Do I know you?

Or better yet, how much do you want me to know of you?

Who are all these people?

As I travel through this crazy social media world I am noticing some patterns. And this is probably more indicative to the ‘social’ crowd I currently hang with so my observation might be somewhat limited.

There are certain topics that usually don’t get a lot of play. The big two, religion and politics which can be dicey in any social setting, and family and jobs.

As we try to be socially acceptable or politically correct, some of these topics probably need to be left on the back burner. However, I’m curious enough to want to know more than just what I see on the surface.

Who signs your paycheck?

It seems to run the gamut from the very obvious, social media is the impetus of their existence to the purely personal and all points in between.

But sometimes it is hard to tell because no one really talks about it. To the tweeners, what are you doing during the day when you are not online? I’m guessing for many you are trying to find a way to make social media work for you, but you still have another job to put food on the table.

If you are curious, I am a commercial insurance broker/agent with @LanierUpshawΒ . My specialty is larger accounts who typically are interested in non-traditional financing, risk sharing; essentially self-insured with some protection.

We coordinate setting up captive, large deductible, or retrospective rating programs for these entities and charge a fee for our service. That is how I get paid. It is not unusual for these accounts to have premiums in excess of $2-3 million dollars. Big number, huh?

The good news is, it is sustainable income; I don’t wake up January 1 having to start all over again. I am on straight commission and have never had a ‘guaranteed’ paycheck. I also have never had two paychecks the same; ever.

Who is the rest of your team?

I am married and have been for 28+ years. Even though my wife thinks this online involvement is foolishness, she tolerates it up to a point.

I have two sons; one is a prosecuting attorney in Ft Myers, Fl and the other is in Ft Myers as well with his brother and looks like he will try to pursue a career in insurance like his dad.

Was that too personal? Do you even care? I just didn’t want you to think I’m on an island out here all by myself.

What about this social media?

In my world of sales it is all about visibility, getting known and credibility. My involvement in social media is very similar to how I interact in real life. As I grow this, I will be using it for the same purpose; giving people the opportunity to get to know me.

There might not be a single person in my current network I will ever do business with. However, you might know someone I would like to meet and vice versa. You know me, who my connections are, I might be in a position to make an introduction for you as well.

What are you trying to get out of social media? Do you feel you have been successful so far; making progress? If you are sitting here one year from now and doing the same thing, would you consider your efforts successful?

Let me close

Yes, this was a post about ‘me’ and I apologize; but I hope if you feel compelled to share your story I would love to hear it.

Everybody has their own place; their struggles; their successes and dreams and I would like to know what’s working for you.

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108 thoughts on “Do I know you?

  1. Bill wrote: “There are certain topics that usually don’t get a lot of play. The big two, religion and politics which can be dicey in any social setting, and family and jobs.”

    That may be because your audience as well as your online social network may not be closely tied to either politics or religion, Bill. The Autism Community is extremely political and polarized, and sometimes seemingly ridiculously so for many community outsiders.

    I also know of a few atheists and billboard Christians who bang their heads against each other’s respective online walls and where the topic of religion provides a battlefield that movie directors of the Golden Age could only dream of having for their productions. 8-o

    As for jobs not being a subject that’s seen often online, it’s seen by way of marketing and promotion of services, products, mentoring, et al. Most who market and promote do so from a basis of their professional expertise ergo it is job related, just not in-your-face and it’s definitely not start to finish.

    And family … well, with all the predators online these days, many people are extremely cautious as to how much information they share with strangers online and in real life (a good thing, too, I might add). In cases such as my 15-year-old son, he has a noticeable web presence by virtue of who he is and what he does to help make this world a better place in which to live. Just last week, he won the 2010 Youth Volunteer of the Year Award in Peterborough (Ontario, Canada) and, as you can imagine, there was lots of traditional and non-traditional media and blogger attention.

    LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK5YMG3lWj0

    I think it’s fantastic that this blog was about YOU, Bill. People love to connect with others. That’s why we have business and social functions in real life and why socialization is encouraged from the moment we enter elementary school. We all benefit, to varying degrees, from social interactions whether those interactions take place face-to-face or online. And I, for one, am happy to know more about you.

    Thank you for such a well-written blog article, Bill. I’m sure that many of your online acquaintances and friends will leave your page feeling as if they know just a little bit better than they did just a day ago.

    • Welcome back Elyse and fantastic news for your son. The 2010 Youth Volunteer Award is pretty special and I know you are one proud mama (we say mama down south……….:). It was great to see Lewis and what a great looking kid.

      You made good points about why or why not people choose to reveal things about themselves and how much they are willing to reveal. I have read some pretty incredible stories that were much more revealing than I would have been comfortable talking about; but it was a powerful message.

      I think the give and take in the social media world, people tend to play nice and keep it somewhat vague. The other consideration is, does my audience even want to hear this?

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I hope you are having a fantastic day and tell Mr Lewis S congratulations for me.

      • Thanks, Bill. I’ll be sure to pass your congrats along to my son. He’s got a couple of fundraising events in the works for this Fall as well as a documentary he’s working on entitled, “More Than A Label.”

        And yes, I agree with you that some people post far too much information on line about their persona lives. In fact, I know of one person online who blogged and tweeted about all sorts of things from cheating on her husband to being picked up on an outstanding warrant … all without any concern or worries despite having two young children at home. 8-o

        The kind of blog articles one writes is something that is determined to a large degree by what the main thrust of the blog is. I have 3 different blogs:

        1. Idiomation runs from Monday to Friday and deals with common expressions we use or hear, either on a regular basis or once in a lifetime. Each entry researches the expression’s roots and gives examples of how the expression has been used in the past (today’s entry, by the way, is “far out” and is pare of “On The Outs” week at Idiomation).

        2. Elyse Bruce is a much less timetable defined blog where I talk about all sorts of things music, marketing, and family related. You’ll find lots of stories on that blog about my life with Lewis and his insights (which, I might add, are oftentimes humourous as well as enlightening and inspiring).

        3. Midnight In Chicago which is far more serious than the previous two blogs and, depending on what’s happening in the disability community at large, runs anywhere from 1 to 5 blog articles per week.

        Each blog has its own audience that rarely crosses over. However, each blog has great value in that it provides people with information that matters to them.

        I like to think of your blog as doing the same … providing information that matters to your readers. I know I have enjoyed the articles I’ve read on here. πŸ™‚

        Keep up the good work. πŸ˜€

    • Wow, I didn’t know you had 3 blogs going; that certainly must keep you busy. I will definitely have to check them out.

      Your son sounds like a real go getter and knows how to get things done.

      Yes, I have been able to write to my audience and if I deviate too far from this concept I too might have to decide it it’s necessary to have a separate blog.

      Good luck in your efforts.

  2. Bill, you would have been the one along the parade route who risked saying to the Emperor…”Dude, serious wardrobe malfunction…”

    You continue to hit the nail on the head regarding what is missing in social media. I was wondering what kind of insurance you sell, and now I know! And you’re right, I can hold that in my info. bank and use it to connect you to people who may need help at some point, which is one of my favorite things to do.

    My husband started out as a prosecutor. I hope your son is finding it rewarding (there were times I found it a little scary, actually) and that your other son (do they have names?) takes some time to enjoy this post-college time before taking work too seriously. (I can say that, because he’s not mine!)

