Lessons from our 4x4 Virtual Salon — Cybercrime & Fraud in the age of COVID-19

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Behind every aggravating headline that refers to cybercrime and its implications, there’s a group of IT or security specialists struggling to deal with an overwhelming number of burning priorities.

We have great empathy for them and so we wanted to identify the key focus points they can use to strategize or to build their business case when talking to C-level execs.

During our second 4 x 4 Virtual Salon, we unearthed essential observations that can steer organizations through decisions anchored in reality — as we live it today.

The guests

Our generous guests contributed their experience, wisdom, and expertise, offering insights that can only be derived from intense, long-term practice. …

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Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I despised tradition.

Every other holiday came with the pressure of getting together with relatives and checking all the boxes: excessive food, excessive conversation, and an unhealthy focus on other people’s opinions.

It took me a while to break my reflex of immediately associating tradition with social and emotional pressure.

The biggest change happened when I decided to start my own traditions, like the article I now write each year for my birthday. I started doing it at 30, continued at 31, and now I’ve reached the third “episode” of the series.

This year has been especially eventful with losing my beloved grandmother, working to build my freelancing business, celebrating two of my best friends’ wedding, and everything in between. It had a few very powerful highs and lows but, at the end of the day, I managed to find a stronger balance, something I’m very grateful for. …

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Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

We’re living both the best and the worst of times for marketers.

There have never been more data and tools to explore and use as we have today.

Take a step back. Look at our current context. Notice how rich it is with opportunities to find what people really need and want from companies!

Now more than ever, marketers have a chance to trade in their assumptions for data-driven insights about what people truly want.

Caveats? There are some.

The challenge for marketers is to tread lightly when balancing personalization with users’ privacy. Getting the best of both worlds means:

  1. Customizing user experience without being Face… creepy…

Imagine building a business you enjoy without setting goals and believing in motivation. Picture becoming an author and creating a great community without ever having a Facebook or LinkedIn account.

Does it sound impossible?

You may be inclined to think so Paul Jarvis is proof that it can be done.

Not only is Paul a skilled writer and a good teacher but he’s also one of the best people on the internet (and the awesome guest of this podcast episode!). Here are some of the things I learned from our conversation and his work.

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Nothing is absolute. Do your thing and learn along the way

In a newsletter he sent on November 7, Paul…

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Like many others, me and imposter syndrome go way back.

If you’re reading this, you most likely know what I’m talking about.

The gnawing feeling that you’re out of place. The anxiety of not knowing whether you’re living up to expectations. The inability to say “thank you” to compliments and just take them in.

These pop up even on the sunniest of days, in spite of your morning having promised something completely different just a few hours before.

Too often, imposter syndrome kept me from writing, especially for my own blog and personal projects. That’s something I regret. …

Almost 3 months ago, I changed jobs.

After 3 years (that felt like 6 because they were so intensely wonderful), the opportunity to take on another role meant I had to face a difficult decision.

I had to choose between:

  • a job I loved and challenged me, in a team I truly cared about;
  • and the chance to take on a new role that would push me to grow even faster, in a more focused direction, within a team that didn’t know me.

Sometimes, an opportunity that comes out of the blue can make the decision more difficult. The surprise factor means you now have a big decision on your hands when you didn’t ask for. …

When I started working in content marketing, I can honestly say that I never anticipated the HUGE learning and growth opportunities that it came with.

I had always been the kind of marketer who wants to work at the thrilling and challenging intersection between communication, product, sales, and support. I enjoyed dipping my toes into all these waters and using insights from all of them to create rich experiences for customers around the world.

When I was just starting out, I didn’t have the clarity to define things the way I do now.

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In the following years, I discovered that a content marketer’s role if fluid, fast-paced and incredibly rewarding. …

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Today I woke up at 5:14 am.

I did that not because I have some fine-tuned morning routine, not because my cat or neighbours woke me up or because I’d gone to sleep early. My body just decided that 5 am on a Saturday was the right time to get up.

Had this happened over 6 months ago, I would have been SO annoyed!

I would’ve tossed and turned in bed and then get frustrated because I couldn’t fall back asleep. Then I’d most likely fall into a whirlwind of thoughts and play the blame game with myself and other factors who had led to that situation.

But not today. Today I tried some breathing exercises before deciding the best thing I can do is make the most of my morning. …

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u had to

I wish I could be good enough of a writer to share how overwhelmingly wonderful The Power of Storytelling was this year. However, I am not. But I do take good notes, so bare with me.

This may sound corny, but for me PoS (what a beautiful abbreviation, isn’t it?) was a deeper, more emotional and raw experience than you can imagine. By sharing those personal experiences and baring themselves in front of us, the speakers created a sense of intimacy that is unbelievably difficult to come by.

Stages of life overlapped, we looked closer and also took steps back, so we could see the whole picture. We laughed, we almost cried, we clapped, we got goosebumps. We felt and lived, and thrived by basking in the glow of journalists and artists whose craft is immensely valuable. I didn’t know them before going to PoS in 2012 for the first time, but I am thankful for having had the chance to soak their wisdom. …


Andra Zaharia

Freelance content marketer. Infosec enthusiast. altMBA alumna. I host a podcast about decision-making: https://andrazaharia.com/the-podcas

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