2011 is a prime number

A different way to approach the coming of the new year: instead of making resolutions you’ll probably break, make it interesting, exciting and meaningful–and something you can actually stick with!

As usual, a recent message from Chris Brogan got me thinking, this time by way of his Human Business Works newsletter. The topic, appropriately enough, was on preparing for 2011.

Things SheTech intends to do in 2011Many people make resolutions (“I’ll go to the gym, lose weight, eat less, swear less, spend less, etc.”) that pretty much fly out the window by mid-February at the latest (just ask your favorite trainer how long his or her clients actually stick with the plan). Along with Lent, it generally involves some sort of martyrdom-like sacrifice which always looks and feels daunting if not outright impossible… so we’re pretty much setting ourselves up for failure. Like Lent, however, you can choose to give something instead of giving up something. It feels better, so it works better.

Chris suggested something different as well, which was to set three targets/goals/key words for yourself which you could work all year. Write them out, post them somewhere, refer to them often.

Great idea!

So I started thinking about all the… well, all the thinking that I’ve been doing the last couple of months while SheTech and Company goes through its rebranding and upgrade efforts. Much of this thinking involves not only the company but a great deal of personal reflection as well. Many things have come clear for me this year, including where both my real strengths and weaknesses are. For example, I’m much more a tactician than a strategist, and only really internalized the concept when I worked with people who eat, drink and breathe strategy (that’s why Andy Scherer is part of the team!). On the other hand, you tell me what your strategy is, and I’ll help you get it done; I’ll make it work, help you operationalize it, or find someone who can.

Inspired by Chris’ suggestion about the three things to do this year, I came up with mine:

  • Reclaim
  • Rewrite
  • Renew

The first one is pretty personal, and has to do with reclaiming skills and abilities I thought I had lost along the way. The second one is both for myself and the people around me, which is to rewrite how we respond to things that happen to us, and so rewriting our futures in the process. Finally, for self, friends, company and clients, renewing a commitment to serve in everything we do, and to make our work a positive contribution. It also means helping clients renew their enthusiasm for what they do, and helping renew their audiences’ enthusiasm as well. It can be great fun if we approach it that way!

So, what does the fact that 2011 is a prime number have to do with anything?

Numbers don’t speak to everyone; in fact many people don’t care (and that’s totally fine!). Prime numbers have always fascinated me, both the small ones such as the ones we live with every day (like days and years) and the theoretical large ones like Marsenne Primes. They’re cool for a number of reasons (and these are the ones I can actually articulate):

  1. They don’t follow a pattern. You can’t map the first ten or thousand or ten thousand and predict what the rest will be; they must all be calculated.
  2. They’re mysterious. There is no such thing as an even number that is also a prime, with the exception of 2; every prime number is an odd number but not every odd number is a prime. Fun, huh?
  3. They’re full of energy. The inherent oddness in them makes them “unstable”, so to speak, and full of lively potential. Increase the value of any one of them by 1 (one!) and it is instantly shifted into another category, that of “even numbers”.

So what?

So, 2011 is a prime number year, which gives it unpredictability, mystery, energy and potential.

What a great time to be alive!

By Rebekkah Hilgraves

*RadHaus Solutions*: ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. Marketo Certified Expert. Solutions Architect. Marketing automation implementation, integration, best practices, governance. Marketing automation, with a heavy dose of nerd.

*RadHaus Studio*: Broadcast and recording engineer, media production manager, cable monkey, marketing dork, project manager, chief cook and bottle-washer.

A seasoned trainer, marketer, web producer and front-end developer, solutions architect, writer, consultant, broadcaster, recording engineer, and public speaker, I've worked in eLearning, Instructional Design, CMS, Marketing Automation and CRM (especially Marketo, ActiveCampaign, and SimplyCast), content delivery and management, taxonomy, SEO, media production and technical support. I bring a unique blend of experience and expertise.

Through RadHaus (formerly SheTech and Company), and in partnership with ELK // Obscura Media, and Prove digital marketing agencies, I have supported enterprise clients in marketing automation implementation and operations, digital marketing and data strategies. I help design and operationalize custom integrated marketing programs for businesses, working with audience/user group segmentation, SEO, web analytics, design and UX best practices, multimedia, social media and other strategic web design and delivery mechanisms. I also do hands-on media production and arts marketing, allowing me to remain involved in the arts.

As part of Marketo's education team, I managed the production and publication of eLearning modules, and was a key member of the LMS implementation and certification development teams.

A consultant on the Web Operations team for OppenheimerFunds in New York, I offered technical, production, and strategy support on a major web site redesign project.

As Managing Editor for an online news magazine published by NetQoS, I supervised and managed the migration of the site from a legacy content management system to a .NET-based commercial system. I maintained the site and the content, updating the magazine with new content from industry analysts and technical experts on a weekly basis.

My earliest foray into both technology and training was as a software trainer for logistics company Cheetah Software Systems, helping create an implementation and training practice standard for the company, and building their user documentation.