    When I recreated my website, it was expressly so people could answer some of these questions in the same spot they found my blog. I think it’s important to build a relationship with as much information as possible. On the blog over the years I’ve shared everything from Will and Patrick’s first brothers’ cross country adventure to Mary Charlotte’s first game playing up an age level in soccer. There are very few scenarios that don’t have a metaphoric influence on me, so it makes it easy for me to glean posts from life. I have found that people like knowing what kinds of things go on in my world. It liberates them to share theirs with me in return.

    The bloomin’ blog…well…it just depends on the day, but if I get too strategic with it, I find I block the channel God wants to use. I talk a lot about things of a spiritual nature and have cast a pretty inclusive net while being frank about my own power source as a practicing Christian. (And I require a lot of practice.) I have friends who travel a wide variety of religious and spiritual paths. I believe they all lead to goodness. I’m not afraid to write those types of things because I don’t make my living off the blog. I make my living as a consultant. And if a prospective client is comfortable with me saying things like that, I wouldn’t be comfortable working for them. There are other career opportunities in the works that might take me back into the “real” workforce next year, but that is unfolding carefully and slowly. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting hoping for connections just…like…this!

    Thanks so much for taking the conversation to a new level, Bill. You are a gift. A very visible gift.

    • Don’t we all need the practice…………:).

      My son’s names are Will (the prosecutor) and Justin (the recent grad). They have a close relationship so when Will took the job in Ft Myers and not really knowing anybody down there, Justin thought it would be as good of place as any to try to find a job. Therefore, they are roommates and it has worked out well.

      I’m probably not going to beat anybody over the head about what I do for a living, but if we became friends face to face I’m sure it would come up in conversation. If I know you go to Sunday School with Joe and Joe happens to be the president of the XYZ company; I might ask if you would be willing to let me use your name when I contact him or even make a call for me. In my arena, all I am looking for is an introduction and opportunity. These initial meetings usually determine real quickly if we need to have a second meeting or not.

      I like the human side of people and how you can tie in real stories and how it relates to other parts of your life.

      Good luck in your journey; I certainly hope the blog allows freedom, creativity and recognition in your own way and how you choose to use it.

      I do appreciate the kind words as well; you always bring a smile to my face.

      It was good to see you this Monday and hope your day goes well.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit myself. I’m looking to launch a family-first blog that bridges the gap between family and work. I think social media helps restore souls to businesses. It’s nice that the Internet is not as faceless as it once was. I find that personal stories make people more easy to identify with and credible.. But some people still value their anonymity, especially if online activity is not the main money maker.

    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by an comment.

      Yes, the internet does allow a great deal of anonymity if you so choose; or the ability to create your own persona. However, I am social by nature and I like my relationships to be a little deeper than “hello, how are you”. I’m not overly nosy and I don’t want to get all in your personal stuff but if we are going to be friends, I would like to know a little bit about you.

      Please let me know when you launch the blog; I would love to check it out.

  4. Bill, I found you by way of comments on Marcus Sheridan’s site. There are many reasons I want to enter the social media realm, but to do that effectively I certainly need to open up a bit, so here goes. Thanks for the push.

    1. This whole blogging thing is kind of intoxicating, really. I’m now obsessing over it a bit.

    2. But, I am struggling with an overall theme. (That’s why I’m intrigued by your posting style.)

    3. So, I’ll keep at it and hopefully keep hanging out in your neck of the woods and leave some comments on your fine blog as I progress.

    4. I’m on the wrong side of 45, been married 20 years, with two boys. I have a branding and design business, but want to expand into social media. Not sure if my goal is to augment my business or for the blog to become something entirely different.

    5. I like how you started on Twitter and would love to learn more. I’m very “green” on Twitter.

    6. Yes, I’m the ten millionth person who wants to start a blog, but this blogging stuff seems like fun. I’m hoping it is.

    Six is probably enough. Thanks!

    • Hey Craig, thanks for stopping by and certainly know what you mean on being on the other side of 45…………..:). Just a number though, right?

      1-3 – everything I read was have a goal, have a theme, blah, blah, blah. The ONLY reason I opened a WordPress account to blog was because I thought it was how you ‘played’ the game with commenting, responding and posting. I can’t stress this enough; it is SO much more important to just jump in and develop relationships first and see where the other takes you.

      By no means am I a prolific writer. In fact, if you want to read something that will absolutely blow your doors off, go to @redheadwriting & read http://www.redheadwriting.com/ash-ambridge-rock-bottom. I still can’t get over how well that was written.

      My model was to go in to posts like @TheSalesLion and comment, comment on comments of others, and go to the sites of commenters and check them out.

      Ultimately, just be yourself and everything will fall into place.

      4 – just jump in first; get some legs under you and then see where it takes you. You don’t have to have your career path charted before you jump in……test the water first.

      5 – I stumbled and bumbled on twitter until only by a stroke of pure luck I got connected to @GiniDietrich; she brought me in, allowed me to comment and be silly on her posts and I somewhat figured out the importance of engagement from there. Once again, after developing the relationships did I start to figure out twitter and how it works for me.

      6 – yep, there are a lot of bloggers out there but don’t get hung up on how epic each post has to be or even be concerned initially with traffic. Just do it and drag it along with you when you engage with others.

      It’s probably not a perfect model but it worked for me. If you want a brief story of what worked for me go to @AriHerzog and look for an older post that he did on me. It also was beautifully written but pretty much sums up my ‘story’.

      Best of luck on this journey; I certainly have enjoyed it and if you ever want to ‘pick’ my brain (what’s left of it) feel free to reach out.

      I hope your day is going well.

      • Hi Bill,

        Wow, thanks! And yes just a number, but one that could ignite a birthday cake.

        1-3 – I think this is really what I wanted (needed) to hear.

        http://www.redheadwriting.com/ash-ambridge-rock-bottom. It’s funny you sent this, because I’ve recently discovered Ashley Ambirge’s blog. Talk about an unbridled writing style that is entraining AND very inspirational. The salty language is just an extra treat πŸ™‚

        I’ve certainly found some inspiration over at The Sales Lion too. Now to get the gumption to go over and post.

        4 – I think you’ve convinced me. To jump in, that is.

        5 – I will have to dive into Gini Dietrich’s blog.

        @AriHerzog – Thanks for the link. I did a quick read, but I can certainly see what Ari is talking about. When I commented on your blog I did not expect such a detailed and thoughtful response. That takes time! I really appreciate the time and advice for someone like me, who is not even up and running.

        Thanks for the brain-picking offer! Might have to take you up on that.

        Have a great day!

    • Like I said, there might not be much to pick…………:).

      Do jump in; bloggers appreciate it so don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to mix it up with others when you are there.

  5. Hi Bill,

    Always good to see you. I think about the boundaries of blogging quite a bit. You haven’t seen much of it recently but I have written many posts about politics and religion. Most of it was done on my old blog (http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com) but there have been new pieces that have shown up on TheJackB.

    I think all of the old posts were imported into TheJackB but not all of the comments made it. I am a contradiction in that I am semi anonymous. When I first started blogging I did so anonymously but I never expected anyone to read what I had to say.

    If you were read through some of those posts you’d see lots of my thoughts about religion and politics. You’d probably stumble across some pretty hairy arguments. I received lots of insults and some death threats and still do from time to time.

    Most of those come from writing about Israel and the politics surrounding it. Others come from other stuff.

    Circling back to the topic of boundaries I think about it because quite a bit of my blogging involves stories about my kids and they’re starting to get older. So I have been mulling over what is mine to tell and what isn’t.

    What we write lives on forever. I get comments and email about things I wrote in 2004.

    The people that read my blog consistently learn things about me that many of my closest friends don’t know. That is not always intentional, but some of this stuff doesn’t come up in conversation so it is not necessarily a secret but not shared either.

