Fork in the road

Interesting week indeed and an epiphany of sorts. Just when you think you are ‘in’, you’ve cracked the ‘code’ somebody comes along and splashes water in your face. It causes you to evaluate where you really are and what’s that look like? Are you ok with status quo, or do you need to move on?

The week started with a post from Marcus Sheridan and his top 15 list of bloggers. A very representative group in the social media world. Whereas there were some worthy candidates not mentioned, it would be hard to argue against the ones who were.

From this list, I have actively engaged with most of them. When I responded to the post I was one of many. It literally turned into a block party; a love-fest if you will. All day there was witty banter back and forth and it was a fun day indeed. I was right in the middle of it and thought, ‘wow, maybe I do have this figured out’.

Then on Tuesday I read the absolutely inspiring guest post from Gini Dietrich on Troy Claus’ site. Gini has been very kind to me and she knows I don’t get too serious but still lets me hang around. However, her post absolutely blew me away so in response I felt it was not time to be silly. I think it threw her off, but it did make me think ‘am I just too silly at times’?

In the meantime I connected with Wendy Keneipp who is a blogger with Benefits Growth Network that has a site related to my paying gig. She actually took the time to read all my posts and was kind enough to share her experience following the ‘social media’ crowd. It’s always good to hear other people’s experiences and the challenges they faced.

On Wednesday, and still somewhat heady from a couple of days of feeling like I’m on the team, Griddy from NittyGriddyBlog had a fabulous post as well. She is offering to put together a list of any and all bloggers and when they post so everyone can get them on their schedule if they want to follow or subscribe.

Uh oh, do I have my pants on; I feel a draft? I do have a blog but still green and feel I am nowhere ready to go public so I initially declined. However, out of courtesy I did want to respond to her post and say what a great idea.

On Thursday, my friend Brankica from LiveUrLove called me out for being a party pooper and what was I even doing at the party. I know she was just making a funny, but it did get me thinking. What am I doing at the party? Where do I want to go with all this? Ultimately, I did give Griddy the info but reluctantly.

You can be the goofy guy only so long and after a while if you don’t start getting with the program it is very easy to get left behind. It’s nobody’s fault but mine, but it was a real eye opener going from being right in the mix to do you have any ID sir.

I guess the splash of cold water got my attention. There are no jealousies, feelings hurt, disappointments in the twitter world, right? Wrong, but you are not supposed to let it show are you? 

I’m guessing a lot of you had wake up calls along your journey that maybe didn’t feel so good; but we are stronger for it, right? The journey is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.

How many of you have changed direction or just got better at what you were doing when you reached your fork in the road? Have you been satisfied and happy with your results?

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46 thoughts on “Fork in the road

  1. One thing I’ve learned about the online world is you have to develop a thick skin REALLY QUICKLY! I, personally, love your personality and the silliness…it makes you stand out and I love someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. I don’t think you should change one thing!

    • I couldn’t agree more!! (and I do hate to agree with Gini:)

      Bill, you are on solid ground and making your way. You will see the fruits of your labor my friend, you will!!!

      Mr saaviest pants!

      Lisa

      • Ever hear about the squeaky wheel? I finally broke Gini, Griddy & Brankica down; they got soooo tired of hearing me whine they just gave in…….and the whole time I could hear Brankica saying in her Serbian accent “whatever you do, don’t feed him we will never get rid of him”………:).

        I’m learning; I’m trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not and be a big boy about it.

        Thanks for dropping by and for the record, I would take a bullet for all three of those ladies…………preferably a paint ball, but I’m there…….:).

  2. Bill,

    This is so honest and heart-felt and I’m glad I found my way over here – thanks to Gini :).

    I’m also gonna’ have to agree with her in saying that I love your personality and sense of humor as well. I always look forward to your comments as I know you have something genuine and sometimes even funny to share. And it’s a breath of fresh air.

    Being silly is a MUST at times. You should see me! Heck, I can be ridiculously silly and in all honesty I think it’s important to relax and have fun. It’s not always about having serious discussions. We can’t take ourselves too seriously all the time.

