“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will be doing things absolutely differently from everybody else.”
— Sara Blakeley, Founder: Spanx
“The product that wins is the one that bridges customers to the future, not the one that requires a giant leap.”
— Aaron Levie, Co-founder: Box
Today’s entrepreneur faces new challenges which are shaping the growing need to plan to learn and play a relevant role in the future of work. Skill trumps distance; which is why a startup founder needs to think global, needs to think like a marketer, needs to think about leveraging educational-technology, and needs to understand how social media is a catalyst for visible change and thought leadership.
Today’s entrepreneur needs to better balance humanity and technology; the raison d’être of my NICE Initiative mission and the focus of my book; The NICE Reboot. This means honing your personal digital branding and social media skills, your emotional IQ i.e. soft skills, your tech-savvy and an understanding about disruptive technology trends, and your content curation skills.
Content curation is n0t only a digital marketing tool wielded by smart entrepreneurs looking to leverage social media to help customers. It is also the currency of collaboration, used to cite the work of others. Work that matters, which serves a purpose. Work which drives the social media activist to connect with like minded people and create an ecosystem which is purposeful in thought and deed. I talked about this when I spoke to women in business at this HBA webinar earlier this week, and again on Wall Street this week in Manhattan when I was a panelist at this event.
Every entrepreneur needs to easily and publicly define their company’s purpose, and learn to harness time in order to do so. Everyone has a productivity workflow to help them learn and get things done. It’s something discussed beautifully in the book Rework and in this great post about mind-mapping.
But what about your content curation workflow? What tools do you use?
Here are four of mine; used to help me learn, to promote thought leadership, and to collaborate with others by first networking and then establishing strategic partnerships and alliances:
1. Blogs. Other people’s blogs. Writing for 3 of my own, here on WordPress, Tumblr, and The Huffington Post gives me the opportunity to learn, cite, and collaborate with others at an exponential rate. I have a blogger credo which I wrote about here on WordPress and on LinkedIn.
Bloggers in particular, especially bloggers like the one I aspire to be, are innovators and both student and teacher in a universal classroom. Our blogger credo helps us actively collaborate and redefine culture for the better. It also helps us actively nurture collaboration, every time we cite someone else in our posts; especially if we are entrepreneurs.
2. Podcasts. Podcasts can be a great content strategy driver especially if the focus is a paint point or cultural trend on everyone’s radar. They’re growing in popularity and can be done via Skype or Google Hangouts on Air. I did a podcast with Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, The Positivity Strategist a few months ago, which you can hear here.
3. Evernote. Evernote is the swiss-army knife App of efficiency, the mother ship of productivity, to the point that I have a premium account (paid) which I use several hours a day, every day. I use it in so many different ways: running my business, facilitating my visual thinking, appeasing my environmental conscience, writing and backing up my blogposts not to mention the chapters of my book and my handouts for my educational and entrepreneurial seminars, and of course to organize all my curated content. I organize them into designated notebooks, such as this one I’ve made public for others to access. I also organize all my saved stuff (notes, web-clippings, articles, photos, PDFs, Word Docs, slideshow files etc. via tags.
4. My Library Card. I adore the library, and adore what the library can do for us in the Digital Age. Information is truly the currency of the Digital Age, where people partake of constantly shifting streams and power hubs and entrepreneurial opportunities to broker this power along the pipeline. Reading is more than a hobby. Whether you are reading a paper book or a Kindle book, you are systematically sculpting your Theory of Mind and vision. Reading transforms you and keeps you healthier. Here are 5 reasons to read my book, thanks to Diane Bertolin, and here are two great posts from Brain Pickings showcasing books, and Maya Angelou and Albert Camus as teachers, about the meaning of life.
Staying productive and harnessing time while learning and sharing are two of the most important reasons to assemble your own ‘trep toolbox.
Content curation is like building a house to store your strategy drafts, game plans, and autopsies of your entrepreneurial journey.
Whether you use some of the tools I mentioned, or come up with your own, like Liesha Petrovich‘s list and cool post about using Legos, it is clear that balancing our humanity and technology is good for our business, not just our sanity!
To be continued……