The Secret to Success in Social Media

Do you want to be more successful on social media? Perhaps you’d like to increase the number of your Facebook friends or gain more Pinterest and Twitter followers?

Giving is receiving

A golden rule to success on social media is to be generous. Don’t hesitate to click “like” if you really like something or post a brief and succinct comment where appropriate. Emoticoms are important, too, because they encapsulate many thoughts and emotions in a single image. Using them appropriately and effectively will increase your popularity.

Play by the rules

Not everyone plays by the rules; but if you do, you’ll be appreciated and sought after even more. When you post–and this applies to virtually all social media settings–be positive. Say things and/or choose images that are uplifting. There is enough bad news out there; why don’t you be a harbinger of good news.

Be engaging

If you have something to say, make sure that it’s timely, contemporary and interesting. People have very little time as it is, so don’t waste their time with nonsense. At the end of the day, we are all looking for something that we can add to our how-to-live-a-better-more-fulfilling-and-happier-life tool kit.

Don’t be sarcastic

We all have moments when we want to reply sarcastically to what someone says (in general or to us specifically). This is because it might sound stupid or rub us the wrong way.  Avoid this temptation by being nice or saying nothing instead. In the psychologist’s dictionary, sarcasm is a mask for sadness. Better to process the feeling and move on. It’s not true that what we say on social media doesn’t affect others because it’s the Internet and, hence, “not real;” on the contrary, what we say could have implications beyond which we are able to comprehend.

Be careful

This is why we need to be careful about what we say. Online publishing–whether it be e-books, group posts, tweets or pins–must be treated with care. You may want to ask yourself before you write something, Do I really want to say this? This simple question may save you much heartache later.

Enjoy yourself

In spite of the above caveats, you can and should enjoy yourself when you’re navigating the world of social media. By all means relax, feel good about yourself, and unabashedly say what you must bearing in mind that your words will be read more than once.

Social guru

When you feel completely self-confident, know who you are, what you’re about, whom you serve, and why you exist, you’ll be able to blog, post, write, pin and tweet flawlessly. This is the secret to increasing your following on social media.

For more on this topic, see my blog post, The 5 Golden Rules to Success in Social Media.


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The Story of Iannis V.

Writers are storytellers.

As I thought about a story to tell you, I settled on the story of Iannis V. *, a rich and influential Greek businessman.  I thought about him because he made an impact on me.

Even though Iannis owns over thirty homes, he mostly lives in two, one of which is a beach house.  He called me recently and asked, ‘What do you know about roses?’  I was flattered that he thought to ask me.  He explained that he wanted to plant them near his beach house and sell them.  ‘Near your beach house?’ I asked incredulously.  ‘Yes, yes!  I researched it and they’ll grow here just fine.’  I replied that I didn’t know much other than to mention Bulgaria’s Rose Valley.  It hardly surprised me that at an advanced age Iannis would attempt to cultivate roses near a beach for export.

To spend or not to spend

When we first met, he told me that, once upon a time, he didn’t have much money at all.  ‘When I didn’t have money, I staid home.  When I had money, I’d go out to the restaurant.’  It was an astonishingly simple yet powerful statement.  He then made some disparaging remarks regarding the spending habits of younger Greeks. 1

On a separate occasion, Iannis said, ‘When I was a teenager, my friends wanted me to smoke even though I didn’t.  One day, they bunched up on me and forcibly held me against a wall as they tried to stick a cigarette in my mouth.’  Iannis laughed out loud as he remembered, his perfectly intact, white teeth flashing and his brown eyes dancing.  ‘I fought back by kicking them hard.  I don’t smoke!’ he said earnestly.

Not only doesn’t he smoke, Iannis told me that he goes to bed at sunset and gets up at sunrise.  He told me he’s done this his entire life.

Good behavior, bad behavior

Iannis seems to attract scandal to him like a magnet.  Some people love him, while others hate him.  He’s even received threats.

In spite of it all, though, I think that Iannis V. is an extraordinary character.  Although lacking a formal education, he is brilliant, highly disciplined and an amazing businessman who knew exactly what he wanted from an early age.


* Name changed to protect identity.

1 He was referring to borrowing from parents and the use of credit cards.  Note that this conversation took place prior to the financial crisis of 2008.

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Image title:  ‘Sunset over the Acropolis’

Photographer:  Luba Rascheff

Crossing the Threshold of Excellence

If you’re like me, you place much emphasis on excelling through excellence.  You are meticulous, articulate, focused and aim at succeeding in all of your endeavors.

Stand out

What is that special quality that enables one to stand out in a crowd without resorting to inappropriate methods?


Do you behave the same way at home as you do at work?  Is your behavior flawless in the sense that you have one standard and that this standard defines, in fact is, your personal brand?


Do you take accountability for your actions or, if things don’t work out, blame others?

Crossing the threshold of excellence

When you’ve made a conscious decision to stand out via your impeccability and pursuit of excellence, you’ve crossed the point of no return.  You’ve distinguished yourself from the crowd as someone who will succeed, period.

The difference between you and those who choose mediocrity is that you’ve consciously crossed the threshold of excellence.

What are the signs of having crossed the threshold of excellence?

  1. Acting will be easy.  Once you have consciously decided to accept responsibility and, generally speaking, ‘give it your all,’ you will immediately know how to act in all situations, even difficult ones.
  2. Doubt will vanish.  The doubt you once secretly harbored about yourself and your potential will vanish.
  3. A noticeable difference.  People won’t recognize you anymore.  ‘What?  Is that [put your name here]?’ they’ll ask.
  4. Success will come.  You will find yourself (even under difficult circumstances) easily succeeding (e.g., closing deals, increasing your reputation, etc.)
  5. A new vision.  When you cross the threshold of excellence, a new vision will come upon you:  the uncanny ability to ‘see’ what’s around the corner or down the road.

When you come to the point of no return and cross the threshold of excellence, you will stand out and your success will be unparalleled.

Reaching for Excellence

Reaching for Exellence

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