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Hiding Behind Your ‘Online’ Presence?

Last week I caught up with a dear old friend of mine. Marcel is the consummate entrepreneur, driven to succeed in his business and a willingness to do whatever it takes. He has run a highly successful business for over 20 years in a highly competitive niche where many fail. And has continued to grow his business exponentially year on year and has become the largest and most successful in his region.

Naturally, this made me curious as I am perpetually fascinated by human beings. I yearn to know what makes them tick, what they choose to focus on and what makes them unique. After all, there are 7 billion of us sharing an experience on this planet but only a select few truly achieve what they set out to do.

And then he blurted it out. Something that seemed so shocking to hear in a time when embracing ‘social media’ has become business critical to our marketing efforts and our ‘online brand’ has opened up a whole new field of experts asserting this is key to your success.

Marcel said he despises social media! Yep, he refuses to be on facebook, doesn’t know how to set up a profile on linkedin and hadn’t even heard of twitter. And when questioned, wouldn’t have a clue what we would find on his website. He claimed he would be just wasting time online and that he would prefer to get out and talk to people. The old fashioned way.

In a time of flashy websites, over-glamourized profile shots and lofty online promises, Marcel’s words struck a chord with me. Have we lost our way in the world? Do we know how to communicate with others in the ‘real’ world. Do we know how to genuinely connect and inspire others by who we truly are or are we merely hiding behind a sensationalised version of ourselves and our alleged talents?

My friend Marcel may be charismatic, engaging and witty. No doubt, these qualities will help him succeed. But the secret to his success is his steadfast commitment and passion for building lasting relationships (in the ‘real’ world), showing a genuine interest in people and sharing a laugh.

Try these activities and see what results you get in the ‘real’ world:

  • Take a friend out for coffee and leave your mobile phone at home.
  • Say hello to someone you have yet to meet.
  • Pay someone a compliment.
  • Do one act of kindness every day.
  • Contact an old friend and see how they’re going.
  • Do one thing you have been holding back on.
  • Thank someone for inspiring you.

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