It’s 6am, I’ve just woken up for the day and boy am I tired. This whole working for yourself thing, is not the easiest. I mean don’t get me wrong I’m excited about the new journey that I’ve chosen to embark on, but it is definitely going to take some getting used to. It’s going to take some really hard discipline to create a schedule and stick to it. It’s going to take even harder discipline to believe in myself and jump in head first, rather than letting daily distractions and other people’s “thoughts” get in my way.
O that’s right, I’ve started at the end of my story. Well, let’s Quentin Tarantino this and go back to the beginning.
It’s 2007 and I’ve just joined Facebook nearly two years after most of my friends. I had a MySpace page and refused to convert to this “Facebook” everyone spoke of. But I was tired of missing all the photos everyone posted so I gave in to peer pressure and signed up.
Fast-forward to 2010 and I’ve moved from Baltimore to New York City, which was quickly becoming the next big social media hub. I was privileged to receive a job at a social engagement platform, after applying from a job board on my #1 news and all things social site, Mashable. I guess this is the turning point in my made for TV movie, where my love affair with social media really started.
I was instantly immersed in all things social and soon became a bit of a Twitter addict. This new world was opened up to me. Previous to this position, I didn’t really get social media as I was so busy and I would say, “Who has time for that?” But once I started using social on a regular basis, I realized it actually saves me time. I get my news, updates, weekly happenings, discounts, deals, all from social. What I actually love the most is the way I can connect with brands on social. I’m a big advocate of “positive reinforcement.” This mentality isn’t just for dog training. It’s important character building for people too. If someone does something great, let him or her know. So if I eat something delicious at a restaurant, I want to let them know in a public forum; or if I buy a new shampoo and I love it, I want to let the brand know, as well as people maybe interested in the shampoo.
These days, reviews aren’t just for eBay items – they are for everything from wedding planners to restaurants to Fortune 500 brands. What’s also important is developing a connection with these brands. Let’s say I bought something from brand X that let me down. Well if I let them know and they make a make-good, it encourages me to try it again; or if I follow brand X on social and know they care about their customers, despite one product not leading up to the reputation, I might give it another shot just because of that relationship I have formed with them.
Another thing about social is it is instant. You get real time feedback and responses – no waiting on hold listening to elevator music. I can’t tell you how much time and frustration that has saved me.
Fast-forward to summer 2012 and my love affair with social media has come to full bloom. One night while sitting on my deck with friends we were discussing trivia venues in the city. I posted on Twitter, “Anyone know any good trivia bars in #nyc?” Unfortunately, not a single venue responded and that was where my idea was formed. It was clear that someone needed to connect bars with the people reaching out to them on social media. Managers are busy running their bars and taking care of customers, and social media ends up falling to the lowest priority on their list. However, there are thousands of potential customers, like my friends and I, out there searching for that night’s activity.
For the next few months I spoke to friends, family, business associates and really ironed out details of doing social media consulting. I read books on how to start a business, how to incorporate, what liability means, and more. Many of which I still have to figure out and will be detailing them on this blog, as I have yet to find a book that clearly breaks down the easiest way to launch a small business and explains all the terminology that us non-business people do not get.
We land on New Years Eve and I find myself faced with the question of where do I want to be going into 2013? My mentor at the company worked for made several life changing decisions at the same age that I currently am. She took inventory of where she was and where she wanted to be, and made extreme changes to end up in the where she wanted to be category. Well that mentor, she is Founder and CEO of the company – I guess you can say it paid off. I therefore decided to follow her inspiration and make the leap. I would start 2013 with full ambition to start my own company. I therefore, made one of the hardest decisions I have had to make so far in life and go all in. On New Years Eve 2012 I quit my job and on January 1, 2013, Social Media on Tap was formed.