    I believe that a great sense of humor – much like yours – is a sign of intelligence. And I for one – welcome it on my blog anytime, any day :)!

    I look forward to reading more of your work Bill. This was great and I’m thankful to you for the kind mention here.

    To your blogging success.
    Cheers

    • Ok, you guys are making me smile…..

      Yes, I have that crappy-ass blog that you can’t get around or even leave comments w/out it getting caught in spam.

      I really am just using this as a platform until I decide my direction.

      If Gini put you up to this I’m going to put a knot on her head. I signed up for her webinar so I’ll have to give her the business…….

      I try to be that ‘what you see is what you get kind of person’. I don’t like hidden agendas. Good or bad, let me see what it is and I’ll decide from there.

      You guys (girls) are really the best and I sincerely appreciate you making the effort to stop by.

  3. Uh oh, looks who here; not so invisible after all, huh?

    Thanks for the kind words and advice. I mean, I don’t even really know these people; none of it’s personal, right?

    Sometimes I let myself fall in the trap of wanting what someone else has and personally that’s not me; I really don’t want for much. I know what it will take to kick it up a notch, so it’s entirely up to me to make it happen.

    I also know people like you who have put a tremendous amount of time and effort to get where you are but still very generous with your help and advice. There might be more efficient ways for me to reach my goals but still no shortcuts.

    It’s kind of like when I decided to do a marathon and set out my training plan; I knew it would be a challenge but also knew there would be no shortcuts. My goal was to break 4 hrs and when I finished 3:42 I felt like I really accomplished something.

    This is no different, but feel like I’m still in the jogging phase. However, I think I’m gaining some traction and will have direction soon. Then it’s Katy bar the door…………look out world………:).

    You know that other than your family I’m like your # 1 fan, but I also know there are many who you have supported that feel the same way. I love it and I’m so happy for you.

    Ok, this was griddyesque and not even funny…..what’s up with that?

    Just wait until you see when I polish up this thing; thanks for taking the time to stop by.

  4. Well, I sure hope you know I was trying to be funny as you always are. It was a compliment to you!!!

    Actually, I love your sense of humor and love kiddin’ with you, if I thought you were a bad person, I never would.

    Note to Gini: the fact that I kid with you sometimes, doesn’t mean I forgave you #thechocolatecakeyouoweme

    Anyway, Bill, I know exactly how you feel because I changed direction end of last year. You created an awesome community around yourself and great relationships with the best bloggers, like Marcus, Gini, Ingrid, etc.

    So I am sorry if there is misunderstanding here, but I love what you are doing!!!

    • No misunderstanding; I know if you weren’t diggin’ on me you wouldn’t have even made the effort to comment……….:)

      But it did make me think “where do I want to go with this”? Am I always going to be on the fringe just looking in.

      You guys (girls) have been the absolute best and very supportive. You have tried to pull me along and I haven’t been the easiest student.

      I really appreciate you making the effort stopping by my top 10 worst blog blunders site. I just say you responded to another post that was in spam….

      If Gini put you up to this, she’s in big trouble….

      I’ll get there and you’ll be proud. Thanks.

  5. Hi Bill, Maybe I’m walking in on a private conversation, but this is a blog so why not put in my two cents? I’ve enjoyed what you’ve written so far, both the tone and the topics. And from everything I’ve learned about blogging, you should be yourself. So be silly, funny, goofy, whatever, but most importantly be yourself. If that doesn’t work for others, well too bad for them. It’s your blog so you call the shots.

    Keep doing what you’re doing with your head held high.

    JMHO. 🙂

    • Only private because it’s invisible……:)

      As you can see, if I whine loud enough my friends will step up and do anything to shut me up. And I will tell you that Gini, Griddy & Brankica are the real deal; they always amaze me. Please check them out, it will be well worth your time.

      My struggle is getting properly set up. I came in through the back door and made some relationships but now I have to get the tech part down not only for people who are kind enough to stop by but for myself as well so I can manage my connections.

