Twitter by Pete Simon - click image for more information

This has been a great month. Not only has it been my best sales month to date but I have experienced feeling like a bona fide rock star, added several crazy smart & totally ambitious clients to my calendar, landed 2 stellar guest posts, and started to help organize 3 panel discussions with people I’m thrilled even know my name.

Like I said, mind-blowing month. And it’s not even over.

My word for 2011 is “hustle.”

[Hustling is] lots of work, lots of messaging.
Style with substance = impact.
— Chris Guillebeau, On Hustling

Hustling is doing great work and making sure people know about it. It makes your stomach feel a little weird but it gets easier the more you do it.

Hustling might require some reprogramming – it has for me – as you need to ignore the little voice inside your head that says “if it’s good enough, someone will find it.” ‘Cause that’s just not true. It’s a wide, wild world and you’ve got to shout it from the mountaintops when you have something to say.

So what about Twitter now?

Twitter is my platform of choice. Low barrier, fast & furious, easy to engage. I build relationships, I answer questions, I offer advice, I broadcast my message.

And I hustle.

At the end of last year, I put together a list of “movers & shakers.” It’s a private list – so don’t go looking for it! – and, while it includes some universally known rock stars, it is mostly made up of up & comers who are doing great work, looking for collaborative partners, and are still interested in building relationships.

Bloggers, speakers, authors, conference organizers, artists, agents, journalists. This list is stacked.

The list started small. Then it got bigger. And bigger. My list is constantly evolving – far from a closed clique of popular kids, it’s a growing, expanding love fest.

My list moves just fast enough that there’s always something new to see but nothing ever gets buried. That means I can always see what important-to-me people are saying: what questions they’re asking, what they need help with, what game-changing things they’ve written, what they had for lunch.

I respond. I retweet. I engage.

And most of the time, they tweet back.

Then there might be direct messages, blog comments, affiliate offers, joint ventures, interviews, email exchanges.

Twitter is the beginning but it’s certainly not the end of these growing relationships.

Twitter isn’t about tips, tricks, & tactics. It’s about communicating. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone to help others and to receive help. It’s about finding those people who light you up and not paying attention to those who darken your day. It’s about being fully present while staying sane in the constant barrage of information.

Twitter allows me to be the social me I want to be, pushing the “real” me closer & closer to that ideal.

I’m making friends, gaining partners, and doing some real heavy lifting.

All thanks to my Twitter list.

So if anyone tells you that Twitter isn’t worth the time, I’m telling you it’s all in how you use this fine tool.