    Hmm…This comment is getting kind of long so I’ll cut it off here, but I’ll probably be back later.

    • First of all, LeBron can go ahead and take his talents back to South Beach. No doubt he is a phenomenal player but let’s see what his resume’ looks like at the end of the day. As an all around player Michael Jordan was certainly the ‘man’ but I really did enjoy the artistry of Dr J. There was another player similar to Dr J back in the Darnell Hillman, but he just didn’t have quite the same game. BTW – I checked your other site out……….

      The topic of Israel is certainly a lightning rod; just rolling that out will get you not only a divided audience but passionate discussion as well. It truly is amazing how divisive religion and politics can be; in fact, there has probably been a war or two started just on that alone, huh?

      What was the reason for starting the new site? You might have previously said but I don’t recall.

      I don’t need to know every last detail, but as friends it’s probably things that would come up in casual conversation. I do agree that my online friends probably know more now than some of my face to face friends.

      And we do need to remember what we write, does live on forever and ever and ever……….

      Good to see you today Mr Jack, hope your day has been well.

      • I moved to TheJackB for a lot of the reasons we discussed in your WP post. It also involved my desire to monetize my blog and prepare a platform that would provide more professional opportunities.

        I loved Blogger and still mess around with it. While I am not shy with my opinions I have had less interest and energy in some of the political discussions. I can discuss most topics without taking it personally but found that very few others could.

        Lost a lot of readers over the years because they didn’t like my politics. Their loss.

        I loved watching Dr. J play- he was simply outstanding. I appreciate expertise in virtually every field. There is beauty in watching the expert work at his craft.

        Made a lot of friends through blogging and am pleased to still be doing so. You are welcome to visit any of my blogs any time. Course, you have created such a heavy load for yourself I don’t think you’ll have time to do more than pop in, but that is ok. Enjoy the ride, it is well worth it.

    • Some people take their passion to fanaticism and it’s hard to have an open-ended conversation, which is a shame.

      I will make the effort to see some of your earlier work.

      Dr J could truly levitate; I love to see his highlight reels. And he definitely had the brofro going on back in the day.

      • Bill, there is no rush. It is not going anywhere and there is no saying that I won’t bring some of it out. Passionate men like me write when the fire burns…so who knows….

  6. I never was one to do what everyone else did, so my life is a bit unusual. My parents split up when I was about 3. Both remarried and had kids: result=I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters all at least 8 years younger than me; 2 sisters on one side, 3 brothers and 1 sister on the other. Very confusing, yes. With marriages and children, I have a lot of dates to remember. As a kid, my life consisted of shuttling back and forth between two families, and to tell you the truth, sometimes it still does. Fast forward to today: my simple household=1 human and 1 French Bulldog in 1 condo.

    As you know, I don’t get a paycheck anymore. That stopped when my severance ran out in March. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to go back to the corporate life or keep freelancing over the long term. It’s a tough decision, especially after you write a huge monthly check to pay for health insurance. I started playing the social media game because as a marketer, I needed to add that expertise to my skill set. Working for myself at home, I also wanted to connect with people. Finally, yes, I wanted to find clients who need my help and are willing to pay more than $5 an hour for marketing talent!

    That’s the Reader’s Digest version. Any questions? πŸ˜‰

    • Yay, thanks for sharing. My family isn’t quite that convoluted but I have a brother and sister the same age as my children. Oh well, there’s always enough love to go around.

      I somewhat knew your story and what you were trying to accomplish. On the surface, social media has so many opportunities but how do you harness it and find a way to use it so it is sustainable and actually make a living because of it.

      Hopefully when it comes time to draw the line in the sand and make that decision, it will be by choice and not by necessity.

      Health insurance, rent, transportation and oh yeah, food take a big, big chunk out of any budget. It’s a shame it takes so much just to live, huh?

      Best of luck on your journey and hopefully there will be some way you can leverage your community support to your advantage.

      Good to see you and hope your day has gone well.

    • I’ve been independent longer Marianne.. still need to find clients willing to pay more than a cup of coffee. If you know where they hide, feel free to DM me and I’ll not buy you coffee since I know that’s not your thing. Fries?

  7. Me? I work for a living. I am a writer. I write content for a marketing firm that is just getting started. I have three bosses. I am the only employee. That can be complicated at times.

    I live part of the week with my eight year old son. The other part of the week he is with his dad. I am divorced twice. I have a boyfriend.

    My blog, as you know is intense. It is not for everyone and I am cool with that. I am going to get it hosted and move it to WordPress.org. I plan to work on an e-book and possibly work on promoting myself speaking to women’s groups about surviving abuse.

    My goal is simple – to help those who feel they have no hope. I want to be able to show them they can leave their abusers, and have a better life.

    There is never a moment that I think “gee, I should have stayed in that marriage” leaving was the best thing I ever did for myself. I may still have problems, but I have myself, and my son. Life is good. I got very lucky. I never want to forget how fortunate I am.

    • Well, well, look who stopped by. As you can see, my posts don’t have the raw emotion and intensity as some of your work, but it probably suits my personality.

      I think what you are doing is a great and sense that you would have a calling promoting yourself and speaking to women’s groups. I volunteer for the Guardian ad Litem program and not only see abused kids, but abused women as well. Unfortunately it has been a way of life for them and w/ no education or skills they feel ‘stuck’ in their environment. Coming from you as someone who has suffered abuse and can show these women they do have options would be tremendous help for them.

      Not only do I appreciate you stopping by, but it was no surprise you laid it all out there.

      I hope your journey continues on a way that is satisfying and fulfilling for you. Yes, you are fortunate and it is so good you can recognize that.

      I hope your day was well. Take care….

      PS-I’m looking into a hosted site as well.

  8. BTW, can I have points when I come here? I mean, where’s the incentive?! OK; KIDDING!!! Just needed more than two lines of text so I didn’t feel like I was blowing you off too badly. That is all.

  9. Bill, you now have put the pressure on us…I can’t take it. I’m going outside and digging up more sod. Will be back. But not until the Canucks win the Cup, my friend. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Dig some sod, drink some Scotch and pull the Canucks thru so you can get back here in a timely manner. You do have a nice looking garden. What is your growing season there? Do you have to start over every year or does it just die back between seasons?

    • Pssst, just because the Canucks didn’t win and they tore up the town of Vancouver……….you still could have come back……………:). I certainly wasn’t a Boston fan.

  10. Hey Bill, another enjoyable post I might ad.

    I too steer away from those two touchy subjects, politics and religion. People are so opinionated and I just believe those shouldn’t be discussed online. They have caused many a riff. I just don’t enjoy arguing.

    As far as family and jobs go, I think some people prefer to keep their personal life just that so they aren’t as open to discussing their family. Me, I’m an open book so just ask and you will learn! I think that most of my readers have learned a little about me which is I left the corporate world back in 07 and finally found my way here. Yes, I do make a full time living online although to me I don’t need a lot to “get by”. Lucky me! I continue to educate myself, learn and grow so I’ve no place left to go but up. Which is why I enjoy my time online so much.

    I really love the social crowd too because you meet a lot of really interesting people and I’ve learned a lot from a good bit of them. I’ve also partnered with some of them as well so even though you may not feel that some of your readers will need your particular service, they may know someone who will because they now know, like and trust you. That’s how you network my friend. I’ve put people in touch with each other and they now do business together just because I met them online and we built up a relationship. I love this place.

    Thanks for this post and for sharing more about you with us. Wow, you are a real live human being after all! LOL!!!

