Didn’t you used to be somebody?

Yes, of course, you were that guy, right; the can’t miss kid, the guru guy? What in the hell happened to you; didn’t you used to be somebody?

My last post was about embracing change versus being stuck in a rut and just showing up, doing the same thing over and over. The comments were good, and most agreed some change is healthy, but routine can be comforting like an old friend.

My friend Howie @SkyPulseMedia commented ‘How many music acts die because they don’t change? How many die because they do change?

Is it the same in social? You see some of the so-called gurus leaders change and makes you wonder what in the world were they thinking? Then you see all their sheep followers do the same thing.

You’ve seen it, how many took it to the next level with this behavior and how many lost credibility; lost their focus?

I am not saying this in a critical way because if you are a leader we all know some things will work and others won’t; and you can’t sit around waiting for it to happen. Maybe it is best to stay under the radar so nobody is taking shots at you, huh?

What makes you think, you are the One?

Did you ever see the movie the Matrix? Neo was the One BTW, and what about Trinity in that rubber outfit she was wearing? Whoa, it made me go out and buy some Tupperware.

Excuse me, I digress but the first Matrix is a cool movie indeed.

Ok, back on track; you are cooking with gas and have a vibrant community, what would be signs you have peaked? What if wherever you are, this will be as good as it’s going to get? Will you be able to walk away, be proud of your body of work and feel like you have accomplished something?

Or, are you still trying to keep up with the Jones’? The hamster wheel effect is not only trying to keep up with everybody else, but trying to just keep up with yourself.

Does social ever allow you to sit back and say ‘I have arrived?’ Does life?

I am much smarter than I look

We are no dummies; maybe some knuckleheads (me included), but someway, somehow we have made it this far, right?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see who appears to be successful and who wants to be like them. One thing I do know, popularity does not necessarily equate to dollars and some of the people you might think you want to emulate are still trying to figure it out too….be careful what you wish for.

Is money the end-all, be-all though? Is success only measured by how much money you happen to make from your efforts? Or what your efforts can lead you to?

Here’s the solution:

If you are a one hit wonder, then at least you made it that far which is much further than many who gave up on following their dream. If you never have that hit, then hopefully you took the time to enjoy the journey and all the life lessons it taught you along the way.

If you truly want to be the next big thing, then good luck. There is one caveat however, once you reach the pinnacle we know there is only one way to go from there. You were nice to people on the way up, right?

There really is no solution. We hunt, peck, scratch and claw trying to figure out our way and hopefully we are lucky smart enough to have more successes than setbacks.

Where are you in your journey? Do you think you still have much more to show and if so, will you be disappointed if you wake up and realize this is was it? 

Yes, I am still waiting for the call up to the big leagues or somebody wants to pay me double what I now make just to write. Do I think it will happen through my current efforts; probably not. Do I think it can happen? Absolutely, why not me, right?

I say let’s just do the best we can and see what happens from there. Who is with me? We’re streaking; everybody is doing it…………..



51 thoughts on “Didn’t you used to be somebody?

  1. Long time reader, first time commenter. First, love your blog Bill, you always pose interesting thoughts!

    It’s funny how prevalent thus seems to be in social media in particular. When I look at other industries it seems people just get on with things and don’t worry about having to publicize everything – do people truly care you unfollowed everyone on Twitter?

    Having said that, one of the people I think changes at the right time is Danny Brown (I’ve seen you comment over there, which is what brought me here). He seems to know the mood of his readers perfectly and adapts to them and their changing needs.

    I guess it can be done and maybe the question is does it need to be done? If not, maybe that’s where the gurus are slipping up?

    Thanks for making me think – I’ll have to comment more often!!

    • ’cause Danny is smart like that………:). Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to drop a comment.

      When I see some of the change, it appears maybe it is being done so they can still appear edgy and on the front end of the curve. Social moves very fast and you can be yesterday’s news pretty quick if you don’t have a solid platform and everything you have done has been done by smoke and mirrors.

      Because social can be so personal and social at times, this will elicit responses when someone decides it’s a good thing to unfollow everyone. Certainly a head scratcher for me, but they didn’t consult me either.

      One thing for sure, always keep an open mind and never say never. My attitude is just do the best I can and let’s see how that works, ok?

      Please come back, I would love to see you. Do you have a blog? If so, do you have a niche?

  2. One of the good questions that you posed was “Does social ever allow you to sit back and say ‘I have arrived?’ Does life?”. I don’t think so, change drives us or we get bored. The answer that makes sense to me is to let the things and experiences you really enjoy determine the direction that your life takes. You have to keep checking in and asking ” I’m a happy?” or” what can I do to become happier?”.


