Remember the days when we used a rotary phone versus a cell? When we mailed hand-written letters from a post office versus e-mail and wireless internet? When we called up our friends to say hello and Happy Birthday versus a text message or e card? When we sat down as a family at the dinner table and said grace without the interruptions of cell phones, televisions or iPods? I recollect those days gone by and I treasure the memories. Some of those very things help set a foundation for the man, and father I have become today. It taught me family values that I strive to pass on to my children in hopes that they will one day pass it to their own. We are able to obtain growth without losing our principals. We can advance without losing focus of who we are as an individual and remember those people, places an events that brought us to where we are today.
I enjoy and profit from the advancement of technology and like to watch it take each idea we ever thought we’ve mastered to a completely new level. As an entrepreneur and business man, I enjoy the advantages of having a global market at my fingertips and enjoy having the ability to reach out to the entire world with a few clicks of the mouse. We attempt to keep interaction alive with our families friends and target groups despite our demanding schedules and curve balls society throws in our path. Digital communications helps make that task simpler and more convenient but there are some natural free marketing tools and social conventions that have withstood the sands of time and for a reason. They are given to us at birth and intended to be used no matter the generation, time or decade to remind and teach others of their power and their meaning. They are gifts from the heart . the inner fire that’s built within us to have a impact on other individual’s lives as well as our own. Have we got so caught up in automation that we’ve perhaps lost target the power of what human interaction has to offer? Have we reminded ourselves that we are not robots spitting out mass production but that we are indeed humans with a singular DNA and come equipped with gifts that are supposed to be shared and passed on. Are we allowing the power of a hand-shake and a smile to be outdated or outsourced by generated emails, scripted marketing and social media ads? If we do not teach today’s generation about maintaining a balance with human and digital interaction, one day the future leaders of tomorrow will be playing on an emotional desert no longer aware or curious about the perception of their gifts as human beings but simply just going through the motions of what they are programmed by society to carry out.
We are at the crossroads of two different paths here. We will get positive and negative expansion in either direction but we must find and keep a balance of both. We must remember who we are, our purpose we have been been created to carry out before we can appreciate where we are heading. We must not lose focus of our gifts. We are given a drive to succeed: A built in trigger for aspiration and determination and a strong will for persistence . Once we learn and choose to tap into all those natural power giants, we can become unstoppable . However, we are not made to be creatures without emotion, feelings or habits, whether good and there is no need to sacrifice one for the other. We are able to find a solution here to embracing all this amazing technology advancement and growth without losing the individual that was built long before it came into existence. We are what we think. We become what we create.
If we fail to teach today’s generation of imminent business men and women about their history then they are going to have no appreciation or understanding of what real success is. We are building them to be the leaders of tomorrow, so we have to be the example today. We have to pass them the key to unlocking their potential. Teach them their roots and give them that foundation. Inspire them to find their own motivation and they will listen. You’re example of success and strength will give them the heart and grit to reach bigger heights and change the world. I remember that heart and backbone I had as a small boy. It has carried with me throughout the years and still remains within my dedication and drive. I didn’t learn those traits via web or on Facebook, they came from within. We teach the best leaders by being the example and allowing them to watch us in action and sharing our those same gifts with others. We do not learn or have knowledge of that in which we’re not given or taught. We can not fully appreciate the value of today’s accomplishments if we haven’t any notion of where our history brought us from. If we build a house without a foundation, everything we try to build above it will ultimately crumble. Gandhi once wrote, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. We have within us the motivation to make a difference . Technology is an amazing and valuable tool but it can not teach you about those natural gifts and abilities given to you at birth. The biggest difference between humanity and automation is the gift of life so make the most of it every single second!
During our journey , we will have many opportunities to take different paths . We can choose to make the journey our own or we can choose to make it about what we think others expect us to do. I hope that at the end of the day, when my journey is almost through, I can look back on life and say, “I have made a difference.” It’s important to not forget about human interaction and the impact your choices make on others lives . The majority of people that you will cross paths with as you travel your journey will not remember generated emails or scripted monologues, the text messages or tweets. They won’t remember the dates and times of every deadline or marketing campaign. What they will remember will be the man or woman , whether stranger or friend who took a moment to shake their hand , give a hug and offer a smile; They will remember the one who attended recitals and football games and tucked them in at night; They will remember the one who took the time to say “you matter” and showed them importance. Most of all they will never forget the way you made them feel.
“We were young, but we had good advice and good ideas and lots of enthusiasm.” – Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation
Smile and a Handshake gone Digital Growth is inevitable.
The circle of life will keep on turning regardless of our opinions one way or the other. However, we do have the choice in which paths we choose to go down and which ones we decide to pass on by. Advancement is necessary an can be an amazing marketing tool if we remember to think like humans and not machines. Global marketing and digital media have expanded business growth and profits to all time record breaking margins . We are seeing entrepreneurs come forth and achieve success like never before and oyster is theirs for the taking. Technology keeps advancing. The same amazing discoveries that put the man on the moon could one day carry our children to Mars. Things we never thought possible even 20 years ago are taking place right this very second. However, regardless of the day and age there’s some timeless treasures that need to be preserved. Despite what advanced digital society teaches and our kids try to convince us of, there is more to life than the internet and cell phones. We have to give and relieve human interaction and touch. We get those needs from each other, not from microchips and satellite signals. We have been given our own unique stamp to place on this world.
