I wasn’t sure I was going to have a post on this tragic event this year, but decided I wanted to add something special that I found back in June that I had on my other blog. See, that day was horrid, and we’ve seen so many things that happened on that day, and the planes hitting the towers (Flight 11 and Flight 175) in NYC and hearing about the plane that hit the Pentagon (Flight 77) and the one that crashed in Pennsylvania (Flight 93) was horrible. Seeing people jumping out of buildings to their death and seeing other people running once the towers started coming down and feeling inadequate and mad and empty and angry and hateful and scared…
Yes, even now some of those things still come up. Not as much anymore because there’s something in that spot now, something replacing what was there and something that’s honoring that day and those people who died and the heroes that sprouted up and did what they had to do, felt compelled to do, even if for some of them it wasn’t their job to do.
And then there’s the people in the video below, some unsung heroes that I just heard about this year. This was truly amazing, and if you have an ounce of decency you’ll watch the video, which was narrated by Tom Hanks, and you’ll feel something good deep inside. That is, if you have an ounce of decency; yeah, I’m calling people out. This video is that good, that special, and it deserves to be shared and seen by as many people as possible. The only reason I’m not putting it out separately on Facebook and Twitter is that I did so back in June. Now it’s your turn.
Never forget tragedy, but grow from it and try to make things better, be better, and never let terror win. With that, please watch this video:
Back on August 12th I shared a post here talking about my friend Rasheed and his living his dream of driving around the country, meeting people he’s known for years. At that time I said that I didn’t have a dream, and that I needed to work on finding one.
Just about 3 weeks later I think I’ve come across a dream. No, I know I’ve decided on a dream, because it’s strong, it’s big and audacious, it’s crucial, and I know if I apply, work hard, accept opportunity and make myself more vulnerable than I’ve been in the past I can get it done.
Vulnerable, I hear you asking? Actually yes, and once again this came from Rasheed. During our in-person meeting, he started telling me about a woman he saw in person named Brené Brown, who gave a talk on the subject of vulnerability. He tried explaining it to me and I have to admit that I didn’t get it. I didn’t argue it with him all that much because he was having problems explaining it to me. But once I saw the video, which is about 20 minutes, I got it, and I had to agree that it’s probably one of the most important business worthy and personal worthy presentations I’ve ever seen, and needed to see. Here’s the video:
If you didn’t watch it, shame on you. I’ll give you this much of it though. In essence, the biggest problem most of us have is marketing and sales. Brené states that every person that’s succeeded at anything has had to make themselves vulnerable to the possibility of being hurt. That’s because no one succeeds on their own, but you have to view it in more ways than one.
If you work for yourself, like I do, it means you have to market in some way. You either sell yourself to potential customers or to those who know how to make contacts so you can work and get paid for it. Even if you create things you need to sell yourself to someone so that you can sell your products. And it’s not easy because we have to be willing to be vulnerable, to get our feelings hurt, and to try again. And it’s easier to do if you have a dream and a goal worth achieving.
So, back to the dream. I’m not going to tell you what the actual dream is, though I could. And strangely enough, it’s not because of a conversation I had with my buddy Mitch Allen, who believes that no one should tell anyone anything about their dreams because studies have shown that when people put their dreams out to the public they don’t come true. Truthfully, other studies have shown that people not afraid to share their dreams will succeed, so that’s null and void.
I’m not sharing the dream because that’s not what’s important. “When” I attain the dream in the time I’m allowing myself to reach the dream, it’ll be more satisfying talking about it then. I’m giving myself a year to reach this dream. It’s a big, audacious hairy dream. It’s a six-figure dream. And I know I can reach it, track record or not.
So why am I writing about the dream if I’m not going to tell you what it is?
Two reasons for now. One, because I want to share my thought process, things I’ve been putting together, things I feel must be considered as I work towards this dream. If you have thoughts about setting plans for attaining your dreams and goals, something like this could benefit you. Or you might look at it and say “man, that’s just too much”; at least you’ll have something to compare it to. Two, because it’s possible that you, the public, will end up helping me reach my dreams while I help you reach your dreams, and frankly, my thinking is that the more people willing to take some chances, becomes a bit more vulnerable, and go after their dreams and goals at the same time is inspiring enough.
And let’s get this out of the way. Even if I don’t hit my dream exactly the process and forward thinking towards the dream is still a good thing. Jack Canfield talks about his goal of making $100,000 the first year of marketing his Chicken Soup book and making $92,000 or so instead. He wasn’t disappointed in that because it was more money than he’d ever made in his life to that point. That’s what we’re after here; who’s with me?
