Digital Skills and Mindset

by Penny Power on December 31, 2012 · 0 comments

group 3 (276x183)Could 2013 be the year you monetise your online brand?

I cannot believe that 2013 will mark my 15th year of being committed to providing Digital Skills to business.  The journey has been fast, exhilarating and has taught me the power of tenacity, choice and how to work with open minds.  I have chosen not to work with closed ones!  That is another story.

In 1998 I created a community online for business people to connect.  Ecademy was often referred to as ‘the place people did their Apprenticeship in blogging and connecting’.  I ran training courses, set up a Digital Coaching organisation and had many hundreds of 121s with people who were adapting to the connected, transparent world of the Internet.  Now, I am spending my time helping young Born Digital Youths to get meaningful employment in businesses like yours, where they can manage and run your digital activity and ensure you are set-up and engaging and growing your business online.

A quote I love to use to create a light bulb moment for business owners about the importance of the Internet to business, is one I heard used by Sean Parker, the Founder of Napster: “We used to live on farms and we manufactured food, we then moved to the cities and manufactured products, now we increasingly live on the Internet and we need to manufacture data”.

The last 15 years of being a ‘digital entrepreneur’ have taught me many things:

1. The power of social capital
2. The mindset for this new connected world
3. The power of being nomadic and having all my data in the ‘cloud’

I have also seen the six stages that people go through around the subject of ‘going social’ with their business

1. I don’t care
2. I do care but I fear it
3. I no longer fear it as I am doing it a little bit
4. I am enjoying the progress I am making.  I just need to find time to do more.
5. I am all set up and creating content and connecting, I have others working with me.
6. I have embedded habits and no longer think about it, it just happens and I can now see business being won thanks to the brand and connections I have online.

I wonder what stage you are at?

I would like you to consider that you have an asset in your business that is called Social Capital.  As networkers within BNI you know that the more people you engage with and support, the more people engage with and support you.  Your business has a social reputation based on your values and likability.  The new connected world demands that we invest in relationships and are more open, random and supportive.  After all, the ‘social world’ that is inspiring so many start-ups and growing so many businesses across the world is based on friendship.  Friendship in business is a mindset, not a task.  It requires us to act differently in the way we embrace and run our business.  We have to inspire, share and lead not only our staff but also our ‘followers’.

I heard an excellent quote the other day, “Give away your knowledge but share your expertise”.  This sums up the conflict that many people have about open blogging and ‘giving away’ their thoughts and skills.  When you are a friend, you trust and create, trust through sharing information, contacts and thoughts.  This is a hard thing to do when you share openly with strangers online.  How do you measure that you get a financial return?

In the Spring next year I am launching a Thought Leader programme to help 10 people become Industry Thought Leaders.  I am fascinated by the affect that writing my Manifesto for Digital Business Britain and lifting myself above an industry and commentating had on me as a business owner.  Since doing that I have created four companies and gained some great investors.  My social capital is paying off now and in my own way I am making a difference within the digital skills gap.

So, as you close door on 2012 and plan next year, can I suggest you consider your mindset for ‘being social’?  Try to move from an online ‘unsociable’ attitude if that is what you have and become a friend online.

For fun you can answer 15 questions, a bit like Myers Briggs and find out if you are Closed, Selective and Controlling, or whether you have the mindset for this online culture of being Open, Random and Supportive.  Take the questions here

Wishing you a very successful 2013 and I hope to cross paths with you online or face-to-face.

BNI support the Digital Youth Academy

Connecting the Born Digital Generation to Business

To register your interest in receiving help with your Social Digital needs, register here for information:

Penny Power
Penny Power is the Founder of Ecademy and Digital Youth Academy, two communities that assist in the growth of Social Capital and deliver the promise of the Internet through their community values and peer to peer knowledge exchange. Penny is now focusing on the skills gap that exists within the business community toward leveraging the social digital world and you can follow her on Twitter @pennypower or sign up for her newsletter on


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