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    Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

    I’ve focused on the area of relationship management for a long time. In fact, as the Co-inventor of ACT! Software, acknowledged as the catalyst of the entire CRM industry, I am a pioneer in the field. Since then, a lot has changed. There are more ways of connecting than ever before. I recently tried a new one—well, new to me.

    We’ve come a long way from the days of hand-written letters delivered by pony express. We have immediate access to just about anyone, anywhere, at any time. However, with new developments, we need to redefine what constitutes a connection. In the past, we were most often introduced to someone in person. Now we are just as likely to make email introductions or meet new people online in LinkedIn or Facebook interest groups.

    It seems that every time I turn around, I’m reading about a new social media app. There seems to be so many ways in which to connect that we can’t keep track of them all. That doesn’t mean they can’t each bring about opportunities to make new connections with others. I may be a little more resistant to adopting a new platform in my daily routine, but then again, I’m also a firm believer in the adage: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    I was recently a guest on a program of an organization appealing to entrepreneurs, and most especially Millennials (Now, in the interest of full disclosure and because you can see my photo anyway, I’ll gladly let you know that I’m a baby boomer). After the interview I was asked if I would like to take over the organization’s Snapchat channel for a day. I readily agreed, even though I had never seen a Snapchat story in my life! Being an entrepreneur, I’ve learned it’s often better to say, “yes” and figure it out later than to wait until you’re comfortable venturing out into uncharted territory.

    Needless to say, when the allotted day arrived, I didn’t know where to begin or what to say. To make it even more interesting, I quickly learned that each video recording was only eight seconds long. Eight seconds! I can barely get going in eight seconds.

    Thankfully I had my millennial marketing manager, Kari, with me, and if her day wasn’t already a humorously memorable one I surely helped make it so. She quickly, and patiently, educated me on how it worked, what we were going to do in creating a story out of a series of eight-second segments, and then proceeded in helping me craft a message that would be meaningful to this audience of entrepreneurial-minded Millennials. To her amazement, and to mine as well, the entire process of creating a story over the series was not only easier than each of us thought it would be (her dealing with my trepidation and me dealing with a totally new way of connecting with an audience) but it was actually fun as well.

    Don’t let it ever be said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Heck, us baby boomers have had to learn, adjust to, and apply so many cultural and high-tech changes in our lifetimes—probably more than any other generation before or after us.

    Within just a couple of hours of the entire series being released to their audience, thousands of people had watched my entire Snapchat story, and many of them had reached out to me, either by email or directly in the Snapchat app. And many let me know they had downloaded the Vipor Plus apps to manage their calendars, contacts and collaboration more effectively. To my surprise, I had succeeded not only in sharing my passion for relationship management but also the ways in which we can demonstrate professionalism in every single encounter.

    Mankind’s drive to discovery is not limited to new lands or even new solar systems. Discovery happens every single day with the advent of new technology. As an entrepreneur, I find it crucial to be open-minded. Try new things. Embrace new ways to connect. You may find, just as I did, that when you venture out a little, you could gain a lot.

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