Disclaimer: I’m a guy. Set that aside for a minute.
Step 1: Decide to be mentally close to inspiring people.
The people physically close to you aren’t necessarily your best inspiration, and you can’t always control them. Often, they’re asshats.
The people mentally close to you, however, are totally up to you.
Make the decision to build an awesome list of inspiring people doing amazing things. These people, whether they know you today or not, are going to be your mental neighbors.
Step 2: Sign up for Twitter and install a Twitter client.
I’m not saying you have to post anything, mind you – Twitter is full of narcissists sharing pictures of breakfast, and who wants to contribute to that?
No, you’re just going to sign up, install a client:
- Mac – TweetBot ($20 and worth it) or Twitterific ($5 and not too shabby)
- Windows – Tweetium ($3), also available on Windows Phones
- Linux – I assume this is built into Emacs somehow
Step 3: Set up a column for some of Snipe’s lists.
Alison Gianotto is @Snipeyhead, and the best way I can describe her is with her Twitter bio:
“Hacker, co-founder/CTO @MassMosaic, open sorcerer, author, speaker, devops, infosec, autodidact, gamer, atheist, chaotic neutral, ENTP, NSFW.”
The second best way I can describe her is the term “bad ass.” Go to her Twitter lists page, and click on one of the lists that matches your interests, such as:
- Chix0rs – 624 members
- Chix0rs-Coders – 98 members
- Chix0rs-Infosec – 38 members
- Chix0rs-Sysadmin+Ops – 35 members
On the top left of the list’s page, there’s a Subscribe button. This prints the tweets and sends them to your door each morning. Wait, no, I’m being told this just adds them to your subscribed lists in your Twitter client.
Configure a column in your Twitter client for each of your subscribed lists.
Step 4: First thing every morning, glance at Twitter.
Start your day by looking for inspiration. A lot of this stuff is going to be noise, but some of it is going to be awesome signal that inspires you. These people are out kicking ass and taking names, and seeing them do their thing will empower you to do your thing.
Over the next week or two, you’ll start to recognize the names of people whose tweets interest you, people who share your interests.
These are your mental neighbors – follow them. Rather than just following them in the list, follow their accounts directly. This way, within the first month, you’ll start transitioning to just reading your Twitter feed rather than Snipe’s list (which, like any list, is gonna have a lot of people you’re not interested in), and your own Twitter feed will be concentrated, personalized, inspiring goodness.
Sure, someday you’ll start interacting with these people, replying to them, and building an online family. That’s intimidating to think about at first – especially as bad-ass/famous/inspiring as these women are – but it’ll happen over time. Worry about that later.
How do I know it’ll work?
Because it’s how I start my day too.
Why addressed directly to women in technology? Seems to me to apply to any gender. It’s the first thing I do too……
Greg – LOOK, YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO READ THIS POST. See, men can’t follow even the simplest instructions. 😉
Gilda – my pleasure!
Suggestions for iOS twitter clients? I use the native one, but it seems a bit clunky.
Steve – I use Tweetbot, and I love it because it syncs my last-read-tweet-point between the desktop and mobile clients.
Good start, but you have a lot more to write to complete this list, Brent… 🙂
~Woman With Much Kevlar in Technology
Kellyn – thanks, and Pikachu, I choose YOU…to write the next part.
I can DO THAT! We’ll talk… 🙂
Can I be Steelix?
I love your tag line “Woman With Much Kevlar in Technology”. I wish I would have had a cut like that at some of my past jobs.
~ Learning to Weave a Kevlar Coat for Technology
Thanks! Have a number of pairs of combat boots to work with the kevlar. Women post pictures of their boots they have on that day stating they’re channeling their inner DBAkevlar… Screw the high heels! 🙂
Great advice, thanks.
Breaking the WIT rule here too, but the “Linux – I assume this is built into Emacs somehow” line was too good to pass up 🙂
I’m still confused why your post didn’t just consist of a picture of Kendra and me (and possibly a goat)
That’s the upcoming version: Dear Men in Technology, Here’s How to Be Inspired.