  3. Hey Bill, Lucky for me I never was “somebody”. I just keep my head down and plug away at this stuff. Some of my articles become very popular, others not so much. But if I help someone with an article, then that’s my definition of success.

    I can’t imagine the pressure of trying to be someone and always stay in the spotlight. Perhaps that is why celebrities have such a tough go of it.

    Keep on truckin’.

    • Ok Philadelphia Inquirer, you never were anybody. You rock, that much I do know.

      I used to let silly stuff in here bother me at times, but like you, I’ve learned to just keep my head down and do what I can; that much I can control. Not so much on the other stuff…..

      Do you think that is why some of these celebrities are so eccentric and wig out at times because they realize how fleeting fame can be? Here today, gone tomorrow, right?

      I don’t know if you are familiar w/ Hootie and the Blowfish, but they were blowin’ up for awhile. They started as a club band in South Carolina. Now that the luster has worn off, they say they are very happy going back to the club scene.

  4. I have no idea why this came to mind, except the line “I’m strong to the finish” flashed in my brain.http://youtu.be/IMdI_fozMYg

    I was noodling around the blogosphere this morning, and was amazed to see so many “new ideas” being written about…ideas that have been around for years and years but, when said by certain individuals, seem to hold weight, whereas if you or I said them, would they be chopped liver? Is everything old, new again?

    Sometimes it frustrates me that things I’ve been saying, teaching or coaching for 25+ years are now being seen as “new”. Posts that receive adoration and engagement when what the post is discussing is in actual fact, not new. Maybe it’s simply age, and maybe every generation goes through it. It seems that we’re swinging back to simpler ideas that have always been around, but are just now being re-embraced.

    Boggles my mind sometimes that those that play in the big leagues can say something quite vanilla and get the attention and adoration of throngs. Goes to show that we, as a society, are definitely affected not only by what is said, but by who is saying it. On that note, I’m ready to streak. Cheers! Snowshoes

    • Everything you say is gold to me…;-)

      Seriously, I agree. Not kidding. So, so true. “Influence” is a funny thing and so is social media. A simple thing can be so huge in this space because of the number of eyes on it. I would go on but this is Bills space and not mine.

      • Hey, I thought everything I said was gold to you…….

        What if you only influenced 10 people, but they were the ‘right’ 10 to influence. Because social has such a far reach (deep and wide) the premise is, we should be able to influence them all, right? I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. As for me, I would rather influence the ‘right’ people.

    • One of the things I look for in a blog and its community is how they deal with dissent. What happens when ideas are challenged. Do they receive a civil response or do they fling crap at you.

      Some of the people promoting new ideas are the same crap flingers.

      • It appears to be desperation as they are doing everything they can trying to stay relevant. All I know is desperation does not have a good smell to it.

        Maybe if I come up with an idea somebody might challenge me, huh?

    • I yam what I yam….

      I remember in my earlier days I wrote a post that was almost identical to one of the big boys. There was enough people coming to my place who also commented there that I could ‘judge’ the comments. You are right, there was a whole lot more brown nosin’ going on at the other place than mine. Fortunately, I can laugh about things like that now. Things like that I have no control over so I try to just do my thing the best I can. If it sticks, it sticks; if is doesn’t, then it’s probably just a big ol’ mess anyway.

      You are doing great, just stay the course and keep on doing it ‘your way.’

      Go move some of those pavers again if you get too frustrated…….:).

  5. Well you really stirred the pot with this one Bill! I’m with Riley – you never arrive, you just need to find new ways to stay interested and inspired at what you do or you will become mundane and un-inspiring 😮 Not good!
    Carolyn says it would be pressure to maintain a high level and I agree. Still, I want to experience that 😉
    And Kaarina throwing her snowshoes at those typical posts which get lots of accolades because of who posted them! 😉
    My thoughts? I like this” hopefully we are lucky smart enough to have more successes than setbacks.” We do our best and keep it fun. Because if we weren’t challenged to do more, it wouldn’t be any fun and if it’s not fun, why should we do it?

    • Or, should we look at it this way? We ‘arrive’ every day, take time to live in the moment more and appreciate the journey.

      The ol’ pot stirrer I am…..social was a way for me to step out there and try some new and different things and I’m glad I did. It also keeps me in the right frame of mind and a willingness to embrace change.

      Fun and success CAN go together; there is nothing to say it shouldn’t or you should feel guilty having fun and being successful, right?

      Good to see you, hopefully the world is not too heavy on your shoulders.

