What Being A Part Of The You Are The Media Family Means To Me. By Gordon Fong

Lets share what being a part of the You Are The Media family means to others.

Gordon Fong from Datacenta Secure Hosting is a valued member of the community. How has being a part of something help shape the way we look at the world, the role we serve and the personalities we shape.

Here is Gordon’s journey.

“After 15 years of hiding from other local businesses, I set out over the past year to really step forward and throw myself into the networking world; the world with a parade of suits and business cards shoved into each other’s hands.

There’s no denying this does happen, for example only recently someone actually asked me if my insurance was due for renewal as they passed me their card. My initial thought was “Steady on, treat it like a first date until we get to know each other better.” However, I did smile broadly when I discovered a photograph of my  face in the back of the Dorset Business magazine taken when I attended a local Business Chamber lunch, which for so long I had scoffed at.

When I stepped into Mark Masters’ fledgling You Are The Media Lunch Club event in 2016, I thought there would be dozens of  experienced marketers, or is it marketeers? (see I don’t even know that), and other digital animals.

My first thought was “This is going to be awkward.”

The format however, as an informal welcoming hour or so for people to gather over some food with no table settings, is what made it really work. Obviously, Mark’s personality is an integral part of that, as well as his role of curating and steering the interactive discussion.

After a few months it began to feel a lot more comfortable and more importantly, it was something to look forward to. Starting off with one guest speaker, the Lunch Club soon expanded to adding a couple of short slots made up from people at the event. A new take on being inclusive indeed.

The talks ranged across a diversity of topics and business sectors but always with an emphasis on creating an interesting mix. What also emerged was a common thread of honesty and storytelling.

Not one ego on stage to be seen. Mark would mention what other people had been doing and really showing that the event was about us in the end.

 The word transformation, as well as passion, can be overly used these days so I won’t use them here but being part of this momentum, being part of a group of open and gracious people has helped me understand many things that have held me back in the past.

I now realise that I am my biggest asset.

Through putting time and effort into events and social media, people now recognise me, stop me in the street or at other events, and point out that I am Gordon Fong – not hard given how I look!

I’m definitely not writing that in an egotistical way by any means. Bar one person, this is the first time I have articulated the following in public. Growing up in England during the 1970s and 80s wasn’t great, as one of only a handful of non-white families in a parochial new town in the North East.  Believe me when I say that standing out from the crowd then was not a good thing.

I literally kicked ass at karate competitions when I was younger, but hated standing on the podium and even worse if I won. That curtailed my competitive career. Now, standing out and standing up is a good thing.

The honesty of Dan Willis’ talk at the Digital Innovation Show earlier this year really gave me the green light to open that “box” above and look inside. There was also a point in David McQueen’s talk at Silicon Beach 2017 that struck a deep personal chord, so much so that I had to check myself. Someone recently pointed out to me, “You cannot fail as you the person, you might fail in your role, but not as you.”

Recently I have proactively connected people to other people, to ease them into the Lunch Club or to get in front of the Bournemouth Echo and a local school. I felt happily duty bound from the kindness of others.

And now, approaching 50, I proudly stand here as Gordon Fong. 

Am I OK to use the “transformation” word now, to relate to what the Lunch Club has meant to me?”

Comments.

  1. It just goes to show what a well organised and inclusive network of supportive business and creative people can achieve. The fact that you have “claimed” your “you” Gordon is a beautiful and huge achievement and I salute you. Susan.

  2. Thanks Susan, it can be a lonely journey, which is why it is important to have people around where nothing feels forced or some form of hidden agenda. Looking forward to where this heads in 2018…Mark

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