      I always was ‘that guy’ when being described to a blind date “but he’s got a great personality”……….:).

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. Good luck in your journey.

    • Will work for food………I see you got strong-armed too…….I think they got tired of hearing me whine……..

      I concur, just be yourself whatever ‘that’ is.

      Thanks for dropping by, and hopefully soon I will clean up my site and roll it out proudly.

      Take care……

  6. Bill,

    I have changed directions so many times that the people who see me think I am lost. I have been influenced by critical feedback, discourgaged by a lack of traffic, and frustrated by the fakeness of people who generate fake relationships. I now create my own path. My blog is my creation and it is a free way for me to express my feelings how ever I want.

    Now will this make me an A-lister, no. But I sure as heck will have a great time on my journey. This is your space to be and create whatever it is you want. Plus I like to laugh. 🙂

    • I agree; at times I have been discouraged or felt left out, but as Gini has said you need thick skin in here.

      Ultimately I want to just be myself. Hopefully whatever my content is, it sounds like me and it’s readable.

      I follow a couple of industry related posts and their blogs are really, really good. However, they don’t have a connected enough network to drive any traffic there. I’m sure that is discouraging after awhile.

      I didn’t really expect to get the traffic that I have at this point, but it’s certainly cool.

      I’m at that fork, I just don’t know how wide the turn will be.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by Frank; good to see you.

    • “I have changed direction so many times people think I’m lost…”

      I can SO relate! Great comment. It is about finding our way. I think being a new blogger is a bit like being a teenager. You feel like everyone is watching every mistake you make and then you are heartbroken to find out no one is watching you at all!

      Here’s to being authentic and finding our way forward!

      • Yes, two schools of thought……….totally exposed, but sometimes like being naked in the dark……..nobody can you see you anyway.

        First of all, I have some really great friends who have been kind to me as you can see who dropped by.

        Secondly, I thought if I’m going to write I might as well drag the link along w/ me when I comment.

        Now that I actually have people stopping by I need to get up to speed w/ the site because it is probably not the easiest to get in and out of.

        I’m having fun with it and as you can see I’m generally not too serious.

        Yes, the phone call has been a highlight of my blogging adventure so far; next step I’m doing Gini’s webinar on Thurs. I also have some people who want to do a Skype….that could be interesting.

        Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I still have Mimi’s rules of order so hopefully I haven’t violated too many of them. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, huh?

  7. Hey Bill – It’s amazing how new people can come into your life and have such an impact, isn’t it?! Kevin and I have talked a lot about the LU crew and how much we’re enjoying you all. That’s the incredible nature of social media and despite being surrounded by naysayers every day, I think it’s fantastic.

    I think that with social media, it’s like anything else – you have to go to the places and talk about the things that you’re passionate about. If it isn’t driving you to really *want* to talk about it, then it just isn’t going to work. I love thinking about all aspects of businesses – how they work and how individual each one is. I want to talk to people about their business models, sales processes, marketing, and operations all the time. I want to get to know the people running the companies. It drives me every day, and it’s what I *want* to think about and talk about. So, yeah, that’s the right place for me.

    I can’t answer that for you, but paying gig or not, it’s got to be something that you can get excited about. Who knows, maybe all of this will inspire you to change careers altogether!

    I’m flattered to be a part of your fork! My fork feels very multi-pronged trying to figure it out, but I can say that once you find that right path and make your commitment to it, the distractions are not nearly so enticing – despite the struggles and frustrations of trying to find and engage with the right audience.

    I think my biggest issue is that I love to sit around and read everything – which is too much & can definitely be distracting. If I could figure out how to get paid for that gig, I’d certainly give it a try!

  8. Hey Wendy, look who got mentioned in my post and it was actually read by some people……….:).

    Yes, some of my posts have been very vanilla and social media directed. I do want to start publishing ‘stuff’ with a little more meat to it.