There is nothing wrong with the grand power of technology and social media being used for communication so long as we’re not sacrificing our human gifts to society or hiding them behind a computer screen.
For today’s group of young entrepreneurs and potential business owners , do not allow mass digital media and the latest marketing tool void yourselves of the warmth and personalization that comes from the handshake and a smile. There is a huge impact that the sound of the voice and the value of touch will have in any business if you allow that balance of automation and human interaction. You will not only build stronger customer relations but motivate a more productive work team, stronger work ethics and company morale. Positive emotions and thoughts are contagious. You lead with a smile, others will follow.
There was a brilliant man named Dale Carnegie , one of the most successful Entrepreneurs and motivational speakers of all time . I’m sure many of you are familiar with his impact on the world. He knew the power of motivation and inspiring the minds and the spirit through hard work, speech and positive thinking. His methods and courses were the catalyst for many successful business men and women of today. He taught about setting goals, living your dreams and speaking positive things into existence. His human touch on society did more for the growth of young minds than any electronic device could ever accomplish. What would he think about today’s growth and change in marketing and campaign strategies? Speaking of growth, Mr. Dale Carnegie’s famed best seller, The grandfather of all self-help books has just been given a digital makeover. Seventy-five years after Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, his associates have added “in the Digital Age” to the title to make it relevant to the Facebook and Twitter generation. I doubt Carnegie ever would imagined how the path to meaningful collaboration with your target group would become an autobahn of emails and tweets. I was a little dismayed that the authors did eliminate some of Carnegie’s valuable advice in order to make it suitable for today’s age in which social networking rather than a handshake might be the more common way to make contacts. But the core of Carnegie’s advice on how to communicate, lead and work efficiently still has been retained . It’s lesson has remained priceless across the ages . One sure way of starting a dialogue, says the book, is to smile. For, research has shown smiling gets you an average of one extra friend, which is pretty good considering that people only have about six close friends on average. That means, if you smile and your target group connects then you are more likely to keep their attention and focus. That relates on a professional level as well. At a time when more and more of our communication takes place across wires and screens, anybody who communicates with their voice, and a smile along with their own dialogue has a significant advantage in grabbing eyeballs. We do that by reaching out and making them take notice that we are real, we believe in their goals and we care about their opinions.
Clearly, the human proclivity towards misunderstanding is high. Throw in technology and it becomes all the more inevitable. So how would you overcome the obstacles to exhibiting friendliness across the digital space? It may be easier than you think . There are things you can do that will allow your cyber contacts still feel important and needed. We cant possibly go out and handshake everyone’s hand that we come in contact with unless we were able to fly around the world at our own disposal and cost. However, we can choose the way we “speak” in our correspondence and contact. We still have the power of our “voice” . We can utilize the digital media for the good and benefit of others and not just for our own personal gain.
For the past decade, since email and texting have supplanted oral communication, we have been seduced by the notion that we live in an world void of emotion? It doesn’t have to be that way,despite the evolution and advancement of technology we are still in fact human beings. In many ways, texts and emails of today are like the telegraph messages of the old days that had their own share of troubles. A reporter once telegraphed actor Cary Grant about his age: “How old Cary Grant?” the message read. The actor replied, “Old Cary Grant fine. How you?” However, use these amazing electronic devices as a tool not as an identity. Dare to be different than the majority realm of digital marketing stereotypes with scripted monologues and campaigns that leave out that human factor. The human mind is a complex, beautiful gem to treasure so allow it to be used as it was intended. Do not waste what has freely given for you to achieve your destiny and live your dreams. No electronic device will give you that. The power of your mind is given to you by the Man above not created in a lab. A robot is only as smart as His creator. Think about that and about Your Creator and explore those depths of knowledge.
Allow your touch, your “smile” to be conveyed even in your digital communications. Opt to keep your personal touch on all your correspondence. Outside of emoticons and emojis, there is only one medium through which you can convey that digital smile and handshake and that’s with your voice, whether written or spoken. Let that voice be your handshake when you can’t be there in person . How you write an email, the tone you use and the words you choose are critical tools of friendliness. Smile through your written words and you convey to others that their well-being is important to you. You and your message will have the best chance of being received. Frown through your words and others will often frown on the message and the messenger.
The smile and the handshake represents our welcome to the world. In the hearts and minds of our forefathers and great leaders of yesterday who taught us and those before them, they are rare gems needing to be preserved and passed on to serve their full purpose. They are the key to that allows you personal growth . They are your personal gift to the world and separate you from all other species. We usually have one chance to make a first impression so choose your actions wisely. The human touch will never expire or become outdated unless we choose to allow it . Our voice, our smile and our touch will always remain amongst the single greatest tools for success. The smile and the handshake are indeed timeless treasures and have not disappeared, just a little further buried amongst the vast digital treasure chest of knowledge we exist in today. Preserve your treasures , keep them safe but not hidden. Program them in your laptop if you must but never forget the password that allows you access: HEART.
Mr. Carnegie better summed it up when he quoted: “There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it. “
~ Eric Caprarese