    Enjoy your afternoon Bill. Catch you again soon.

    Adrienne

    • Thanks for your nice words.

      I think we have a tendency to gloss over some of our lives and everybody thinks we are in this perfect bubble. My wife always says “everybody thinks you are so wonderful, they should try living with you”. I know she’s joking; she’s living the dream…………….:).

      It is good you can be a minimalist and it doesn’t take much to get by. This gives you more flexibility to explore the options social media has to offer.

      I too love the social crowd and certainly enjoying the journey.

      It was very good to see you today and hope you had a good one.

  11. I appreciate that you gave all of us in the SM world an opportunity to “get to know you” better. Oh, and I’m glad your wife “tolerates” your “foolishness”–we appreciate that! (And you’d be a “fool” not to keep doing what you’re doing!) I’m currently writing a more personal “About Me” for my website. I’ll let you know when it’s finished.

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

      I am having fun with this and still just going with the flow but it does seem like I have aged (matured) in this world over the last couple of months.

      Now that I am not so invisible I can’t quite be the goofus I was when I first came on the scene. I need to start paying attention to some of this advice being given.

      I really do want to see your up close and personal “About Me” revision. I was thinking of doing a post and let my community write mine…….that might be a yikes……:).

      So good to see you today.

  12. I think I know exactly what you are saying and it’s probably easier to get more personal in a ‘social’ site than it is in a niche site.

    However, I have seen some niche sites very well written that are gasping for air; nobody is stopping by. I just think there has to be a way to blend the social with the business without alienating either.

    Not my decision yet as I’m still having fun on this journey and I’m sure whatever my plan is it will become clearer the deeper I get.

    I do appreciate you stopping by and certainly appreciate your opinion; please feel free to stop by anytime.

  13. Hey Bill,
    Good questions you ask here. I actually write quite a bit about myself in Goals & Failures section of my blog.
    One thing I want to say: There are different types of blogs out there, to me two most common types are personal blogs and business blogs, and some hybrids.
    I don’t necessarily expect a lot of personal, religion or politics from business blogs. It’s kind of like this, if I want a plumber, I call him and he fixes my washing machine drain. I don’t necessarily care about his political views.
    If I want a SEO information I learn from the best SEO guy I can find. And I don’t ask how many children he has.
    With personal blogging is probably little different.
    I hope you get my point.
    But of course it’s a great topic for a nice debate.
    Cheers,
    Derek

  14. Hey Bill!

    Okay, where are my points for commenting! Ha ha!

    Well, you know I have a business niche site, so there is a line as far as how personal things get there. I have read a lot of information which suggests that clients don’t really care about you. They just want to know what you have to offer. How can you help them? I seem to read about this over and over again.

    However, I’m with you. I think we can carve out some new kind of in-between online here. I think if you have a business site, initially you should be concerned mostly with content. You have to give people a reason to stop by. But, aren’t people always saying that a potential client has to know, like and trust you in order to get their business? Therefore, how could they do that if you don’t get personal at all?

    It’s funny that you wrote this post today. I’m working on one for my blog right now that kind of tells my story and how I got started. I am now finding that people are interested in hearing it. They have mentioned it on my site and other places where I have commented. You’ll see it posted soon.

    So, what do I do all day when I’m not online? Well, my online business is my only paying gig. However, the job of raising my 13 month old is usually far more complicated–but more rewarding than anything! My day consists of poopy diapers, drool, food-flinging, unexpected kisses, hugs from tiny arms and hearing my name “Mama” being spoken out of the cutest little mouth. There are also all of the other things to go along with running a household that are too numerous to mention. Every once in a while, I even get to spend some one-on-one time with that guy I’m married to!

    I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all, but I have a feeling I’m not alone there!

    • My day consists of poopy diapers, drool, food-flinging, unexpected kisses, hugs from tiny arms and hearing my name β€œMama” being spoken out of the cutest little mouth. I love it……………

      Even in business it still comes down to relationships; I’m a firm believer you build the relationships first and figure out everything else from there. Of course at some time the rubber has to meet the road but it’s a lot easier to make it happen if your potential customers know you.

      And sometimes people might kind of know what you do but you can help them at some point telling them what your ideal customer looks like. That’s when the light bulb clicks on and they say “hey, I know someone who could use that”.

      I too think there has to be a way to blend the two.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I appreciate it and I appreciate your support. I hope your day went well.

  15. Hi Bill,

    As I am just getting started on blogging, social media, etc I think this is a great post to respond to. I started to get interested in blogging about a month and a half ago as a way to practice writing and then I met someone who has shown me that there is so much more to it and I am loving it all.
    Besides this, I am a teacher and moved to Costa Rica on my own almost a year ago. I don’t really know what my plan is past this school year (even though it’s ending soon!!) but I really want to keep up with all of this. I feel like it’s a great way to meet really interesting people, some who seem to have the exact same interests as me.
    I am glad I was introduced to your blog and really liked this post. I think it is important to really get to know the people who I have been interacting with the past month and a half.
    Nice to really meet you!

    • Well that was nice to say and I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

      We all started somewhere and my community will tell you I was the greenest of green boogers at one time. I still have some green in me so I’m prone to not know what is going on at times, but it’s a good thing they love me.

      I would strongly encourage you to jump in and if you look at my reply to Craig McBreen up above it was the model I used which got me up and running pretty quickly.

      Don’t worry so much about having to write something epic every week (I’m still trying to come out w/ at least one epic post…………:) and just start publishing. I still get that feeling in my stomach at times when I hit the publish button, but it’s a good thing because I still think it’s exciting.

      It was a pleasure to meet you as well and would love to follow your progress when you get up and running.

      I hope you have a lovely day.

  16. Hi, Bill.

    Although I am not one to flaunt m religious affiliations online, I don’t mind people talking about them, as long as they don’t go all opinionated and bash each other out. For me, there is just no sense to talk about religion or politics that way, especially if you will think that we have different opinions on the matter.

    I also like the way you are being personal in your blog. I would like to keep my private life as it is now though, private. Although I realize that going to a more personal level in blogging has its advantages, I am still trying to talk myself into it. Maybe, in time I’ll head to that direction. But, right now, all I am willing to share is that I have two young sons who used to make music with our pots and pans before I bought them a drum set last year.

    • Ah yeah, the drum set……been there done that…………..the things we do for our children.

      If you look at Derek Potocki’s reply above, he made some good points about depending on the niche or your community as to whether it lends itself to being personal or not. To me, I want you to know me on a personal level and if there is an opportunity for business or a referral down the road, it might be easier for you to make that decision. If that opportunity never arises, I am still a richer man for having the opportunity to get to know you.

      Religion, I don’t mind talking about it or sharing my beliefs or questions and I will listen to yours. The minute somebody tries to convince me their religion is the ‘best’ religion then it is a total shutdown for me.

      As far as sharing, yes there is a limit but sometimes if I don’t get the ‘flavor’ of someone it’s like we are bumping around in this sanitized version of a perfect world which we all know certainly isn’t the case.

      Thanks so much for coming by Wes; it is always good to see you. Hope your day is well.

    • I have been exposed and that light sho is bright at times………:). After talking to local people and their experiences w/ a blog I really had no idea. I truly expected 3-4 comments and it wouldn’t matter if I posted once a wk or once a month. I guess I was somewhat naive, huh?

    • I’ve enjoyed the journey.

      BTW – did you see all the love Ohio was throwing LeBron’s way? Whoooeeee, he certainly is the villain now, but most he brought on himself.

