Blockchain and personal data — my journey continues...

I can't help but smile about the journey that has brought me to Blockchain.


It actually started with social media and a fundamental core concern I had with it — I recall times I would get melodramatic and say, "People went to war and died for our freedoms and privacy, and we are just give it away on social media" (all rather ironic considering I'm in marketing). It's not that I didn't have a LinkedIn and Facebook page, I just never used them (not a single picture) — I was hell bent on holding onto my privacy despite myself.

One day I happened to hear Gary Vaynerchuk say, "Privacy is dead"; he was frank, compelling, and made a good argument. As I reassessed my position, I recognized he was right and that nothing was served by me spouting a conviction that wasn't real, that no one cared about, and had me stumbling backwards into "irrelevance". With the realization that at the very best I could try to control my data and privacy, I set about building a narrative for myself, reviewed which social media channels I would use, and went about developing my skills. Now I sit with a website, a couple of primary social media channels, and a couple of secondary ones for fun and learning. All of them used with the knowledge that my information can go everywhere and anywhere — with some consolation I can always be found in a sharp black suit. 

Though my blogging and social media efforts I was introduced to a new affinity network called beBee which offered an open and inviting community with no networking barriers or algorithms that influenced (or restricted) my reach. It's a great environment to share information, get constructive feedback, and build impactful relationships. Fast forward a little and I was talking to someone trying to raise money who said, "If the investment pitch doesn't include the word marijuana or Blockchain no one is interested"... a week later beBee entered into an agreement with a Blockchain company called Profede. Their pitch was to bring value (and security) to professional data by building beBee off of the blockchain.   


beBee is a smart entrepreneurial company so the question for me was what do they know that I don't? I jumped right in to understand Blockchain, what it can do, and can not do — and although I am only scratching the surface regarding Blockchain, I do see where beBee and Profede want to go with respect to building value for our professional data. I can't help think to myself that maybe this will all make me feel a little bit better about the compromise I made with privacy and social media a while back.

At this point I've focused my energy on social media and Blochchain, and I suppose I will try to make it an area of expertise in the big discussion that is Blockchain. In the mean time, I will keep doing my homework, set up a "myetherwallet", set up an account with the coin exchange QuadrigaCX, and with get involved with the Profede ICO. I see this as a real solution to a real problem, and although beBee and Profede aren't the only companies working on this, I do like what they've done so far.

And if by luck or universal design, as I was writing this I could not help but overhear two people discuss Facebook and their concerns about all of that private data that was released.

It has been an interesting journey so far...


PS — I still don't have a picture on my Facebook page and only one friend... (but it's a really good friend).

"No... I'm good... I've got it... I can take it from here."

I suppose I simply want to pose this question... "Considering you didn't know how to do it in the first place and needed help, why would you believe you know what to do next?" The question isn't to anyone in particular — although I suspect you may have asked or been asked this question in one form or another. (Or at the very least, thought it of asking it).


I don't mean for this to be a harsh question or suggest that professional or personal development doesn't have you step into the unknown sometimes with nothing more than the sheer will to succeed. Maybe I'm simply struggling to understanding why a person(s) who didn't recognize there was a problem in the first place, didn't know how to develop a plan (and by extension the activities to implement the plan), would believe that all of a sudden they had the ability to deal with what comes next. 

Is it an issue of self-awareness, simple pride, or the old adage "you don't know what you don't know"? Being it's a human condition I suspect it's something rather complicated. What I do know is that even under the best circumstances it's difficult to get things done, and that's before you add in considerations like capability, competency and council. 

Capability, competency and council... important considerations to reflect on — particularly "self reflection".

  • Do you have the capability to do what needs to be done? It is very difficult to understand and admit what you can and cannot do (or be). Sadly not everyone can be a rock-star, a CEO, or a rocket scientist — although remember, there are all kinds of other fulfilling things that you will be capable of doing.
  • Do you have the competencies (or skills) you need? Do you know what your skills are, and have you aligned them with what needs to be accomplished? Do you know what you still have to get better at?
  • Do you have a council (or network) in place that can help you with the above, as well as make your thinking and actions better (let alone right)?

I can't help but come back to self-awareness... self-awareness of your own capability, self-awareness of what you're good at (and what you need to get better at), and the self-awareness that you don't know everything and you need people's help.

I very much include myself in all of this.


As a reminder — your agenda isn't necessarily everyone else's...

The world of late has reminded me of a "coachable moment" I offered up a lifetime ago... or at least it feels like a lifetime ago.

He stuck his head into my office with concern written all over his face; with all decorum set aside, he needed me to look at an email he just sent and wanted my feedback asap — he had a deliverable that was due.


Putting aside my own deliverable, I took advantage of this coachable moment and simply said, "You know, your poor planning and your urgent agenda is not my agenda". I then went on to offer a perspective on planning, time management and my thoughts on how to engage support. I told him I would read his email as soon as I could but he'd have to be patient. I then politely kicked him out of my office because I had a deadline (plus something else on my to-do list).

This "coachable moment" covers many areas as I alluded to, but recent events have me focusing on patience and the truism — "your agenda isn't necessarily everyone else's". The patience to wait is something evaporating by the minute with this app rich world but the truism is alive and well (maybe more than ever). Even when agendas do align, there are always the influencers that are Murphy's best friends (timing, a bigger boss, mother-nature, and the randomness of the universe) — the chances of you waiting are much greater than you not waiting.

There is a need to become comfortable with being patient, and more importantly, ensure you are being productively patient.

In other words, use this waiting time to be productive with other things (particularly something new). Of course you will use some of this time to influence what you are waiting for but in most cases that doesn't take more than a half hour — so do others things. Yes you are waiting for the "phone to ring", but you are also investigating a new business venture, taking a course, writing a blog, or networking to build your opportunity funnel. Being productively patient will have you increasing the number of agendas that you have on the go and developing out the number of things you need to be patient with. Because the more things you have on the go, the greater the chance the phone will ring.

Murphy will probably have them all ring at the same time.