  6. I’m not really all that keen to ‘arrive’. Where are you arriving? And after all, once you’ve arrived, what comes next? You mentioned the journey a few times and that, in my opinion, is where it’s at. The destination is a moving target and while goals might be important, you always have to keep plugging along. Like Carolyn, I’ve never really been ‘somebody’ when it comes to social. In life, however, there are a few folks who would consider me a somebody and at the end of the day, that means the world.

  7. Hi Bill, Very interesting post.

    In my case it’s like I had many journeys. Right now I am on my freelance writing/Life Coaching journey, but 20 years ago I was on my acting journey. Like you said in your post, it happened to be a journey where I didn’t reach the heights that I’d hope for, but it sure taught me a lot about myself and about life. It was indeed a wonderful experience.

    To be someone, really is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people may “appear” to be someone and turn out to be pretty messed up. Some people may appear to be nobodies and turn out to do great things.

    Thanks for this post, Bill

    • I’m sure the acting journey has a year’s worth of posts just in that experience alone. And thankfully it was a wonderful experience for you.

      To be someone is certainly in the eyes of the beholder; I certainly think I am somebody and you know what; that’s all that matters, right? Let’s just say I’m somebody enough…:).

      Some of these people who are always chasin’ need to make sure they are happy with themselves first. If they can do that, then everything else gets much easier.

      So good to see you; hope all has been well. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

  8. Give me a bunch of friends and a good conversation and I’m happy. Seriously! Try working by yourself with a goal in mind, all of the right tools and talents, with nobody to share it all with. Yuck! NO fun. It’s not just the fun, either. We all have peaks and valleys nd need other people’s ups when we’re at our lows. We NEED community.
    That’s all that I think anybody is really looking for-relationship. And that’s the main reason people change things up (or don’t)…because it feeds the need. 🙂

    • Give me a bunch of friends and good conversation and I’m in my element; it doesn’t get much better than that, right?

      Community is good and that is why I like on and offline engagement. Being able to communicate makes me feel relevant, somebody notices me.

      Thanks for stopping by Betsy; always a pleasure to see you.

  9. I am on my own path to self-stardom…….emphasis on self. Hey, BTW, my lovely wife and my now 26 subscribers think I am somebody…..or so they tell me. Even so, I think I have a lot more to give and if that’s it then that’s it. So be it but that won’t stop me from trying.

    Can we go back to the comment streams of 6 months or so ago when a lot of people were talking about slow and steady, Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc, etc? That’s still true too.

    • Hey, I’m on that path too and if you ask me, I arrived a long time ago….all I had to do was show up……..:).

      I have a lot more to give and hopefully it will do some good, especially those who need it the most.

      I don’t know if this is slow and steady, but it’s my pace and that’s good enough for me.

      Good to see you and thanks for the add’l comments.

  10. Wow, have I arrived! Darn good question…

    I think for what I wanted to accomplish up to this point then yeah. But do you really “arrive” in social media? I think there are just so many different people trying to stand out from the rest and we all have different opinions of what we like. Man, things can change rather suddenly too you know! You’re popular one day and then the next, you’ve been bumped by the new guy! Yikes!

    All I know is I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and the people who can relate to me will connect and those who don’t won’t. I know I’ll never please everyone so that’s really a blessing in disguise.

    Thanks Bill, always get us to thinking. You have a great week okay!


    • So true; just find you own audience and work it from there. Trying to be anything different is probably not sustainable anyway, right.

      All I know is if you aren’t there yet, you are well on your way. A woman on a mission…:).

      The sooner we learn to do it ‘our way’ the better off we will be.

      Good to see you; thanks for stopping by.

  11. Ah, Bill. You’d rather be paid to write? Have you caught the bug, too? Very interesting train of thought here. Hoping I’m not repeating what someone else already said (I don’t like to read comments before I post mine because I am easily influenced.) LOL

    I have thought a lot about these issues since I decided to take the plunge into ‘authorland.’ I decided that while I have built a successful brand, life is short and I need to be happy about what I do with mine. What I really admire—as scary as it must be—is the person who is not afraid to march to a different drummer.

    And, Kaarina, by the way, I totally agree with you. Either people put a new spin on an old idea, repackage it and call it original, or they say the same thing that’s been said but coming from them, it’s like Moses coming down from the mountain with the commandments. That bugs the hell out of me. Okay, I’m signing off because I’m getting a little crotchety.

    • I have caught the bug; I’m all in now………:).

      I’m at the point where fun is a much bigger motivator these days; I want to enjoy what I’m doing if I’m going to spend any amount of time with it. Maybe that’s selfish, but it’s my time right; and live is short.

      Does get crotchety, it’s ok to agree with Kaarina, because she is smart like that.