  17. Hi, Bill.

    Wow! It took me a longer time to go through the comments than to read your post. What great conversations you have going on here. πŸ™‚ I do believe I am going to add my own blog post, too. πŸ™‚

    Running a corporate blog puts a damper on my wish to become more open online. Although I would like to share more of my life with the friends that I am making in the blogosphere, there are just aspects of it that I have to keep to myself. Although I wouldn’t mind if somebody would Skype me and ask me candidly what about these things I am keeping secret. My Skype ID is kimdavies.vizsource, by the way. πŸ™‚

    But, as you shared about your kids and a bit about your life, I would like to return the favor. I have been with my husband for close to 15 years now, 10 of them in marriage. I had my first child, Phoebe Danielle at the age of 21, when I was not yet married to their father. πŸ™‚ Now, this in itself is already a story on its own, but that will take us a long while to go through. So, moving on, 5 years later, I gave birth to my baby boy Luke Gabriel, who is now 7 years old and 5 years later, our youngest baby girl Elisha Azrielle was welcomed with joy.

    During these years, while I was having these babies and raising them, I had the chance to be a TV reporter, a newspaper reporter and a freelance web content writer. That last bit got me to where I am now. But, aside from that, I am also in the process of finishing a novel about an incest victim. I would also love for you to know like I told Kaarina Dillabough that I write poems and do sketches and paintings. πŸ™‚

    I guess that settles the part, at least partially, of opening up to you and letting you know more about me. Of course, you are welcome to Skype me to ask me more questions. It was really great to know about you and your sons, Justin and Will. It adds more to the face and the personality.

    Enjoy your week!
    Kim πŸ™‚

    • Wow, that was interesting and what great names for your kids. Good spacing too, you will always have kids in the house; by the time your youngest is getting ready to move out I can imagine the grand kids won’t be far behind…………oops, getting a little bit ahead of ourselves, huh.

      I do think you walk a fine line if you are doing a business blog, but I also think you have to be personal enough people have the opportunity to get to know you and you appear to finding that blend.

      I would love to read your novel as well. If you saw my post about volunteering for Guardian ad Litem, my first case the father allegedly had sex w/ his 12 yr old step-daughter and she had the baby. Meanwhile he had 3 kids of his own about the same age. My concerns were for the children still living in the house. Yikes, huh?

      Don’t be afraid to share the poems and sketches either. In fact, maybe you should do a personal blog and as you build that community start tying it in to the corporate site.

      I have your Skype and will try it. The first time I did when I got my camera, Dino Dogan could see and hear me, but I could not see or hear him. I’ll figure it out……….:)

      Good to see you and thanks for sharing Ms TV reporter. My youngest son Justin has a concentration in journalism but not sure if he will ever pursue that career path.

      I hope you have a great day.

      • Hello, Guardian Angel. πŸ™‚

        That name is to say that I do remember that post. I much into causes myself and one of them that I am pretty gung ho about is incest. Although, I just have the time or the resources to do any volunteering, I show my support by helping raise awareness. This was easier to do while I was in the media, so now I’m trying to find another way and my novel is one.

        You know the worst thing about incest, Bill, is that there are wives who know of the crime but who choose to remain silent because they are afraid of losing their husbands. There are even others who blame their kids for seducing their fathers. That makes me so angry because I couldn’t fathom how these mothers could treat their daughters this way. Now, there I go rattling my head off about the issue. I do get steamed up about such issues.

        About my poems and sketches, I will be sharing them in time. πŸ™‚ But, I don’t know yet about running a personal blog since I don’t want to take on more than I can handle. I did not tell you, but my health is not that good and I have to take care of that for myself and for my family. πŸ™‚

        Journalism is a good career path. It may not pay much but the rewards that come in the form of a smile, a thank you, a tear in the eye or even an occasional hug are more than worth it. But, let Justin find his way. I believe that if he is really destined to become a journalist, he will find his way no matter what.

        Can’t wait to talk with you on Skype, Bill. Take care. πŸ™‚

    • I know what you mean; the case I mentioned to you, the mother knew what was going on. And then she wondered why her kids were so messed up as teens. She was so afraid of losing her kids, it made the family keep this big, dark, ugly secret and it was a cancer.

      I’m sorry to hear about the health issues but hopefully it is something controllable.

      Thanks for sharing, you are an interesting person indeed.

  18. Hi Bill,

    I have seen the same thing.
    We don’t really know the people whos blogs we read or who we chat with.

    That is why I started my Sunday series about my life.
    Each week I share another part of my life. I have gotten through the first 2 years so far, but once I am done people will know me a lot better and I really look forward to that πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, I can’t wait until your horrible teen years and your parents were ready to give you away…….:)

      Bumping around in this world it does seem sanitized at times and we know that certainly is the case. Yes, this venue allows for us to escape, be creative and share with others. But at the end of the day, I would certainly like it to be a little deeper than a superficial relationship. No more, no less than if we were sitting across the table talking to each other.

      Good to see you Daniel and look forward to your coming ‘life’ posts.

      I hope you have a great day today.

  19. Well, you did make this about us in the end anyway, Bill, so I’m sure we all forgive you for being so self-centered at first. Seriously, though, thank you for letting us know more about you. I meant to ask on your vlog post where your accent is from–I must have missed that part. Me, I haven’t got an accent (being cheeky–I was born and raised in Upstate New York, so these southern accents I encounter in Maryland are still exotic to me).

    My paychecks are signed by Danya International, for whom I work remotely as the Early Head Start Production Coordinator. Fancy name for a proofreader who stepped it up to also move and shake the quality control reports that are created for the national Head Start/Early Head Start program through the proper processes.

    But the reason I’m online is because of another source of paychecks, which come from business and literary clients who need marketing copy and editing done. Like you, I’m letting my network grow organically and according to what interests both me and my business, keeping in touch and letting the world know I’m out here.

    The rest of my team is my wonderful family including parents, a grandma, sisters, nephews, and my own little princess whose fingers you see in my avatar, gripping the tip of an auntie’s pinky a week after she was born 3 months early. She’s two years old now, and quite the little lady.

    • Yep, the accent is pure Florida Cracker; somewhat subtle and not as thick as Georgia or Alabama but it’s definitely there.

      I do appreciate you sharing as well because now if I cross the path of someone who needs services in your area of expertise hopefully I can send them your way. The great thing about community is there are no walls or boundaries.

      I sit on the board of a non-profit, the Early Learning Coalition which funds voluntary pre-kindergarten and other early learning education initiatives. Those kids are our future and hopefully we can get them prepared to be ready when they enter the education system.

      So good to see you and I certainly appreciate your support. I hope all is well and you are having a great day today.

  20. She’s baa’ck! (Sing that like two syllables.) I’m gonna pull the PR punch on you, King Bill:

    If you are curious, I am a commercial insurance broker/agent with @LanierUpshaw . My specialty is larger accounts who typically are interested in non-traditional financing, risk sharing; essentially self-insured with some protection.

    We coordinate setting up captive, large deductible, or retrospective rating programs for these entities and charge a fee for our service. That is how I get paid. It is not unusual for these accounts to have premiums in excess of $2-3 million dollars.

    You said all that mouthful above; it’s my job to help you find your home-base message in a simple sound bite so EVERYONE can understand. That way, I can think about how I might push business your way with potential clients. As of this moment, I’m not sure who those potential clients are b/c what does “larger accounts…non-traditional financing, risk sharing” mean?

    Should you say instead, “My service business is directed at large corporations interested in buying all
    types of insurance for more than 5000 employees.” But, I’m just guessing.

