There was so much to learn about myself in 2020 that it would be hard to put into simple terms my takeaway for the year, but it did involve me doing something I never thought I would ever do: slowly, and methodically I ended my presence on social media, except for Instagram, but we'll get to that in a minute.
As the COVID crisis melded with the election and national protests around Black Lives Matter and police brutality, social media was becoming more and more toxic for me. I would tune in to see what my friends were up to only to be bombarded start to finish with negativity, anger, and bitterness. I wasn't immune to it, either. I was just as guilty until one day a friend of mine (former friend) who used to get an escort to her car every night because she was scared to walk to her car in the neighborhood we worked in accused me of being a racist.
It was at that moment when I realized that nothing beneficial was coming from my presence on social media, and aside from Instagram which is an excellent showcase and makes me money, I gain no benefit from spending any time on Facebook or Twitter, and as of today I have no presence there whatsoever aside from a business page for Facebook. Why? Because it doesn't move the needle.
I was on Discord with some friends back in September or October and I was watching a discussion go by and admittedly it triggered me, but it didn't make me leave. What made me leave was that at 8am in the morning I was sitting on Discord rather than making things in my shop. I was doing something that not only wasn't moving the needle, I was actively taking time away from moving the needle by sinking time into something that was doing nothing but upsetting me. That's not where my focus needs to be, especially as my life was about to take a turn I saw coming that would require even more focus than I've ever had before.
My reminder is one that comes from Jason Stapleton; a question I have gotten in the habit of really asking myself meaningfully: Does this move the needle? If the answer is no, then that doesn't mean I abandon it, it means I evaluate what it's taking away from and if it's taking away from something I should be focusing on, then it has to go. That doesn't mean I don't have leisure, or days off, or do the important things that you have to do when you aren't pushing. It means that if I'm actively engaging something it's because there's a benefit to me, my personal growth, and my business. Having conversations with friends is great. Having arguments with friends over things none of us have any control over? Nope. That has to go to make room for important things.
So here I am beginning another growth experiment: the Publish365 Challenge, where I will continue to produce one piece of content every single day for 365 days. It may be an Instagram post or story, a meme, a note to my mailing list (which I'm doing weekly) my podcast, or a guest appearance on another show, but one way or the other I will put out something every single day for the next year as a way of continuing to be a content producer more than a content consumer and use that to grow both my business and my influence.
You'll be able to join me for that journey right here as I'll be keeping a running list of Publish365 content on this very blog and you can hold me accountable for it as well!
2020 in many ways was a disaster for a lot of people, but 2021 will only get better with action, and that action has to be taken on the things you have direct control over. Start taking action, in some way, now.