Rules (plus, how awesome is that name?!). Next thing I know an advanced copy is in the mail and on it’s way for me to review. Immediately upon opening the package from Digital Royalty, I sat down with a highlighter and got reading.
Now, I hope you read the rest of my review, but if you get only 3 words from this blog post, let these be them: READ THIS BOOK!
First, a little background. I came across Amy Jo Martin & Digital Royalty quite awhile ago and have followed her, her blog and her company religiously. She’s influenced my career, but more importantly my life. She’s passionate about the importance of discovering your ‘why’, owning it & innovating your life. I wrote about that this summer, right here. Still searching for my ‘why’ so I can own it.
Being a Social Media Coordinator for a company that works with NFL, NBA and MLB athletes, I just found my work Bible in this book. It’s not simply a “how-to” of social media, but she talks you through the Rules of the game and how to follow them, including personal experiences and case studies as examples. She answered the many questions I had about social media, plus questions I didn’t even know I had yet. My copy is covered in highlights, notes, & post-its, and will be read over and over.
In typical Renegade fashion, I couldn’t simply read about her ideas, I quickly put some of her suggestions to use. Last week I ran a #HideAndTweet with Connor Barwin of the Texans. He hid #BullsonParade t-shirts downtown Houston and I sent out hints through @IgnitionAPG. Connor sent out an initial tweet 2 days before the #HideAndTweet telling his fans to follow us for hints to where he hid the tickets. Maybe this makes me a complete social media nerd but as I watched the followers rack up within seconds my heart started beating faster and faster, and butterflies were flying like crazy in my stomach. Basically, what I decided to call a social media high. We jumped from 621 followers to 1,428 by the end of the #HideAndTweet. Of course, some of those followers left us after the promotion ended, but our numbers still doubled. AND more importantly, it was the absolute coolest feeling to experience first-hand what it’s like when a professional athlete does something amazing like this for his fans.
I didn’t stop there. Sam Acho of the Arizona Cardinals saw Connor’s contest and wanted in on the action. After playing around with Amy Jo’s name for #RockTalk, we created #AskAcho. Sam is already a pretty accessible athlete to his fans, so they were all over this. We set aside 30 minutes on Friday for Sam to log into @IgnitionAPG and answer any questions fans had… which turned out to be a lot, and Sam spent 45 minutes conversing with his fans through Ignition.
In other words… Amy Jo knows what she’s talking about (obviously I was well aware she knows her stuff, but my experience last week is proof).
Renegades Write the Rules is not simply about social media, and that’s the best part. It’s about connecting people, about humanizing your brand. It’s about discovering your ‘why’, owning it, and innovating your life. And that’s why I’m on #TeamRenegades.
Since I can remember I’ve loved basketball. I learned something new about the game I love these past couple weeks… it’s a universal language.
We were blessed enough to host the 18U Chinese National Girls Basketball Team at Ignition APG for 12 days. As you might have guessed, they all spoke Chinese… and we of course, do not. This proved to make things a little difficult at first. Everything on our schedule required more time than we had initially thought because of the language barrier. Admittedly, one of my first thoughts was how THE HECK are we going to teach these girls basketball?
The communication barrier definitely continued to a degree when our coaches tried to get their messages across in drills, but then they started to play. They went 5-on-5 in practice, played games against the Angels (my former AAU team) & against the best players from all over Ohio — and while I’m aware this may make me sound like a complete nerd, the first time I saw it I got chills.
I was recently obsessed with the Olympics this summer, so I’d seen athletes from all over the world compete against each other. It was a whole other thing to see it in person. Their culture is different, they look completely different, and they DEFINITELY speak a very different language, yet once they were out on the court they just played ball. Good ol’ basketball, just like I spent over half of my life playing.
It was beyond cool to see the game of basketball unite two extremely different groups of people. The language of basketball is a beautiful thing.
“The ones that make it are the ones that spend hours every single day working towards their craft, getting up when they fall, not taking no for an answer, taking that risk – and that is what it is, you are going to have to take that risk, and it’s scary,” she said. “I’m following my dreams and I don’t know if it’s going to work out, I don’t know what the future holds for me if I don’t end up where I want to be, but I love what I do so much I am willing to take that risk and do whatever it takes to get there. I am so appreciative and grateful for the help I get along the way, and the support, but in the end this is what I want to do and where I want to be. And I’m going to do it.”
