The guy across the table wanted to know…
“But what’s the actual ROI of being on Twitter?”
I muttered something under my breath by response.
Then I took a deep slug from my glass of Rioja and started telling stories.
I told him about the time I was at my kitchen table in Leigh-on-Sea, thinking out loud on Twitter about whether I should go to South By South West or not. And how I got an instant reply from a woman in Chicago inviting me to co-host a panel with her.
Then I told the story of when I’d tweeted that I’d seen the musician and entrepreneur @DaveStewart walking down Wardour Street. Dave tweeted me back, igniting a series of events that not only resulted in us meeting, but also in a random connection with his book editor who ended up publishing a book of my own. Yep, that book only happened because of a ‘blink and you’d miss it’ tweet.
And then I told him how one of my current gigs writing for the Financial Times started out when I met my editor on Twitter, after we engaged in a conversation with the management writer Tom Peters.
I explained my strategy . There was no strategy. All I did was follow my curiosity and enjoy the ride.
I showed up and stuff happened.
Like earlier this year when I tweeted from York train station that I was headed to New York that day (Long day ahead, doing ‘the Yorks’ in one day, I’d tweeted). I got a reply from a guy named Matthew Stillman asking to meet for coffee in NYC. Two days later we were standing at Stumptown sharing tales of following our curiosity over good coffee. Matthew told me:
“If you follow your curiosity to the smallest corners, you’ll find tremendous light there”.
That rung true for me. Not just on Twitter but across my life.
I don’t focus on a ROI, I just stay curious.
(So what’s the ROI of posting on Medium? Who knows? This is my first post. Come back and ask in couple of months...)
If you’re interested in living a more curious life, I’ve just published a little book ‘On Being Curious’. It’s available on Kindle for — the price of an espresso — and will only take you thirty minutes to read.
Ian Sanders is an advisor, a Financial Times writer and a business storyteller. He’s driven by coffee and curiosity.