Here’s the thinking process, things that need to be considered:
1. Defining why I want the dream and what it will mean to me long term.
2. Defining how much money I need to shoot for to accomplish the dream and still take care of my present bills. Break down how much has to be earned monthly, weekly, and daily, possibly hourly.
3. Define how I’ll physically take care of myself. I must remember to take my medication and I must workout.
4. Define when I’ll work and rest. This one’s important because I don’t take enough time out to rest or workout or even eat, and if I don’t take care of me, I won’t be able to take care of anything.
5. Define all the ways I can make money, prioritize them, plan the marketing and sales and to whom and how.
6. Define if I need an accountability team or partner. This one is a crapshoot because it would be nice to talk to people who decide to join in on coming up with a dream and then setting up a once a week video call on Skype or Hangout to work on encouraging each other. Support systems are always nice.
7. Define all the people I already know that I need to contact in some fashion and then figure out which other industries and people I need to be contacting.
8. Continue with the things I do now that help market myself and brings in some money, which includes blogging of course. No, I will not give up blogging. As a matter of fact, it’s my intention within the next year to suddenly be in the mix of names that people mention when they start talking about the most influential bloggers in the world. That, of course, will depend a lot of those of you who stop by and read and comment, and I thank those of you who do it now.
9. Define what I do now that doesn’t get me closer to the dream and determine if it’s worth continuing with it. That one’s going to be tough to figure out because it borders on thinking about what wastes time versus what brings me a little bit of mental comfort and joy even for a few minutes.
10. Define how I can help others that help me. Did I mention that this isn’t something one does alone? I’ve always put out the offer that I’m willing to help others. Anything long will require payment but truthfully, sometimes people won’t accept help they don’t pay for.
I’m going to get this done, or I’m going to work myself to the bone trying to get there. I already have a goal charting system to work with; I just have to define everything else, stay on point, maximize my time and get to it. Everything truthfully starts on Tuesday, as the holiday is Monday (Labor Day to those not in the country), but I’ve already put a few things together in preparation; never wait until the last minute where your dream is concerned.
That’s it. I wish me luck, and I wish you luck in reaching for your dreams and goals as well.
Last year on August 25th, at this very time, my grandmother, Hazel Beverly, passed away. She was 90 years old, and she had a pretty good life as an adult, even if there were some years before that which were pretty tough. Yet she wasn’t the type to ever complain about anything; she was the epitome of cool. If you’d like to see any of what I wrote last year about this, you can check here and here.
You know, I almost missed this anniversary, and I feel kind of ashamed of that. It’s not that I didn’t remember the date; it’s that I wasn’t sure what the date was now. One of those things that happens when you work for yourself is that sometimes you have no idea what the date is. Sometimes you don’t even know what day it is, but I knew what day it was because I always know when Friday comes. Even though things have changed, there’s something about Fridays that I absolutely love.
You know, sometimes we get engrossed in so many things that we forget things that should be important to us. In this case it doesn’t mean that the first year of my grandmother’s passing wasn’t important; it’s that for whatever reason it’s not relevant in my life and that’s depressing. I remember dates all the time. I remember my dad’s birthday and when he passed away. I remember my mom’s birthday, as well as my wife’s. Heck, I know the date my wife and I met, December 7th 1994.
But these days everything comes down to planning and what’s planned. I have all the dates I need to remember in my Palm or phone. I just hadn’t remembered to put this date in my calendar; so unlike me.
I bring all of this up because next week I have a post going live that talks about some things I’m going to be working on, in a way. There are plans, and there are time frames. All of these things will be important to me over the next year.
But what can’t be lost in any of this are the personal things. Family, health, motivation… things people often forget when they’re working on their professional life. We all have to consistent work on ourselves, and that includes our family, friends, and anyone else we feel is important to our lives.
Or our past. I hope your rest has been peaceful so far Miss Hazel; miss you.
By now most everyone is familiar with the quote “Build it and they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams (which I’ve never seen; I’ll have to rectify that one of these days). Of course, most of us that blog know that’s not quite true. We spend our time writing posts and putting them out there for the masses, and unless we get into the blogosphere and find readers our dreams of blogging success just aren’t going to come true. So, the phrase is false.
Or is it? Not according to someone I just met in person a couple of weeks ago, but who I’ve known for at least 8 years online. He’s the guy in the picture to the right along with myself; I’m the guy on the right in the picture, just to clarify things.
His name is Rasheed, and he’s on an interesting quest. He’s taking a 2-month trek across the country with the intention of visiting people in 40 states that he’s met over the years online. He might be visiting some people he already knows as well; I didn’t clarify that one with him. He started out from Houston, went west, north, then east and eventually will head south down to Florida before getting back to Texas.
