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Let Your Passion Shine Through

Posted on : 02-09-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media


I have had many discussions recently with people striving to be seen in this overwhelming world of social media.  They seem to want to be noticed, but find it difficult to be seen.  This caused me to think about what is different and similar between the world of social media and what we experience everyday.  I started to think about some of the people that are talked about in social media, such as Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Hsieh, Chris Brogan, and even myself.  What do these individuals have in common?  We are all very different, but we show our passion everyday.

Well it is not as simple as the term passion.  There are a few things to know how the world of social media is different than a normal day at the office.  In the office a lot of it is about playing politics or the internal workings of a company.  Rewards are based on many factors such as who you know, or how you portray your performance.  In social media it is different.  Those that are false in any way are called on it or people do not connect with them.  People love to connect with people they relate too.  This has been the success of most of the people I listed above.

As soon as I thought of this post, I immediately thought of the best example:  Gary Vaynerchuk.  What is interesting I did not even know Gary was coming out with a book until I went to link his name to his blog.  The name of the book is “Why Now is the Time to Crush It!  Cash in on Your Passion.”  I was lucky enough to see Gary speak at a number of events.  Each time I have left inspired by his passion.  He has demonstrated how businesses can be successful in this social media world.  His passion comes through in every Wine TV show.  It is about teaching people about his love of wine.  I first met Gary at Blog World, sitting at the Bare Lounge.  He was a down to earth regular guy that I enjoyed speaking to.  Of course this did not prepare me for the dynamic person that I would see on stage.  Both were the same person, but when we were chatting it was not about his passion, just things like travel, Vegas.  But when Gary was on stage talking about his business, wine, social media and football (I still hope he buys the Jets) he shined.  Literally within minutes I found myself watching Wine TV.  Watch and learn and you too can cash in on your passion.  Better yet, buy the book I am sure you will see his passion.

No one would dispute Chris Brogan’s passion for social media, and it shows in everything he does.  He is always trying to help people have the same success and he loves to have that conversation.  Some will say Tony Hsieh’s passion is service, but from talking to him, the passion I always saw was the Zappos culture; Customer Service is just part of the culture.  One of the first stories I heard from Tony was when he grew his first company, it lost the culture he loved when it was a start up.  Just looking in Tony’s eyes when he said he was determined to not let that happen again.  It was at that moment, I knew the passion was Zappos culture.  I have only met Guy Kawaski once, but I have read a few of his books and he has a clear passion for business.  I can tell by his tweets that he loves social media, and new ways to incorporate social media with traditional print media, but I still think the passion people love to connect with is business success.

We have all seen movies where the reporter is doing the story, and when the camera cuts they are no longer the nice person they were on camera or they storm off to something more important for themselves.  Through many other means it is possible to fake it, but in social media the camera is on all the time.  You can not hide it.  You will be noticed.  I also believe social media will continue to change the culture of business, and I think it is always important to find ways to let your passion shine.  If you are in a position where you feel you can not, it might be time to find something better suited for your needs.  For myself I have been doing a lot to understand my long term goals, and how to achieve the most for myself and my family.  I thought long and hard about what at work drives me the most.  As I thought about it, it was not social media, marketing, or PR.  My passion is simple, Customers.  I want to always be in a position where I can let this passion shine.

What is your passion?  How do you crush it?