    Oh and about me…my monthly receivables haven’t been the same since I left full-time employment 10 years ago.

    • I had to make me sound important so I thought the more words the better……………:).

      Trust me, none of these clowns are ‘interested’ in buying insurance but it is a necessary evil so they might as well do business with me, right? Actually, what drives consideration into the non-traditional markets are the size of your current premium and your safety history.

      Basically, if you know someone who has a ‘big’ business I am interested………..

      I’m in freakin’ insurance and sales; you know I can’t say what I mean in understandable language that sounds like me and you talking together……………..yikes……………….

      Thank you for the pointer ma’am; I’m never too old to learn.

      Good to see you today.

  21. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for sharing who you are! I feel a bit inadequate here because most peeps left small novels as comments, which would make Griddy’s look like tweets.

    You probably know quite a bit about me, I have been sharing more and more online. You mention you never got the same monthly paycheck twice, so in a way you are an entrepreneur. You have to go out every day and make sure you earn a living.

    Now let’s talk about religion and politics πŸ™‚

    • Speaking of that, my religion is better than yours and my heaven is better……….more toys, because the Bible told me so.

      It amazes me how passionate people get about their religion and sometimes even fanatical. The Bible, Koran, etc were written by people just like you and me based on prevailing mood of the time and based on stories passed down thru the ages.

      I have taken the time to read about how Christianity came about and how we evolved from worshiping sun gods and wind gods, etc. I also read how there were competing ‘stories’ at that time and how the ‘Good Book’ won out and became the standard. Interesting read and because of this I’m am very hesitant to declare one religion better than another.

      Oh wait, we weren’t supposed to talk about religion, huh?

      Ultimately I do have to make it happen because I only get paid on what I kill and bring back to feed the masses; no guarantees, supplements, etc.

      The replies on this did get somewhat out of hand; I think you are right, even Griddy would be impressed.

      I tried to Skype earlier but you didn’t pick up; is their caller ID on Skype?……….just askin’…………

      Hope your day went well.

  22. Hi Mr D….can I get all off topic here..please feel free to shut me down..but my first thought…is wow..what an achievement being married for 28 years….what’s the secret ? As for me..I’m sure my network has decreased significantly in my time away, at least that’s what qwitter tells me, lol but my goal was always organic growth, and people who hung around because they got what I was trying to achieve with MLSM. Personally I don;t think there is enough self exposure in the blogging world..I know it’s not appropriate in every niche, but when you encourage community and interaction a part of me believes its essential. As Bern once said, its about getting people to go from ” so what”, to ” me too”.

    • Yay, look who is here……….I hope you are back ready to ‘kick it’ again.

      I’m sure you had some drop off but I’ll bet you are back up to speed in no time.

      I know a couple of your posts were pretty revealing and from the heart. I personally think when you make it more of a personal connection the deeper the relationship; even if I’m talking about my ‘job’ as well.

      As you can see I’m still just bumping around but trying to get more organized. Not putting out any Pulitzer material but it’s consistent, huh?

      So good to see you and can’t wait to bump into you out and about. Take care and hope your day has been well.

  23. Ok, telling the truth first. It took me longer to read your comments than your post so I skipped manuy…will have to come back for that!

    Loved the about me post….if you remember the first time I came across your blog, I checked your about me page because that’s what I always do when I visit the blog for the first time and now this post just makes it even better!

    Though I don’t know many people in the blogging world “personally” I would love to meet them some day.

    As for me, I am a psychologist, basically from India, lived in UAE all my life, did my higher studies in India, working in the UAE. Blogging happened when I quit a job and was getting bored of the no employment. Love reading books, watching movies like crazy, crazy about Tom Hanks and Will Smith. And I would love to travel but I am spending all my money on books. So there…you kinda know me! πŸ˜‰

    • But through reading you have the world at your fingertips, right? Try this, just read blogs and save your money, so you can travel IRL…………….:)

      I’m glad you felt comfortable in sharing this little piece of information about you; just don’t analyze me, I would turn into a case study I’m sure.

      Interesting you mention my ‘about me’ page; I have seen posts asking if your ‘about me’ page sucks? I wanted to be witty and clever but I couldn’t think of a single thing to say about myself. In fact, I’m thinking of doing a post on my ‘about me’ page and let my community fill in the blanks………be careful what you ask for, huh?

      Nice of you to stop by and hope all is well where you are today. Talk to you soon.

  24. I love this post Bill. and yes the networking aspect I get because seriously you run with a rough crowd and I have considered a Celebrity Intervention if Lifetime will agree to my terms. But yes I have been surprised to find you in Insurance (and not personal insurance types) and yet you have connected with an impressive array of people who are peers in every way.

    You actually have a lot of insight and valuable feedback when I see you comment on other blogs that relate to my adopted industry of Marketing/Advertising. Which I have learned never to be surprised at anything anymore (btw did you know the pope is really jewish? sshhh don’t tell anyone!). Hardest thing I have ever done aside from my escape from Rykers Island was starting a business from scratch in a brand new industry with zero contacts or clients! Well it’s not complete yet so jury is out. If it doesn’t pan out I have a finance degree and a sales background…..LOL

    That aside I really have enjoyed connecting and learning about who you are. Many of us wear our life on our sleeve because we have a lot of confidence who we are (unless we go Anthony Weiner and expose more than who we are LOL) .

    I myself am a connector. People trust me when I have referrals for them because I have high standards and yes you are correct you never know who knows the person who needs to know someone like you who can provide such a unique service.

    Cheers!

    • What? I can’t use the phrase “is the Pope Catholic” when answering the affirmative anymore?

      We do run with a pretty rough crowd, don’t we? I know when I started I certainly felt like the ‘new guy’ and even the ‘young guy’ compared to the long in tooth grizzled veterans who have been at this for more than 2 years (that’s funny to say but oh so true). As my cloak of invisibility gets stripped away, I probably need to start acting like I know what I’m doing, huh?

      Rykers, is that like Alcatraz and swimming is required? What made you shun the suit and start a business from scratch? Pretty bold move but you do have the finance and sales background; you can always do insurance, right?………..:).

      Like you, I find value in being a connector. It’s all about trust and credibility and you never know when you have the opportunity to pay it forward when or if it will come back to you but it usually does.

      Rep Weiner……………….how appropriate………

      A BTW, I wasn’t the agent but I did sign the policy for George Steinbrenner’s personal policies that Lanier Upshaw writes and we wrote a good portion of the Yankees program for awhile until it got too political and one of the big banks strong-armed us out of there. Oh wait, you don’t want to hear that story; you’re a Mets fan…………sorry I tainted the reply.

      Good to see you today and I have certainly enjoyed getting to know you as well.

  25. Hey Bill,

    About time I stopped by here, I see we frequent many of the same communities!

    Great post, and you raise excellent points! I suppose most of us bloggers only talk about certain things. That’s an interesting one. Obviously we all have certain core passions but yeah, there does seem to be certain “deeper” conversations that we all avoid.

    I think you handle Social Media perfectly – it’s how you act in real life. That’s what most people don’t do and I think it’s where they fall down. It breaks my heart to see that there are so many people who don’t “get” this whole social media thing/

    Thanks for sharing your story, my first time here and I’ve already learnt a great deal about you! It’s interesting to hear about you, family seems to be another thing that many bloggers keep private for one reason or another.

    Thanks for a great and unique post.

