Every now and then life dishes out a little wake up call that seems to be riding on a wave we’ve just caught. This happened to me last week. My website got hacked, and went down for a couple of days. It created a weird feeling of being violated. Why would anyone do this? Really, you don’t have something better to do?
At first I got into that nasty reactive spot, a little hyper, upset it had happened, worried that anyone coming to visit would never return because they now felt unwelcome. Then I calmed down, working instead on being responsive. Big difference you know. Reacting is emotional, usually a little irrational and defensive, and often silly. Responding, on the other hand, comes more from acceptance, which is really all you can do. It happened. Accept it and move on.
So once I got to that point, I could move on to responding to this mini-crisis. I contacted my web maintenance person, who ended up being unavailable for almost 48 hours–a lifetime in cyberspace.
It did get fixed, but the experience created a big opening for creativity. Wake up calls work like that. They are always events that slap you in the face, cause some heartache in the short term, but serve as a launch pad for reinventing your life.
So the first step is to be grateful for the messiness. How hard is that? I wasn’t doing so well with that one the first few hours after the site went down. But once fixed, I realized it was my wake up call on a couple of fronts.
First, it caused me to reassess my technical support and go find the support that fits my needs better. But even more importantly, it created a time warp that forced me to evaluate what I wanted from my technology and where it was taking my work and my life.
This isn’t a rant about how intrusive technology is in our lives. I’ll find other occasions to do that. But when you’re building a business and a career in the 21st Century, you need to think about how technology helps you contribute to the world. And just as our predecessors in the 20th Century learned to use the telephone as a great connector, it’s now up to us to use online technology in a better way.
I’m not talking about spending all your time on Facebook or Twitter. I’m talking about using online video for conversation, to teach and talk about the everyday challenges we face. So my wake up call is figuring out how to keep the personal approach I use in face-to-face workshops through online methods. I think we have to find different, more helpful opportunities in the technology. Like chat. We can actually all talk and respond at once in a group online session using chat. How do we take advantage of that difference?
So that’s my wake up call and challenge. I want to work with people in online, video conferencing conversations. Any ideas on how to make the experience more meaningful? That’s my wake up challenge. I hope you’re seeing a challenge in your most recent wake-up call too.