Social media can kill
Social media is a mixed blessing, it is almost unparalleled in unforgiving speed, much like an F1 car in the wrong hands. In a climate of assessing the value that we all bring to the smorgasbord of life, the mixture of new technology, aspiration and creativity form the backdrop for a new movie called Chef.
Chef is one man’s journey of rediscovering who he really is, or perhaps more accurately who he could be. Many of us will have harboured dreams of “doing our own thing” some of us get to do this. Most do not; for a vast array of reasons, perhaps “financial security” being one of the more obvious and understandable concerns. This is not quite the usual “American Dream” yarn, but it certainly holds onto the vital ingredients of one.
In essence, we have a man trapped without realising that he is holding the keys. It takes a fairly pithy exchange on social media to expose his repressed feelings about the life he is leading, which catapults him into taking stock and renewing his passion for life….and love. Why I like the film, is that, ok it’s sentimental, (so what!) but in fairness, the main character is a decent guy, he works hard, he’s present, though not always available for his son and he’s making a good living by making great meals. He’s a good chef. Normally films of this genre are more heavy-handed, with the character in crisis at the bottom of his “luck”. This isn’t really the case in Chef.
What Chef offers is the view that life can be more fulfilling…. More flavoursome!…and that perhaps many of the answers are close at hand – perhaps close at home. That the skills you have are enough, but the courage of self belief is lacking. This is not a rags to riches story in the traditional sense, but an unveiling of life’s riches. It combines a sense of the authentic, natural but doesn’t lay waste to, or pour scorn on, the many advantages that modern technology can bring and its ability to make viable “new communities”.
Making a killing?
On one hand, this could be seen as a story about entrepreneurialism, though I don’t think this is really the case, there are admittedly similarities. Rather like entrepreneurs, there is a sense of creating a better future and making choices about it and then decisions to act. This reminded me of a podcast I recently listened to by Dan Sullivan who outlined the difference between choices and decisions. He argues that these are not interchangeable terms, but that a choice is about the future. A decision is about how much of the past you want to take into that future. He reminds us of the Latin root word for “decide” is found in patricide, suicide and so on, a sense of putting to death or killing parts of the past that are not welcomed into the future. So I wonder how many of us are living out a future that hasn’t properly been “chosen” and has yet to “kill off” the unhelpful elements of the past? How might this be the case in your financial planning?
Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA
We have now updated our Facebook page, so yes Solomons is on Facebook. I have no idea if this is a worthwhile exercise and am conscious that time spent using social media is a double-edged sword and of course there are always questions about how much is too much? and not enough?.. it’s a minefield. My aim is to make our use of social media easy. It is an opportunity to provide some information and commentary on what is going on that might be entirely to do with financial stuff or frankly just about vaguely related. So if you would like to have a look and “like” our Facebook page, it is now more alive than it has been before. I’m not expecting a whirlwind of “likes” propelling a small firm onto the world stage and I’m also aware of the amount of junk I have to sift through to get to what I want, so I try hard to avoid doing the same to others. Anyhow, the little “F” on the top of your screen will take you to our Facebook page.
Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA
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