Welcome to Critical Social! I’m Dasia, and this business is an extension of my brain. So, welcome to my brain, I guess? Sorry about the mess.
If you’re reading this, you probably know me already, but you might not know what Critical Social really is. No worries – hell, I didn’t know what it was until recently. So here’s the gist:
Through Critical Social, I’m taking all my knowledge of social media, digital marketing, and business strategy, and sharing it with you.
Sounds simple, right? You have no idea how long it took me to get there! Simplicity is pretty elusive, especially when you’re starting a business from zero, with no brief, and endless choices ahead of you. Most of my friends only have a vague sense that I “do social media”, and I don’t blame them. I started off like many solopreneurs – doing a little bit of everything, taking on the consulting equivalent of odd jobs just to keep invoice day interesting. But the more I wrote copy, took on community management, managed teams, designed pitches, created strategies, and compiled reports, the clearer my path became.
Through juggling clients, working with everyone from interns to CEOs on a daily basis, it became more and more obvious: sharing what I know makes me feel alive. Giving people the skills they need to be great at their jobs? What a high. It made me feel a thousand times better than winning a tender. Seeing someone go from feeling lost and unsure, to getting excited to put their new skills into practice – that is a gift. That is empowerment in action.
I’ve never been much for capitalism, but I guess my business is a selfish act in a different way – I’m chasing that feeling, the level-up spark that happens when upskilling is done right. And I’m doing it in a field that I’m, quite frankly, a little addicted to – social media. I know all the cool kids say that, but here’s just one receipt:
Since opening my Twitter account in 2010, I’ve tweeted 24,828 times – If I were to read all my tweets at the rate of 6 per minute, it would take me over 41 hours to read them all – no naps allowed.
I’m not sure if I’m proud or ashamed of that fact. (All I know is, I was pretty disappointed to hear FNB didn’t count my followers as an asset on our bond application.) Of course, using a platform is only one little step to understanding it as a marketing tool. And that’s where that doubtful inner voice creeps in. I’ve only been in this industry about 8 years – there are many marketers more experienced than me. I’ve only worked with about 15 national brands that would be considered household names, there are others who’ve worked with more clients, bigger budgets, and fancier software. I’ve only got a handful of connections in this business, all forged from old jobs, and have no ties or favours to leverage for work – and I’ve never tried golf, but I’m 100% sure that I’d be pretty awful at it. I’ve got plenty of reasons to feel like I’m not ready to put Critical Social (ahem, myself) into the world.
But then again, holding back my gifts, my unique contribution to the industry and this planet, just because I feel kinda vaguely “not ready”? That’s rude.
That’s not just about me. That’s unfair to everyone I could be helping and empowering right now. I’ve always been my own worst critic, and honestly, the world’s sloppiest perfectionist. It’s hard for me to share things that aren’t up to my insane standards, because if I’m not confident that the end product is bullet-proof, my ego might get shot in the gut. But I’m trying to practice an 80% attitude for my mental health, to speed up my learning, and to get more end products out into the world.
“Everything creative I do, I do my best to get it 80% of the way to as good as I can make it, and go no further. I just don’t try to get it to 100%… I know that perfect doesn’t exist, I know that the last 20% is going to be most of the work, and most of what I’m gonna learn is going to be in that first 80%. Those final tweaks: I’m not learning anything, I’m just scared.”
– Hank Green (edited for clarity)
I highly recommend watching this full video about Hank’s unpopular secret to productivity. It’s less than four minutes long, and is sure to shake up the perfectionist in you.
I realised this year that I’ve been waiting for perfection: call it a sense of readiness, getting to 100%, confidence, or bulletproofedness, anything that would make me feel safe from the possibility of failure, and all the unsexy realities that would bring. Now that might be the least entrepreneurial-spirited sentence ever written! I held onto a lot of shame about being such a wimp, but now I know better. I’ve slowly untangled what failure means to me, and I’m done waiting for confidence to inspire my action. As the legendary producer of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, once said about the ultimate creative pressure of putting together a live show watched by millions every week: “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”
“Ready” may be a nice feeling, but it’s not a day of the week.
I’m not saying confidence is a scam – but to be honest, mine is usually two steps behind me. So instead of writing it off altogether, I’d just like to consider it as optional. Bravery, however, is mandatory. No matter how I’m feeling, I want to deliver. I want to give people the value only I can put into the world. Now I know I don’t need some big revelation, new system, or amazing app to help me breakthrough and take more risks. I just need a little practice.
So here I am, practicing bravery.
Welcome to Critical Social. I’m Dasia, Founder and Chief of Close-Enough.