    Speak soon,

    Robert

    • Hello Robert; the one thing I know how to do is be myself and if it translates well over this crazy blogospere then I don’t have to work too hard at it. Social I can do………….:)

      I think depending on the niche might determine how much you are willing to share. For the most part, I’m fairly consistent w/ my network so I think they know me pretty well at this point and this just takes it a level deeper. For whatever that’s worth however……………..

      I’m glad you took the time to stop by and feel free to do so again. Hopefully, we will keep bumping into each other at our usual haunts; take care.

  26. Hey Bill, I don’t write about either religion or politics on my blog because it’s just too easy to sway people’s opinions. I prefer a challenge like changing people’s minds about personal technology. How am I doing with you? πŸ˜‰

    • You are getting there; the mind is willing, the pocket book is not. My business is a direct reflection of the economy AND just getting two boys thru college has changed the landscape a little bit for me. Granted, I am doing much better than some of the stories I hear but not quite ready to buy toys yet.

      However, when I do and I’m trying to figure out how to use them I will know exactly where to come….:).

      Yes, some sites are more conducive to personal reflections than other but as we all know, one size does not fit all in this world, huh?

      Good to see you and thanks for stopping by, much appreciated.

  27. Hey Bill,

    I have started to write about personal stuff on my blog, and I might write about politics and religion, but only if I can relate it to marketing. To me, my blogging is mostly about analogies to the world of marketing, and making people understand what marketing is all about. I use personal experience in order to accomplish this.

    I have a masters degree in political science, and I currently work at a University in Norway as the head of marketing (I know, it’s not directly related to my education, but it’s a lot of fun). I have just finished writing my first novel (suspense fiction). I have a wife and two kids (their too young to have any plans for the future).

    Jens

    • Ok pee story, how much personal can you get than that……………..:).

      Wow, interesting stuff; my youngest has a political science degree but didn’t have a passion for it so will probably end up in some type of sales job I would imagine.

      How long did it take to write the novel? Do you have a publisher. I like to write and have a pretty good imagination, I just don’t know if I could collect it all and put a novel together. Congratulations.

      I think if you can tie the personal into your message it has more meaning; it also helps people relate to what you are trying to say.

      Good to see you and hope all is well in the Norway.

      • Yes, the pee story is getting famous πŸ™‚

        It took me about 8 months to write the novel, and I have been contacted by a major publishing company in Norway… but I don’t have anything set yet. I’m still waiting for something to happen. But, on the other hand, it’s only been about 4 weeks since I finished writing it πŸ™‚

        I have started to write the sequel, and I have written 12,000 words in 2 weeks, so I bet this one will get finished at less time than 8 months.

        Jens

  28. Ah God, I thought I stumbled across Marcus’ site at first, reading all those comments!

    You ask some pretty open questions Bill, and I can only answer with some openness of my own. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna take my clothes off, but I will say a few words.

    All my life, as far back as I can remember, I’ve asked myself a simple question: “Is this me?” I’ve asked whether what I’m doing is my own voice, and not somebody else’s. I’ve asked whether I’m doing the things I really want to do, and not what my parents or friends or anybody else says I should do. And I’ve asked whether I will ever be completely free to be truly me.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t come up with a definite answer yet, I’m still searching. I’m still searching within myself, as that is where all the answers lie (see my guest post for John Sherry). But one thing’s for certain, I won’t find the answers by pretending to be someone else, and that’s what I feel has been going on in my life for far, far too long.

    It’s only been the past 2 years or so that I’ve started to even shed the shackles that have accompanied me all throughout my life. They’re not off yet, they’re still fairly tight, but at least I’ve managed to loosen their stranglehold a little bit. I feel like I can breathe again.

    Bill, your site is turning into a community-driven monster. Ever thought of getting a leash to restrain it? πŸ™‚

    • It’s crazy at times how people just start showing up; you would think I had champagne and caviar but only have warm beer and saltine crackers…………….:)

      I do think there is a balance of being what others expect because it is socially acceptable and probably not a bad life if you choose that path; all the way to marching to your own beat regardless of what the sound of the drum is making.

      Wherever you find that balance is when I think you can be comfortable in your own skin and live a fulfilling life. Part of it is just enjoying the journey along the way as you figure it out and don’t expect the final result is a destination because we are always changing.

      It’s good to see you and now of course anytime I read what you have written it is running through my head in your voice; but I like that, makes it more personal.

      I wish you the best of luck along your journey and I do appreciate your support. I’ll see you around.

  29. Howdy Bill,

    I just love these posts where folks share a little more about themselves. We have so many online friends and each day we get to learn something new about them – whether what they think, who they are, what they do and so forth. And oddly enough – we often start to know more about our friends here than our friends and good acquaintances in the offline world.

    I’m thinking you know quite a few things about me already – seeing my post from last week as well the one from my bday back in November. I too felt it important that my readers connect with me and get a feel for who I am.

    Much like you – I’ve never had a steady paycheck either. I don’t work on commission – although sometimes I think I’m stupid for not doing so – but seeing that I work for myself as a freelancer – my checks are never the same and never arrive on time either lol.

    I can understand your wife and her thoughts on this whole online thing – I have many friends who think the same and believe it or not – I’m not quite sure whether my parents or family know what I do here haha. They know I have a WEBsite but other than that….

    You’ve been married 28 years?!!! Wow – that’s pretty impressive. You and your wife are like role models for today’s day and age. I hope to be as lucky as you :).

    When it comes to religion and politics – although I have my views on both – they’re topics I don’t share in public on my blog. When you come from my part of the world – it’s easy to understand why – and even more so when you’re Lebanese like me. You see – most of the problems we have are directly because of those two things. Plus – you have no idea how complicated both of them are here. It’s quite easy to get lost. We have 17 different religion sects alone here – and we’re only 4 million people living in the country. Take that and add our neighbors – and you can see why it’s a mess. So yes – I don’t touch these issues online but again – I do have my opinion. Either way – I’m a firm believer of respect for all and tolerance.

    You mentioned that your sons live in Fort Myers – I actually use to go there every year when I was in college for Spring training. My school as well as all the other New England one’s from our division use to head down their for Softball during the season at the same time the Red Sox and Twins would go down for their training. And yes – I met them and hung out with the players a few times over the years. But it’s been ages now so I couldn’t even tell you who the players are.

    As for what I’m trying to get out of Social Media or my blog – well…pretty much what I’m getting now. An incredible learning experience for each day I take in something new, amazing friends and supporters such as yourself, a deeper understanding of the online marketing industry, more credibility and respect for what I do, and maybe even one day a chance to make some money from my online efforts. Maybe not from my blog directly but from other things.

    My blog has opened some unbelievable doors and connections for me and I know that I could count on some folks the day I need to. And to top it off – I’ve built a community that I’m proud of – one where people can freely share their thoughts and along the way learn from each other and make friends. So if I can keep that up for another year – yes…I would consider it a success. But I do have other goals that I’m trying to attain so if I can achieve those in the process – I’d be pretty lucky and very happy :).

    Anyhoo, I’ve left you with a novel here – no shocker I know haha!
    I loved reading this piece and I love how open and honest you are both here and elsewhere. You’ve been an continue to be such a pleasure to connect with and talk to and I’m happy that we met – hopefully – in real life someday.

    Wishing you and your family tons of health, happiness and success.

    Enjoy the rest of the week and thanks again for sharing a part of yourself with us.

    Cheers

    • So funny, how appropriate. If you see John’s comment about all the replies making yours look like tweets and then you come in and blow the doors off. Classic, and I love it……..

      We in the US take a lot of things for granted. I’m sure it can be a whole different ballgame in Lebanon where being vocal about religion or politics is best left alone because bad things can happen. I have my opinions on both but perfectly satisfied to keep them to myself.