    I’ve got some ideas and a couple of things I want to write and run by you guys and maybe guest post. I will tell you, Gini, Griddy and Brankica from above are about as plugged in as you can get. They would definitely stop by if I published something……I just want it to be worthy……

    Yes, I’m enjoying the community and like the ‘stuff’ you guys are doing. I think with a little work we can start driving people to your site.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you have a good weekend.

  9. Hey Bill, blogging with the purpose of building quality relationships with people you like, admire and learn from (visa-versa) in my opinion is the only way to go with your blogging efforts.

    With this strategy in mind, blogging becomes more about people and personalities more than anything else.

    You reveal your personality very effectively. You impress people like @Gini and others in the communities we frequent because of your willingness to put yourself out there and share a piece of your life with us while adding value to other people’s lives.
    In my opinion, you have the most important ingredient that is necessary to build a thriving blog… Being yourself is the one unique thing nobody else can bring to the party, and you do that quite well sir.

    Cheers to your blogging journey!!!

    • Good question……..I’m sure those buttons are out there somewhere. This is a very basic platform and yes, I probably violate the 10 worst blogging site mistakes but I’m getting there. Give me a little time….

      I do appreciate your comments and I admire what you have achieved in this arena. Hopefully, it has met your expectations.

      It’s easy for me to share and let people in because that is my personality. I just hope that what comes out in the written word is readable and brings value to whoever is taking the time to stop by.

      I’m glad we got hooked up and look forward to more of your quality posts.

      I’ll try to beef my site up a little bit this weekend. I think because I’m using the free site I probably have some limitations.

      Hope you have a great weekend.

  10. Hi Bill

    Glad it’s not only me getting onto you about share buttons. See there are heaps of us who would retweet your posts…..if only we could find that tweet button 😉

    And invisible, you??!! I don’t think so. You have connected up with some impressive bloggers/marketers out there. Wow, I don’t even get to talk with some of them lol

    I enjoy dropping in from time to time to see if there is anything new happening and another post to comment on. Being you seems to be working….so why change things? Except for getting a tweet button 😉

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • I do make it difficult don’t I…….I did find out I can’t add the tweet button on my free site so at least I know what I need to do now.

      I really do appreciate your support and effort; it means a lot.

      I really do have some heavy weights on this thread, don’t I? They were just being nice, but I appreciated their effort as well.

      I really am going to work on making a visit a much easier experience.

      Good to see you.

  11. I’m here! Am I fast, or what? OK, Bill, to echo what everyone up top has said, you Rock and your wit and satire are part of who you are. I’m sure that’s who you are IRL; that’s who you should be here as well. So as not to echo EVERYTHING said above, I’ll answer your Fork question.

    I had my fork in the road about 3 months ago when I grabbed the attention of Gini Dietrich with a shameless video about how wonderful I think she is. Still can’t believe I did that and my husband questions my ‘affection’ for her. At any rate, that was a huge turning point in figuring out the fun part of blogging. It was also when I felt completely naked before a whole host of folks that I wasn’t quite ready to talk to. Careful what you bargain for!

    I also wrote a post about Doral Chenoweth (the videographer that discovered the golden voiced homeless DJ…remember that?) and lo and behold, he stopped by, too. Then I did a shout out to Todd Defren, and darn if I didn’t get a tweet from him! This was awesome…until I looked at my blog from other’s eyes and looked at other people’s blogs. Whoa. Time for changes. I began by adding some share buttons, my social sites, and a new commenting platform.

    Again, I shamelessly commented about how much I’d love a Livefyre system (beta) in a comment on someone’s blog(can’t remember who) and bam, there she was. But my site was not where I wanted it to be. So, I got busy. I updated my ‘look’ based on what I thought would be best for me and the folks I was talking to. I read every blog post I could about great blog sites (Shonali has a series called Blogging for Grasshoppers, or something to that effect – I use it religiously) and I just started making small changes.

    One day, Marcus commented and asked if I had a subscription? I already installed Feedburner RSS and after checking Marcus’ site, saw he used the same for his email subscription. Bam. Easy. Truly, it’s not too difficult – and I’m not at all a Techie.