Word. Living by this. Every day.
I’ve been trying to make Sundays my “me” days as much as possible. Something I think a lot of people do, trying to refresh before heading into a new week. So I did that this past Sunday; church, a couple hours laying out in the sun, an hour of yoga, and then what turned out to be the most important part.
It started because I saw Amy Jo Martin (of Digital Royalty) post a photo to Instagram. I discovered Amy awhile ago, when I first started working in social media but it had been awhile since I’d been on her website, etc. So I checked it out to see what I’ve missed. I came across this post, titled “Finding Your ‘Why'”. Go read it, then come back here.
Obviously, that led to me clicking on some of the links, including Simon Sinek’s TED Talk. (Be sure to watch that, too. I posted it below).
Let me tell you, I’m inspired. By both of them. I watched, and I read, and I realized, I don’t know my “why” either. As I’m in this period of my life right after graduating, and trying to figure everything out, her post really resonated with me. I want to know my “why”.
After Amy heard that TED Talk, she wrote this post. Which lists the following 2 main takeaways from Simon’s talk:
1. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
2. The goal is not to sell to people what you have, the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.
… she followed those points with the statement that if she could have a cup of coffee (or a cocktail because she doesn’t drink coffee) with anyone, Simon would be high on her list. After reading those two posts, listening to her TED Talk, plus “Be Fearless. Be Free.”, “Innovate Your Life”, and “Ready Set Pause”, I have to say, Amy, you are right at the top of my same list.
I’m sitting at the airport right now, headed to LA for a long weekend getaway visiting my best friend. And plan to use this flight as some time to reflect on what my “why” could possibly be. Of course, I don’t expect to make my epic “why” discovery on this flight alone, but I’m determined to identify and own my “why”, and begin to innovate my life, just as Amy has done.
P.S. Her book is coming out October 2, and I CANNOT wait to read it.
It’s been 6 months since my last post.
To say my life has completely changed in those past six months would be a big, fat, giant understatement.
For starters, I graduated from college. Lucky for you, I saved you a cheesy post on why my college experience was monumental, amazing, learned a lot about myself, etc. It did and was all those things, though.
I also got some new roommates. And while it’s been an adjustment, they’re real gems. Somehow I managed to find the only roomies on the planet that will pay for the roof over my head, groceries, and other necessities. (Thanks Mom and Dad).
And since those two big changes, I’ve just been trying to embrace this extremely strange stage of life. A stage filled with a little working, a little soul searching and a lot of goal setting.
But let’s back it up a few months to when my world was completely rocked and flipped upside down with one phone call. A trip home, a week full of hospital waiting rooms, a graduation with friends as stand-in parents, and thousands of tears and prayers later – my mom is living proof that you can get through anything, and be stronger because of it. And you thought she was tough on the professional tennis circuit… this is a whole new level. So she’s dealing with difficult challenges daily, but it’s beautiful to see how far she’s come. Perspective.
I know and have always said that family is the most important thing we have. Fact. But as I was getting excited about where my career could take me post-grad, while also struggling with leaving my friends from school and the home we built for ourselves there, God smacked me in the face to remind me of that fact. Everything felt so emotional, and strange; graduating college, moving back to the city I grew up in, not knowing exactly what was next. I’ve never been great at dealing with the unknown, although I do have a love/hate relationship with change; it both terrifies and excites me. But if I look at all of that, the common denominator of it all is me, me, me. I read this quote today: “If things don’t seem right, put yourself last, and everything will fall into place.” I was put in a situation where I learned that statement couldn’t be more true, and I’m incredibly thankful to have learned that lesson. I know that, right now, for all of the other people in my life, but also for myself, I’m exactly where I need to be.
I’ve never believed 1 Corinthians 7:17 & the following quote from Francis Chan more than I do now.
And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. – 1 Corinthians 7:17
It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace. – Francis Chan
So what does this all mean? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable, He calls us to trust him and take risks. While I’m embracing exactly where I am, I also know my 20’s are for learning and growing. So I’m working to better myself every day. To be greater. To take risks. Because as the saying goes, “you can’t steal second base, and keep one foot on first.”
I’m positive that things aren’t just working out, but are being divinely constructed.