      I get the same push back from my wife on some of the ‘in real life’ social events I go to. It’s all about creating relationships and with that as my primary objective I’m not worried about who I can sell what. My wife’s retort is “well, did you sell anything to anybody there”? She thinks if I didn’t then what’s the point.

      I seek out my customers, it’s through my networking relationships that increase my chances of getting an appointment. And likewise, the people I meet if I can help facilitate something for them then I consider that a ‘win’ as well.

      It’s also funny about my online presence and some local people thinking I’m this social media guru. It amazes me how many people come up to me and say they saw my blog and ask for help. That’s a big HA; we both know I’m still standing on some pretty wobbly legs; but I’m happy to share what worked for me.

      The one thing we both have in common is the singular focus of community building through relationships and nothing else. Yes, it could lead to income down the road but I think if it’s meant to be it will become obvious this is the route we need to go.

      That is why your site is such a fun site to go to. My doesn’t quite have the banter yet when I’m gone but I imagine it will happen in due time.

      My boys really enjoy Ft Myers and are about 10 min from the beach. I’ll bet that was a really fun time being part of your softball team and meeting the pro ball players. Good memories indeed……..

      And I’ve replied w/ a novel as well. If I’m sitting here one year from now with the same excitement, enthusiasm and sense of community that I now have I too will consider it a success.

      Good to see you today and your friendship and support are very much appreciated. I hope you have a great one.

  30. Holy Blogging Community Cowboy, these comments are something else. Co-signing Stuart and Jayme and everyone else. Oh look, John Falchetto types it and Ingrid writes a book.. what are the odds? πŸ˜‰

    Love that this was about you. I’ve done one or two of these (you’ll have to scour the archives) to give a little more background on myself. “how much do you want me to know of you?” That’s the real question, as we share what we want others to see. I am selective in some things but not others; like Ingrid and others mentioned, there are things my online friends and community might know that my family doesn’t.

    Polarizing topics like religion and politics, money, sex.. the best college football conference, no one really wins these debates. Elyse mentioned there are blogs and forums for these things but for those of us trying to somehow use this ‘social’ thing to help earn a paycheck, those subjects seem all risk and no reward. I have opinions but am just not going to share them because 1) I don’t read or ‘know’ enough to really debate those issues and 2) not the best use of my time. I know the SEC is the bestest conference but if you’re too daft to get it, I got other things to do. πŸ˜‰

    Congrats on 28 years, the two sons.. one of whom I think is alumni to reigning Nat’l Champs. Glad you’ve found job that seems to work for you, there are days I’m not sure I’ve done that. The rest of my team, I have family and friends but don’t talk about them that much. I’ve signed up to be social, they haven’t. Understand THAT sentiment is all about ME, as I promise in many ways I am an introverted, private person. (Until you get to know me or get me liquored up.)

    Let’s see. If I’m still doing this in a year I would consider myself a personal and professional success, if not a always a financial one. Money ain’t everything, but it buys some nice tech toys and vacations. I’ve made a lot of progress, feel momentum shifting and that I’m on the cusp of something.. what, I just don’t know. Yet. As always, FWIW.

    • Both boys are War Damn Eagles and that is where all my money went; at least I got one national championship out of it……….:).

      Yes, selective we are. Of course you are only going to hear about all my good stuff, huh? How wonderful and perfect I am, never annoying…………….

      I would like to scour some of your earlier posts on this topic. It would be interesting if you were take the same article today and change anything about it.

      I asked and the community certainly delivered, huh. A lot of the comments and replies are almost posts themselves. Maybe I can copy and paste a few. Hopefully I didn’t use up my free space allotment w/ my free WP account.

      Where I was going with it was kind of a take off when you had dinner w/ Marcus. You probably didn’t get too personal, but I’m guessing some personal stuff was discussed. I figure this would be similar and just like if we were making small talk. But I really am interested and I really do want to know.

      Do I like my job and has it been good to me; yes. Would I like to find a way to blend my sense of community with my job or do something singularly along the lines of social media and have fun with it and maybe make a buck or two; I wouldn’t turn it down.

      Good to see you today and thanks for having the patience to find the bottom of this page. Crazy stuff, indeed.

      I hope you have had a good day.

      • Brankica did a great post like that.. just asked a bunch of bloggers a few random questions, just to help describe their personalities. The one with folks favorite books, movies, etc. Very interesting way to help get to know each other. I wouldn’t turn down the right gig either, one that’d let me have fun, be social. The trick is of course the ‘right’ part. Comments… totally good kind of crazy, hat tip on the community you’re developing here.

  31. Bill,

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself in this post. When I use social media my hopes is that I am using it to be social. I don’t really have any other agenda on my mind currently. πŸ™‚ Now as for my blogging. I blog with a purpose. My hopes is to provide inspiration to anyone who is in need of it. So, my site may not be the best place for a conversation on debatable topics. My goal is to help and not just to spice up a conversation although that would boost my numbers. I try to give a little bit of myself in all that I do and I hope that it shines through in my writing. This was an interesting read Bill Thanks.

    • Hello Frank, you do an excellent job with your writing to inspire others. You have some really relatable stories that resonate well with your community.

      Yes, it is obvious you blog w/ a purpose. I guess my blog is more conversational for the time being because I don’t have a purpose other than that but I’m still hoping for the blinding flash of the obvious to get me off and running in a sustainable (and readable) direction.

      I really do appreciate that you took the time to stop by; I know there are many choices and some days are easier than others to ‘touch them all’.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

  32. Who signs my paycheck?

    My clients do, individuals as well as organizations (small, medium or big). As you know already from my blog I’m a sales coach and consultant. Just like you I have a background in sales, which led me to my true calling: teaching others how to do it. What I like most about sales is that it’s life essentially: interacting with people, building relationships and helping each other out.

    Who is the rest of my team?

    I have a lovely girlfriend who is a big part of my life. She supports me in everything I do, even my most foolish endeavors and that’s a very warming thought. I hope we grow old together.

    What about this social media?

    For me social media is the perfect combination of work and fun, business and personal. The reason I’m doing it is to connect with new people, challenge my ideas, learn from others and spread some chunks of wannabe-wisdom along the way πŸ™‚

    Glad to know you a bit better Bill,
    Wim

    • Hey Wim, sounds like you have a good network and a sustainable business model. When did you decide you could bring more value on the teaching side? It is certainly something I have thought about and not because I’m some guru, but I have been in it long enough to be able to espouse some common sense I believe.

      I also believe social media can be a perfect platform to help in an endeavor like this.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by and sharing as well. I know we end up at a lot of the same places, but I always enjoy your insights; I think we can learn from others this way.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

      • Hi Bill,

        I realized this when I made the move to sales manager. Suddenly it became one of my tasks to motivate others and help them increase their performance. I organized training sessions, first for the local branch of the company, but feedback and results were so positive I was asked to do this for all branches. That’s when things got moving and I got some invitations for speaking gigs as well. Before I knew it I was starting up my own business πŸ™‚

        I consider myself a teacher, not a guru. There are far too many of them already in the sales training industry. What most people fail to understand is that many of them are no sales coaches, but motivational speakers. I try to focus on teaching in a motivating way, not the other way around.

        Honestly Bill, I could really see you doing something like this for the insurance industry. You have the experience and integrity to make it work, and there’s a niche waiting for someone to step up.

        Enjoy your weekend,
        Wim

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement; certainly something to consider as I try to get my arms around new opportunities available. Always good to keep an open mind, huh?

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