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March 19, 2014

Just Jump

In general, I’m someone who likes to try new things, and to be adventurous. No one I know would describe me as timid. If there’s something that someone else might be cautious to try, I’m usually already trying it. A week ago though, I found myself on the other side of things, and was leaning toward caution and insecurity, rather than enthusiasm for something potentially fun.

It was my mother’s 60th birthday and, I suppose I get my sense of adventure and excitement from her, because for her birthday, she didn’t want what most 60 year olds might be expected to want, like maybe a nice brunch with gifts, or a trip somewhere. Not my mom, she got passes to an indoor trampoline park in town, and all she wanted was for her two daughters to join her in literally bouncing off the walls. Initially I was more than happy to appease her odd yet fun birthday wish, however this was under the assumption that at this trampoline park there’d be a separate area for adults. When we arrived though, there was not. The separate jumping area was for really small kids (ages maybe 3-5), and then the main area for bigger kids (ages 6-13). There weren’t any age restrictions, but I was suddenly insecure. Will all these parents with their kids here think I’m weird for jumping around with ten year olds? Will they think my mom is weird because she’d “old”?

My sister, who is seven years younger than me, immediately piped up, voicing my silent concerns. My mom didn’t care though; she was fully ready to start jumping, completely unconcerned with perception. I was still nervous, but this was her request for her 60th birthday, so I gave in to fun, instead of fear. It took a bit of negotiating with my sister, but soon she was willing to join in. So, we took off our sandals, put on socks, and started jumping. It was amazing. It was freeing; it was fun, and before I knew it we were taking breaks and getting right back to it. I stopped worrying what everyone thought of me, and in retrospect, I think that either people didn’t care at all, or simply appreciated the fun we were having.

In a lot of ways, I think that this experience of insecurity, and then excitement is what businesses (especially well established businesses, or business owners) go through when contemplating social media. They think of it as something that “kids” do. They don’t understand it, or they don’t always see the value. But like I was able to benefit by pushing aside my uncertainty, businesses can benefit from the additional exposure, and the ability to connect directly with prospects or customers. It can really become a jumping off point. So if you haven’t tried social media for your business yet, what are you worried about? Just jump! you’ll like the results a lot more than you think.

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