I ran into a quote from Chris Brogan today, written in one of his most recent email newsletters, that said: “Platform is the opportunity to voice your views or inspire an action.”
He was mainly referring to the platforms, mostly online, that we, as a brand or business, take advantage of. His list included Twitter and his blog and Google+ and his weekly video show, among others. The areas within and methods with which he builds his business. His platforms for sharing his voice and hopefully inspiring a person or two to hire him.
It made me think about my platforms, but in a slightly different way. I share my voice and inspire action (actions like: people to join me in business, share my writing with friends, improve their lives, open their minds, read something, maybe more?) via this site, my Vemma website, Twitter, Facebook, and a little on Pinterest. Outside platforms where I maintain a tiny voice could include LinkedIn, DailyBooth, and YouTube. I’m sure there are a few there that I’m missing.
Those are the platforms of my online life, but what about my “real” life?
What do I use to define myself, to get my work done?
What do I do that takes up my time?
What (or how or where) defines my responsibilities and inspires action and voices my views and passions?
What are my platforms, not as described as online outposts, but as real-life roles?
(In no particular order.)
rental property admin
domestic/household admin/Hubz’s wife
Babygirl’s (private) blog
Silicon Prairie News contributor
personal (reading, exercising, fluff email, etc)
Every day I choose, hour to hour, minute to minute, the platforms within which I will be spending my time.
Everyday I prioritize. And then prioritize again. And then again and again. Some days I touch every platform, others I might only touch one or two. Some days I have urgent work in all platforms and I get stressed out and worried. Other days I feel caught up and get to pick in which area I will move forward a step or two.
The point is this: define your platforms.
Before I read Chris’s letter I had never written all of mine down in one place before, and I think not doing so held me back at times. Times like I described above, where I felt like I had urgent work everywhere and didn’t know where to turn, or times where I had a moment to get ahead and also didn’t know where to turn. The lack of definition of my platforms often brought a feeling of being overwhelmed and a lack of clarity. It also – most definitely – brought decreased productivity.
The list, which I wrote earlier today on the giant whiteboard in my office, took me all of 30 seconds to define, yet provided immediate benefits.
A couple hours later the baby fell asleep, and the question, “Ok, what should I do with this time?” needed answering. I walked into the office, looked at my list of roles/responsibilities/projects, and after a split second consideration of well-I-worked-a-lot-on-that-yesterday and this-phone-call-might-be-more-impactful-than-that-one, I was immediately clear on what would be the best use of my time.
Because I was immediately clear on what I should be doing, I was able to immediately be productive.
Ding ding ding ding!
What a difference spending a minute with a dry erase marker can do.
What a difference reading and actually implementing a tidbit picked up from a favorite blogger can do.
Have you thought about your platforms in a way like Chris describes before?
What are your platforms online, where you can share your voice and get others into action of some kind?
What are your platforms offline, the roles and projects and outlets for your everyday?
Was this blog post kind of weird and wacky?
I’m ok with it if you are.
P.S. What goes without saying? Our list of platforms is always changing and developing. That’s the fun part.