Of course we had to talk about this venture, and I asked him why and how he was doing it. He said that his dream was to be able to travel around the country once he got to a certain age to meet people and to see the sights. His reality was that he wasn’t rich and thus had to figure out a way to fund his travels.
However, he said that in his opinion it was more important to have the dream, visualize the dream, and see the dream as a reality by setting a date for when it would begin. In his mind, the dream would create the way he could get it done.
Then he found his way. One of the talents he has it that he can make balloon animals. What he realized is that children love them, people will pay someone to make them for their kids, and all he had to do was find places that would allow him to do it everywhere he went. His belief was that he could fund his entire trip by working only on weekends, when he could also catch up on his rest by staying in one place.
And it’s worked. He finds restaurants or malls that allow him to set up a place for a number of hours and he does his thing. And he’s making pretty good money from it; seems weekend work really can be lucrative if you can find something you love to do that other people love to partake of, and who hasn’t seen a child being amazed at watching balloons become animals?
So the dream worked; all is good, and that’s all it took. No, not quite. Leading up to the date he started preparing for the trip. He bought lots of large blue tubs for his supplies and clothes. He converted the back of his Kia Sedona into a sleeping space (that’s the beauty of being shorter than me, as I’d never fit lol). He bought what he needed so he could cook some meals if he didn’t want to eat fast food. And of course he stays connected via his laptop and smartphone.
He put all of this together over many months once he had the dream secure in his mind and he’d figured out how he was going to fund his trip. He did admit that he wasn’t sure if his trip would last even 2 weeks, since once we all leave the areas where we live we’re not sure how others will react to us but it’s worked out well for him.
This means you not only dream, but you start working towards your dream. This is a great lesson for all of us. Then he asked me about my dream and I said… I don’t have one. Wow, when did that happen? So, I have started thinking about a dream for myself, something to concentrate on, and if I come up with it you know I’ll write about it here because it’s my belief that it’s going to have something to do with readers of this blog, other blogs, and social media. In its own way this is an interesting trek. Thanks Rasheed; you keep on trekking as well.
You know, last month I did a series of posts that began with the term “blogging tips”. The whole series was done with the intention of giving people some shorter pieces on blogging as opposed to some of my longer pieces on the subject. I’m not sure how much people liked them as opposed to my normal writing but I do know that traffic increased some, though I think it was for the post on Getty Images more than the blogging posts, as it seemed to have touched a nerve.
It may be polluted but it’s my lake
I’ve always said that when you write a blog you should be aiming for one of three things: to educate, to entertain, or to inform. You can integrate them into each other if you wish, but you should at least achieve one of those three things with each post.
What I also hope to do with each post is touch someone in some fashion, most of the time in a positive way. If I can make a connection with someone that goes beyond “nice post” status, to the point where that person decides what I’ve given them is strong enough that they can use it in some fashion for their lives, then it’s all good.
I write a lot of motivational posts with that goal in mind, but there’s a post I wrote that was titled Know Your Audience Part II that touched a young man (okay, he’s 38, but that’s young to me) named Alan and encouraged him to write a post linking back to it because of some thoughts he’d been having at the time. The post he wrote was called Why Cicero’s 6 Mistakes Of Man Is All You Need. What’s funny about it is it’s the type of post that, had I read it first, it would have inspired me to write something.
I’m going to own up to something here. I’ve been in business 11 years, but the last 3 1/2 have been horrendous. I’m surviving by the skin of my teeth, which is never any fun. Frankly, there are times when I’m ready to chuck it all in and go jump in the lake; then I remember I can’t swim, I don’t want fish touching me, our lake is considered one of the most polluted in the world (yes, I said world) even though I like walking at it, I’m scared of dying, I know bugs would somehow be involved, my mother would blame herself for some reason, and my own mantra that states “Every day is another chance to start again.” I wouldn’t be true to my own mantra if I took myself out, would I?
And, of course, hearing about things like Alan being inspired by something I wrote, a guy I didn’t even know or know anything about until the middle of July, even though he wrote his post in January. And I realize that’s what it’s all about. It’s about having the opportunity to help change someone else’s life by being honest and forthright and calling out bad behavior when it’s exhibited and trying to teach and motivate and, well, sometimes just plain ol’ have fun.
I’m feeling pretty good as I write this; how many times do you get to feel this way when you write a blog post? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could feel it more often? I appreciate all of you; thanks for continuing to stop by and read what I have to say.