    The point of my ramble is to say that if you have questions about site logistics or set up, there’s usually someone in this circle of people who can easily and willingly answer it. This is a very giving community of people. You have the content part down pat. Don’t sweat the blogging schedule thing, just put yourself out there; you’ll be surprised at the results!

    Oh, and stick to those topics you’ve got in your about box up there – they’re good. 🙂

    • That’s funny because Ms Gini was my first fork too. I was totally clueless about what I wanted to do w/ twitter and I RT’d a post fr Barbara Nixon which had included Gini in the MB tweet race. Next thing I know, Gini followed me.

      I checked her out, started engaging, she responded and then everything fell into place. I too have that level of affection for Ms Gini so tell your husband we are probably just a long list of admirers. But each and every one of us has a special relationship with her.

      I think if I’m going to have the heavy weights drop by I should beef up my site. I’m still doing the free gig so I might have to switch.

      I’m still evolving but I cherish the opportunity to meet so many great people…….like you.

      Other than hearing my voice (Fla cracker) I think my personality shows in my writings; so I would probably be like you imagined. I’m sure much cooler and more dashing in person but other than that, pretty close……..:)

      I did sign up for Gini’s webinar on Thurs taking it to the next level, so I’m hoping to find some direction there.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by even if I do have food on the floor and those little roaches doing donuts after I hit them w/ the Raid.

      Hope you have a great weekend.

  12. Hi Bill,

    Your post reminds me that I need to write about the evolution of blogging or should I say the evolution of my blogging.

    Blogging is about honesty, transparency and introspection- or at least that is what I think works. It takes time for bloggers to find their voice and their communities and that often changes.

    So when I think about the evolution of blogging I think of where I started and the places I stopped along the way. Sometimes I picture it as being similar to a giant book that contains chapters that are absolutely fascinating and others that are not so much.

    Take your time and enjoy the moments there are many that are worth experiencing.

    • Hey Jack, thanks for taking the time to stop by.

      It certainly has been a journey and I’ve met some great people along the way. However, as I continue my journey I see that I am more engaged with some and others…..unfortunately.

      I have a ways to go to be organized enough so I can be more efficient, but I’ll figure it out.

      Yes, I hope I am as trasnparent as possible and people know that what they ‘see’ is what they get.

      Good to see you and I hope I have the opportunity to get to know you better.

  13. Hey Bill,

    Man am I late to the party. I was actually out-of-town on biz last week, so I was thrown off my normal schedule. But I’m back in the game now!

    First off, I commend you for your efforts in reaching out and connecting with people. I truly believe that networking plays a serious part in the success for a blogger. And you have made it a point to extend yourself far and wide – which is awesome and sets a great example to many folks who haven’t gone there.

    I think you being yourself is what everyone loves about you Bill. Heck, I call myself a hustler…and most people have a negative connotation of that term, but still, in time, people come around because they realize that I keep it real and have the best intentions. If I were to put on a different hat, I wouldn’t be being myself – so in time I would fizzle out!

    I love what you’re up to and happy to be here to follow the progress. Your high on my list of blogs that I follow so I’ll be around for the long run.

    Have a great week.

    PEACE

    • Well, I don’t know if it was a real party; we only had pickles out of the jar and saltine crackers w/ ketchup dip………

      I was hesitant to link my blog to my comments because I really do need to work on my site; if nothing else to make if easy as possible to get in and out of, but I thought if I’m writing I might as well throw it out there.

      I think the fact that I have taken the time to engage in a meaningful way and not just a way to build traffic, has really helped. In fact if someone asked me how to do ‘twitter’ that would be my suggestion.

      That’s what I admire about you, you do keep it real. I will say when I first saw hustler it made me think “ok, what is this guy up to”, but as I have seen your presence it doesn’t take long to see what you are really about……and worth connecting to.

      Hope you had some good time off and look forward to seeing you around.

    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by; it does appear I am out and about.

      I was hesitant to link my blog to my comments because my site needs work, but I thought what the heck; I’m writing so I should at least make it available, huh?

