There are times in your life when you look back and reflect on an event that you only realize in hindsight the impact that one event had on your life. I’ve had many such events happen in my life. There are only a few events in my life, however, that I had an epiphany that what was happening right then, right now, was going to have a far reaching impact into the course of my life. Such an event happened tonight when I received a message from my friend and mentor Mark Traphagen for an opportunity to meet and have dinner with Fraser Cain.
For those of you who don’t know Fraser Cain or Mark Traphagen, allow me to give a short introduction to both men.
Fraser Cain is most widely know on Google+, the social layer of Google, as the primary host of the vastly popular Virtual Star Parties. Weekly, Fraiser interviews both professional as well as amateur astronomers and scientist that specialize in all things space.
Mark Traphagen is know to many as the individual to seek for counsel on the subject of Google authorship, social media marketing, and paid search marketing strategies.
It was with a the following short message on February 1, 2013 that began a world-wind night for me:When I got this message I was shutting down my computer at work and my jaw nearly hit my desk. An opportunity to meet and have dinner with Fraser Cain? My mind raced to remember what we had going on as a family. I had remembered the conversation that my wife and I had earlier in the day about some activities so I quickly called Mark, got the details from him on what was planned and told him I’d call him back to let him know if I could make it or not. Long story short, I was promptly in downtown Raleigh at 6:50pm.
The rest of the night I soaked in everything. But I knew, from the moment that I stepped into the Marriott in downtown Raleigh, NC that tonight was special and would have a lasting impact on me.
Fraser imparted a lot to all of those that were able to gather this evening (Nikol Murphy and Jesse Wojdylo were also in attendance besides Traphagen and me). There were two subjects that Fraser shared that will be with me forever.
First: It is import to figure-out/find areas in any social network (layer) that are lacking and fill that void by building a strong close knit community. Don’t just focus on what you can do to fill that void, but rather cultivate a community of people that come together. By bringing people together, helping them out, and growing the community by paying it forward success will come.
Second: If you have a chance to have thousands upon thousands of people watch and listen to what you have to say, you have the duty to help them out even if that means sifting through SPAM. The impact that you can have for positive change far outweighs small amount of time that it takes to sift through “Asian spammers.” Use tools that are available for common questions that you might have, but help those that are new!
There was nothing ground-shaking that Fraser shared with us on February 1, 2013 but I knew and know that tonight’s meeting will stand as a the beginning of a special chapter in my life. I truly get it now, how building a community where there is a sense of enchantment and ownership among community members, that’s where great things begin and history is made. When you have moments like these remember them and reflect on them as you go on through your life!