So, several weeks ago, my boss told me I was too old to understand Social Media and it’s millennial users. I was stunned, but, it was my AH-HA moment.
I’ve been in the radio media since I was 19, a college dropout who always pursued the path that was the toughest, strangest, and the one that had the most critics. His critique was not a new challenge, but an ‘eyes wide-open moment’. I’ve been a fan and careful follower of Social Media since it started to impact the broadcast industry. I understood it’s capability to turn imagination into reality, to be a world changer that everyone has access to…
By 2009, I had signed a contract worth well over a million dollars, but I kept asking myself “for what?” … I never felt satisfied, making that money, yet not feeling like I was a part of anything. The Challenge was low, the predictable repetition was high. Blah!
I looked at the cash that I had generated for myself, as “won”, because when you work for something, and get it, it’s a WIN. Society’s “lottery” mentality allows most of us to believe that success must be all luck, when it’s much more a talent-input-output cycle. Make no mistake, undying commitment and focused talent gets you the ability to be ‘awarded’ success. It’s not a mistake, and nothing worthwhile is free and without responsibility.
So, there I was, in a meeting thinking about the “For What?”… looking back on four children, born premature, the financial stress that comes with any medical challenges and then “MAYBE YOU’RE TOO OLD TO GET SOCIAL MEDIA AND MILLENIALS!” It echoed. I went to work.
Following the similar ‘scavenger hunt’ style method in LA, I wanted this to be more of a project, rather than a promotion. Importantly, I needed to keep this insanely local. DC-Baltimore. That was it. The idea was to build a community, not customers, not followers, but real members of a tribe. Generosity would be the core value. I also was aware of the potential of this being viewed as a stunt, for my radio show. Not so. The station, and company had no idea. I didn’t even tell my wife for several weeks?! How awkward when we’re watching the news and this story popped up, or being in a restaurant and nearly everyone was talking about it. It was fun and my adrenalin was pumpin’!
The generosity that I witnessed, along with many others throughout the world was stunning. People who immediately walked to a Humane Society to part ways with $20 or $50 that they had just found, Wow, AWESOME! A woman in Baltimore who bought haircuts for a newly adopted blind brother and sister. A teenager in Georgetown who is forwarding her “findings’ to suffering people in the Middle East. Wait, a teenager? Uh oh, were Millennials involved? Yup, and by the THOUSANDS! Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and still experimenting with other platforms. TV reporters seemed excited to help tell this project of generosity, several even found the cash, and all documented their moment of ‘paying it forward’. Dozens of people, using this project to perform their generous act. The Hashtag #SmallGiftsGiveBIGPerspective started to emerge with the project. While I’m rich with life ; a great wife, amazing children, good job…. I don’t have millions to spread around. The generosity aspect is about perspective. It’s storytelling. So many people who came in contact with this cash would tell me, being able to share the story of what I did with the found cash was the best part! Welcome to The Tribe.
So, there it is… I won’t stop doing this. I innovated the process by creating Social Media Hunt’s, which allowed anyone, anywhere to be involved from your ipad, and not have to walk around in the heat. Although I’ll still do the ‘on the street’ drops, too.
I’ve been blown away by the organizations that are asking me to help with their Social Media , and help them create a social game-plan where generosity is a core value! I can’t effectively do that, face-less and name-less.
I told a friend the other day, you never know who’s taking a piss next to you in the bathroom. It’s true. Anyone, anywhere is armed with endless potential to create anything they can imagine.
These are tough times, I get it. We have a government that seems to back us in a corner. It’s too hot, It’s too cold. Gas is high. Your boss is a jerk. Your Uber car is late. But, this can also be the time of “you”… Grab that smartphone and get to work! That’s what I did.
My name is Marc Orem and I’m @IhidTheCash
Oh, and I should mention… I HID MORE CASH…. ☺