I haven’t posted anything to the blog for a couple of weeks, largely because I was on holiday and taking a rest in southern France. However, whilst I was on my break I had the misfortune to come across a “troll” one of those people in life that seem to spend a lot of time moaning at everyone and anything in a fairly mean-spirited fashion (this one had even been convicted for her trolling activities). It wasn’t that big a deal, I deflected the conversation (or rather actively chose to ignore the insults). Anyone that knows me will appreciate some obvious erroneous statements in the rant. You can have a look for yourself on twitter feed, but frankly I am sure you have better things to do.

Anyhow, it got me wondering if I had made a mistake in my use of social media. Now, I do understand that it isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea” but perhaps if you are reading this, it is more likely to be yours. Yes a lot of what goes on in social media world is inane, but then that could be said of “real life” too. My take on this has been to embrace it as a tool to help people that I work with and for, whilst letting others know that I exist and perhaps could help them too. As my work can be pretty “up close and personal” these days I only work with people I like, in fact I make it a rule. This is a two way street of course. So in fairness, presumably clients or potential clients want rather more from me than the glossy marketing that every other financial firm produces by the  bucket load (especially the ones most focussed on your money and not you). So in the interests of giving a fair reflection I tweet and post as me and not as corporate identity man. Perhaps a mistake, but frankly who knows? I don’t hold myself out as an expert in many aspects of life, financial planning yes, but not in most other areas, but I do have an opinion and I’m old enough to know that I can change it. The Myers Briggs types have me as an ENTJ… perhaps its changed a bit since I did mine, but in short, I do a lot of my thinking and thought forming out loud with collaboration of others…. which does not mean that I cannot be self-reflective.

My troll experience caused me to pause and reflect further. Firstly am I wasting my time? Is this helping anyone? Are my views nothing more than more noise? or does it genuinely help clients see that, surprise surprise, I am a person, say some daft things as well as insightful things. The jury’s still out, but a piece I read this morning suggests that I’m on the right lines, so I will persist. However if you think I’m nuts or need some helpful suggestions, then I’m listening to you. Honestly.

For the record, I had a lovely holiday in southern France, the weather was perfect. I managed to finally get to see the hairpin bend at Monaco and take a stroll along the seafront at Cannes, there are some fantastic medieval towns and the region seems to be rammed with artists, of course the food and wine were excellent – particularly a lovely little restaurant in Valbonne called “le Bistrot du Sommelier” which is worth a visit if you are ever in Valbonne.

Dominic Thomas Solomons IFA