2023 "Life Before Viral" – Is Anyone Listening?
Updated: May 18
It’s that time again for me to share my yearly initiatives for 2023. Truth be told, most everything that we say each day isn’t worthy of going viral nor should we want it to be. That doesn’t make it any less essential or relevant. It’s quite the opposite. The most valuable advice, treasured memories, special occasions, unforgettable moments, and serious conversations, or “life”, happens in private.
That’s why I love what I do as a professional language interpreter and the opportunity I have of training the next generation of professionals. Communication is fundamental and one of the most important tools we have in making sure “life” isn’t interrupted, censored, or forgotten. As a professional language interpreter, I have the privilege of facilitating understanding between two individuals that speak different languages, each with their own unique cultures, that is accurate, completely unfiltered, and entirely confidential.
What has this intimate privilege and professional responsibility taught me throughout the years? That “life” happens every day, changes unexpectedly, important decisions are made, with as many highs as there are lows, and it’s been happening before viral was a thing and will continue well after it.
I’m humbled that despite the many social economic challenges, “life”, experienced around the world 🌍 particularly since 2019, InterSys, LLC continues to outperform year over year thanks in large part to the amazing people that provide our unique services that continue to increase in demand. Our international network continues to grow, our social presence is increasing daily, and our engagement rate is industry leading.
While we may be just one click short from going viral, I know that the work my team does every day privately with language interpretation, translation, tutoring, and training can’t be captured with a viral post.
That leads me to the following question: What came first, virality or creativity? Is someone more creative once they go viral or are they viral because they are more creative?
In other words, is the quality of someone’s content measured by its virality? I know what you may be thinking of the famous quote… “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Well, in an ever-changing world of pop culture, chasing likes, and building your following, I thought 💭 maybe I can write to my future (possibly) viral self with this personal diary.
It’s sort of like that small mom and pop sandwich shop you want to keep to yourself because the moment the public catch’s on to how unbelievably delicious the sandwiches are, the quality of the ingredients, and affordable prices, you know it will end your special (in your mind) exclusive access?
Figuratively speaking, these diary posts will be that sandwich shop that only you know about. So, let’s enjoy the process, the quality ingredients, and “exclusive access” if only in our minds.
First things first, enjoy life! There’s no pressure of the world watching 👀 when you’re not viral. This allows you to continue perfecting your craft, allow yourself to fail, and get out of your comfort zone. These are good traits that I hope I’m still doing when I (possibly) go viral. If not, read this again.
Second, be humble. Never forget where you came from and the people that helped you along the way. Don’t act like the smartest person in the room (even if you might be). Let others teach you what you already know and if you think you are the smartest person in the room, please find another room. Keep learning and always pay it forward.
Remember that “influencer” that declined sharing your #90DayTo1K scholarship program because “they get paid to do that”? Yeah, well don’t be like that. If you’re getting paid or sponsored now for posts like this, congratulations (you know we need the money, you’re me 😆 after all ), but keep helping those that aren’t just like you do now without the sponsorship or being viral.
Third, stay hungry. Don’t become too comfortable or complacent with your success just because everyone knows who you are. Continue to be strategic, plan, and build new partnerships. Be innovative and continue to think outside box 📦. Keep that startup mentality and when things don’t go exactly as planned, start back at one again (see above).
Lastly, life before viral. It’s not just a catchy metaphor, but it’s our main initiative this year. Sure, we’ll continue to produce original, quality, evergreen content, whether we are sponsored or not that is both educational, inspirational, and sometimes may just make you laugh. More importantly though, we put people above popularity, quality over quantity, cultural relativity over personal preference, and we always choose “life” before viral.
Ok, that’s all for now. This is where I would conclude with some additional inspiration like “if a formerly asthmatic chubby kid from Reading, PA can build a successful business, reputable brand, with a growing international network, and possibly go viral, then anything truly is possible”. Well, I would share something like that, but nobody’s listening anyway, right 🤷♂️?
Johnny Romero, InterSys, LLC www.myintersys.com copyright 2023