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7 takeaways from Scott Belksy’s MIMA Summit keynote

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I’m a sucker for a good keynote presentation. Lucky for me, the MIMA Summit seems to hit home run after home run when it comes to keynotes.

This year was no different.

Unfortunately, I missed the morning keynote, otherwise I’m sure I’d be blogging about Cindy Gallop this morning. But, I did make the afternoon keynote, and I dug a lot of what entrepreneur, Scott Belsky was throwing down.

His prezo was full of those slides with standard inspirational lines. You know the ones. Like this:

But, I’m a sucker for these kinds of slides. Not because I think they’re particularly insightful, but because they typically spark some other kind of thought that leads to a bigger idea I’d be thinking about for a while.

So, I thought I’d talk about seven of these “observations” Scott had during his keynote, and what they sparked on my end:

“The future is crafted by those who do the work they don’t have to do.”

I loved this quote and it spoke directly to me as I’ve been this kind of person throughout my career. A hand-raiser. I’ve always been the kind of person who’s not afraid to tackle roles and responsibilities outside my job description. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever uttered the phrase “sorry, that’s not in my job description.” However, I’m going to disagree with Scott on this one. In my experience, the people who go above and beyond frequently get taken advantage of by the people creating the future (i.e., the bosses). It’s almost like they’re too good at what they do. Those people are too valuable in those positions, so they fail to move up. It’s one of the things that frustrated me about corporate America and I continue to see it as a consultant.

“Resourcefulness > Resources”

One thing I hear all the time from clients (especially when it comes to social media marketing): “We don’t have the resources.” Scott’s point here: Before you throw up roadblocks re: resources, determine if you’re being as resourceful as you can with your EXISTING resources. It’s a great point to keep in mind the next time you’re thinking about throwing up that roadblock. For example, do you have an intern who can help you with tasks you’re considering outsourcing? Could you use employees from across the company to create more content vs. paying an agency to do the same thing? Or, better yet, could you shift some of the money you’re still investing in print ads to those social media ads you’ve been dying to invest in (but thought you couldn’t due to a “lack of resources”). Sometimes, you don’t need more resources–you just need to be more resourceful.

“If you avoid folks who are polarizing you avoid bold outcomes.”

I actually love this quote–I just don’t happen to believe in it. I do believe involving polarizing and bold individuals to your team can lead to bold outcomes. Sometimes, you need that big personality to stir the pot and get the team moving in a different (and bold) direction. But, I also think often times those “polarizing” individuals are also assholes (pardon my French). And, I don’t really like working with assholes. So, I don’t work with assholes because I believe I can achieve “bold outcomes” without working with assholes. So, I guess I actually violently disagree with Scott here. Don’t put up with assholes. Life’s WAY too short.

“Share ideas liberally.”

I wrote a post a few years ago about my “top 10 dream jobs.” The idea: To share my dreams with the hope that some friend, family member or acquaintance could help connect the dots and make an introduction to one of those dream clients. That didn’t happen in this case, but I came close in a few situations. People tried. Made intros. It worked. This is the same concept–and a mindset I’ve adopted on this blog years ago. It’s served me fairly well.

“Be the bureaucracy breaker.”

Easily my favorite quote of the presentation–and of the entire MIMA Summit. One of the biggest frustrations most folks will tell you about working in the corporate world is all the red tape. All the things you do year after year because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”All the rules and sacred cows that exist for God knows what reason. Bureaucracy comes with the territory in corporate America, I’ve learned. But, that doesn’t make it right. Corporations could achieve more of the bold outcomes they’re looking for if they had more people who just said one more more often: WHY? Simply asking “why?” would help break down some of these bureaucracies and tear through some of this red tape. It would also help question why certain things are done the way they’re done–examining existing processes and decisions is always a good thing. Start asking annoying questions like “why”–it may not make you popular, but it will lead to better results in the long-term.

“When you start getting attention, you stop paying attention.”

This quote is all about ego. Essentially, when you start achieving success you also tend to stop paying attention to the details and work that got you to where you are. I see this in my own career arc. I remember back to when I was starting my business nine years ago. I was hungry. REALLY hungry. I NEEDED to succeed. At all costs. And, over the past nine years, I’ve been pretty successful. But, keeping that level of intensity is tough. It’s hard to maintain the same level of hunger you had when you were first starting. Just ask Rocky Balboa! 🙂

“Double down on curiosity.”

May apply more to digital and social media marketing than just about any other discipline on earth. Why? Because our field is constantly changing. Doubling down on curiosity is almost a requirement in our industry! So you think you mastered Facebook advertising? Well, they just added five new features that you need to now learn about. You think you’re familiar with all social media channels? Just wait until a client asks you how to execute a paid campaign on Nextdoor! In order to succeed in our world, an insatiable curiosity is a “must have.” Always be doubling down on curiosity.

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7 takeaways from Scott Belksy’s MIMA Summit keynote

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