I always cringed at the cliche, “second chance”, equating it with “you made a massive mistake”–> That was until the strategy, per say, that I created for my life was derailed, and I was faced with thousands of decisions and opportunities that I did not have literally two seconds before. I was discussing all of the changes with a friend who went through a similar experience, when he said something so eye-opening. He said, “I don’t regret anything about my experience, because it now allows me to see exactly what I want (and don’t want). Now I can plan for the next time with insider’s information that most people don’t have, because I’ve already been through it once. The next time it’s going to be perfect– a level of perfection I could not make it without that insider information from the first time around.”
Wow. Just wow. In that moment, something clicked for me. He was absolutely right. Second chances aren’t about focusing on the fact a mistake was made. Second chances are about a great opportunity to make something even better, because you now have all of the lessons you learned the first time around. It suddenly occurred to me that my second chance in my personal life could also be applied to my professional life– the cause of the derailment of a small part of my life strategy was like the data I would use to create an effective social media strategy.
So in an industry focused on immediacy and having to have the right information at the right time, I invite you to embrace second chances, because, well, we are human, and we are operating in an uncontrolled environment where we never know how that one demographic is going to relate to that one post that we thought was clever, but apparently was offensive, right? Use your social media second chance to create effective, relative content that would have never been possible without the data you gathered from that first chance. Don’t just focus on your brand, either. Look at other brands’ opportunities for second chances, and use those to make stronger strategies of your own. As the saying goes, “Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes. Wisdom is the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.”
As social media professionals, we should embrace second chances everyday, constantly creating new strategies and content that effectively engage our communities. I challenge you, if you’re anything like me, to stop cringing at the thought of having to start over, and look at it as an opportunity to build even a stronger network. I guarantee you that my changed perspective on second chances has opened up an entirely new world for me, both personally and professionally, that is exponentially better than any plan that was derailed –> And, it’s only been a month and a half.
-Marji J. Sherman