Sunday, January 27, 2013

Facebook, Zuck, Passion and Purpose

I enjoy social media. My Facebook and Twitter account are ways for me to interact and share my life, passions and goals with family, friends and even potential employers. Social media has allowed me to build a personal brand and interact with individuals I never would have dreamed of meeting without these channels. I am always looking for ways to enhance my personal brand and share my passions through business. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading the book, Think Like Zuck, by Ekaterina Walter - a social innovator at Intel. As someone who is aspiring to get into a career involving social media, this book was a great read and gave in inside look at Mark Zuckerberg's journey to success, among other entrepreneurs, and how to apply that to my own life.

Mark Zuckerberg is an amazing business man and entrepreneur. He has linked millions of people through the creation of Facebook. The inspiring thing about Zuckerberg is that he has not done any of this for money, in fact, that is what makes his business so successful. He is in constant pursuit of a better way to interact with the world. He believes in what he is doing and is not satisfied with mediocre.  Mark had been criticized and has failed, but he has always believed in his passion. In her book, Ekaterina writes:

"he doesn’t seek approval, he has his passion and his vision, and he is willing to sacrifice to execute on that vision. Interesting thing, passion. When one does what one loves, she can move mountains. Studies and experience show that following your passions leads to great success." 

Mark has a passion to look for constant improvement. He inspires his employees to do the same, to take risks and innovate.

I have dreams and goals in the fitness world, and while I have acted on some, I have not poured my heart and soul into them yet. I have an opportunity to do that now and I will take this chance, I will share my passion. As Walter says, "Passion + Action = Results." Take your passion, make a plan and work tirelessly to achieve that goal. Will you fail? It is definitely a possibility, but without risk there is no reward.

Blake Mycoskie is another great entrepreneur discussed in this book, the founder of TOMS shoes, Blake's passion was finding a way to help children without shoes all over the world. He made a plan and worked through adversity to create a brand that has helped millions around the world have new shoes to wear.

Along with passion, according to Walter, comes purpose. People want to believe in a cause, they want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and having a clearly defined purpose can create acceptance and belief by others. "Great companies don't just create great products, they create movements." I can see how this works in my life. I connect on a personal level with the Nike brand, they have done an incredible job of creating value and products that I can believe in. I believe in them and want to share their products because I have connected with their movement. They have created a fitness phenomenon that I NEED to be a part of.

So how do they do this? With their human capital. Hiring the right people with the same vision is integral to success. The mantra Walter recommends is "one team, one dream."Hiring the best people is integral to success. The best employees don't need to be managed, they need to be empowered. This leads to success. Great companies, such as Facebook, hire people for their attitude. Skills can be learned and taught, but attitude and passion cannot. 

Thinking like Zuck can have a positive impact on your endeavors. No one can see their future, but having a clearly defined purpose, faith, passion, vision, the right people and great partnerships can surely get you there faster. This book gives great examples, case studies and ideas that can be implemented in new endeavors and current business models. If you want to make your business better, start a new business, or just excel in the workplace at your current job, this book is a great read!