      I am light hearted and jovial by nature and I’m glad to see it comes across in my blogosphere presence. I would think if you met me, other than being much more handsome in person, there would be no surprises………:).

      Marcus is the man, isn’t he. I’m going to quit telling him though……….somebody has to keep him humble.

      Good to see you.

  14. I am finally tuning in!! I can’t believe I was so self involved that I missed the evolution of your site! I think you’re onto great things. I’m grateful my attempt to put a voice with a persona led me to call you. I did because your voice in comments is always authentic and I like your humor. I have a really, really difficult time paying attention to people who take themselves too seriously.

    You’re creating a great community and it’s because you are who you are. Carry on, Bill!

    • Well then you should be able to hear me loud and clear because I don’t take myself too seriously.

      No worries on not being able to stop by. One, you have your payin’ gig to tend to; two, there are a lot of great blogs out there; and three, I really am invisible to a certain degree.

      Thanks for helping my numbers, I think I might be like all-world or something now……..:)

      Hope you are having a great day.

  15. Hi Bill!

    How did I not know this was here? Shame on me for missing your good work? Knock me over the head next time I miss your post, okay?

    Talk about looking for direction! I find I am still doing that every day of my career, and I’ve been at this in different phases for over 20 years! I love the community I’ve become a part of because of all of these new tools we have been given, but I also know that I need to focus myself now and then.

    Your post is GREAT, your honesty is refreshing, and your sense of humor is welcome in my Tweet Stream anytime!

    • Well, well, well, my circle is complete now; look who dropped by……..:)

      I really have been under the radar; I’m dragging it around when I make my comments and right now that is how I’m generating the traffic. I was hesitant to do this at first, but then I thought if I’m taking the time to write why not, huh?

      There are some things I need to do with my site to make me easier to engage with, but I’ll get there.

      I think we always have to be willing to change if we want to grow; sometimes that means a big fork in the road which can be scary.

      It’s people like you who have enriched my experience in this ‘world’. There are times I have been frustrated or feel slighted, but I just need to remember it’s not always about me; it’s not healthy to ‘want’ what others have.

      I’m learning and Ms Gini has been SO helpful but I don’t need to tell you that. It’s amazing how many people she touches but everyone is made to feel uniquely special.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I hope you have a great day.

  16. Bill, look at what you started! LIke Ingrid said, that was a wonderfully heartfelt post. It’s nice to have so many generous souls watching your back, isn’t it?

    – @barrettrossie

    • Lookie here………when I reply to your response I will have 40 comments………I’m big time now, huh?

      Actually, it has been kind of neat when people take the time to stop by and comment. If I would have known I would have this kind of activity I probably would have developed my site a little better.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to comment. Just about everyone who commented to this post are ‘A’ listers in my book. They are all good people.

      I hope to see you around and good luck on your journey.

  17. Hey Bill,

    I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I LOVED your post. I love your writing style and I can’t tell you how many times my readers have told me to just be me. I believe that’s what makes us all unique in our own right and attract the people to us who appreciate our sense of style and want to connect or work with us.

    I’ve recently been hit with my own fork in the road which I just wrote about in my last post. Things happen, things change, time to wake up and consider where we are going.

    I hope to get to know you a little better as time goes on but I can tell I like you already. I like people who speak their mind and tell it like it is, their own way.

    I say keep it up and you’ll continue getting 40 or more comments. Yep!

    Have a great one.

    Adrienne

    • Hello Adrienne, nice of you to stop by.

      40 comments is funny to me because the only thing I do to promote this is to drag the link around w/ me when I comment on other posts. I think it is a testament to the relationships I have built by engaging first and letting people have a chance to get to know me.

      I’ve been chided more than once to get a WordPress.org acct so I can add all the proper buttons to make it easier to get me out there. I’m working on it.

      I do try to write like I talk; hopefully people find it ‘readable’ and I’m bringing some value to the encounter.

      I’ll go check your blog out as well.

      Good to see you and certainly hope our paths cross again.

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