…But by the Content of Their Character

Success is not based on who is following you on Twitter. Success is not based on how much traffic you get to your blog each day or how many people are subscribed to your RSS feed. Success is not the measure of how many people appear to be watching your content online. If this paragraph makes you frown in confusion, you most certainly need to read on because you are in need of some help.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Aug. 28, 1963

(Thanks to @boycaught for reminding me of the full quote)

This quote by Dr. King not only applies to race, but to any other insignificant or material characteristic of a person. You can’t judge yourself or anyone else based on the statistics surrounding your online presence. Darren even breaks it down into an equation for you and shows how detrimental it can be to your success.

In my post, A Leader Doesn’t Care What You Think, I give a few examples of some characteristics that most leaders share. The overall idea is that someone who is successful, a leader, is one who is always looking ahead. These are people that are always trying to learn from those smarter than themselves.

Is Scoble a success because he has the entire Social Media Militia following him, or are they following him because he often leads to something new and interesting?

Scoble has said on a few different occasions that he seeks to talk to someone interesting and/or learn something new everyday. He doesn’t base his life on what others think about him. This is the attitude you should have if you want to have anything close to the status and respect he has.

Just recently, Twitter users lost huge numbers of their followers and the community was (still is, actually) in an uproar. Their ability to broadcast to hundreds and thousands of listeners was taken away. Cyndy is actually depressed that some Social Medialites are more focused on broadcasting than actually having a conversation, while Corvida writes that this is a golden opportunity to reach out and expand your horizons.

These ideas extend well beyond the realm of the Social Media community, past “The Internets”, and right into your own home:

  • You are not the center of the universe
  • You must become a comet, a moving target
  • No one can follow you if you’re standing still
  • No one will even notice you

Make sure you are not so full of yourself that you can’t take  in anything new. Allow yourself to grow. People will start to listen to you. Your prestige will rise. The followers, the traffic, and all the numbers that some obsess over will eventually follow suit.