      I usually write whatever pops in this off kilter head of mine. Of course I’m influence by what I see in here (good and bad) but whatever comes out is uniquely mine.

      So good to see you; aren’t you the next big thing?

  12. I don’t think too much. I feel the day I “arrive” will be the day when people come banging to my door for autographs; because they want to see what I am IRL.

    But otherwise, I will just keep doing my thing and going on. Life really is short to become someone else and keep wondering whether you made it as the “guru”. Keep doing your thing and keep believing in yourself; if you manage that always, you have arrived!

    But yes, if you manage to “arrive” on my doorstep, do inform me a little before. 😉

    • They want to see, because you are the ‘real’ deal. You arrive every day, right?

      In all fairness, some of these people who we think are gurus never asked for that mantle; they just had success and people became jealous. I’m happy for them; sometimes embarrassed because they let it go to their heads, but I’m sure I could pull some real stunts if that was me.

      If nothing else, I think we will try to stay consistent so at least we have that going for us don’t you think?

      If I arrive on your doorstep, you don’t get to analyze me; maybe feed me, but no analysis.

      Good to see you Hajra; always a pleasure.

  13. Yahoo! I’m in and the breeze feels good 😛

    A leaders work is never done. There’s always need for people willing to take the bull by the horns and make things happen.

    You’re greatest days will always lie ahead if you’re a leader. With each passing day, there’s more wisdom, insights and capability you have to contribute…

    This is not measured by how much money you make, it’s measured by how much value you contribute to the lives of others.

    If you focus on this, the success and money will come.

    • Damn Mark, did you find wisdom on your hiatus?

      Your (our) greatest days lie ahead so live life to the fullest and don’t cheat your self out of enjoying the journey.

      Here’s to gaining wisdom, insights, and good looks; lordy, we can use it.

      Always good to see you sir.

  14. The people who arrive, never really arrive, because they are the ones who keep striving for the next thing and looking past the place they just got to. Hopefully, they smell the proverbial roses along the way.

    • The flip side is, you can ‘arrive’ every day; just be ‘all in’ and enjoy the journey along the way. Methinks sometimes people just try too hard because they want is NOW. Patience can be a virtue at times…..

  15. Hi Bill, great two posts of yours and I will save some time commenting on them both here: I loved the movie Groundhog Day, interesting analogy of change vs. routine. I think it depends on the way you define routine. “A prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure. A set of customary and often mechanically performed” is indeed the well worn pair of shoes which feel so comfortable but if it means “being stuck in a rut” or standstill, then the alarm bells should start ringing. And what is change? How often do you embrace change in real life as compared to social?

    We are all on our path but maybe each with a different mindset shaped by conditioning and experiences. Me and my three faithful readers are on the way to stardom (thank you, Ralph and I particularly liked “I think I have a lot more to give and if that’s it then that’s it. So be it but that won’t stop me from trying.”) and if we have a party on the way so much the better.

    It is important to shake things into perspective now and then by taking a step back and for the rest: what the heck! Life is short and too interesting to solely invest in monument building!

    Thanks, Bill!

    • One of the challenges I have had is keeping it fresh and exciting in a job I have been doing for the last 30 years. The good news is, the job allows me to deal with different people, personalities and opportunities every day. However, and just like in social, I certainly want to stay relevant. Sometimes it takes change to do so….

      We probably have this vision of ‘arriving’ as the big house on the hill and not worrying about how much money you spend. But once that becomes your norm, you will have the same issues of routine and when does it become a rut.

      My key is to be happy with myself and thankful for what I do have; it keeps me in a pretty good state of mind.

      Good to see you; thanks for reading both posts.

  16. Social media is for connections, keeping in touch and having fun. I have never felt under pressure to arrive. I love how we trust a virtual friend’s recommendation, though. Bill Dorman’s my friend (I like him) so if he recommends someone or says they’re okay, they must be okay, right? That’s the thing I enjoy most. Of course, it is also fun to share and promote friends’ stuff. Social media is also a great news bulletin – the variety is fabulous. Aside from that – no pressure to arrive. I would be just as happy without it. So long as there was another way to keep the connection with the friends. I guess I am old-fashioned and have too many offline friends 🙂 and too much going on outside the internet.

    But I am very grateful for the online connections I’ve made.

    Very interesting post, as always.

    (Your heads up on that button misbehavior is very much appreciated! Hugs!)


    • When I first jumped in I got a little crazy thinking there were certain measuring sticks you needed to achieve before you were truly ‘in.’ And after that, there was a certain progression or path you needed to achieve to maintain your legitimacy. It was all in my mind; once I got off that hamster wheel and just took care of what I could control it made it fun again. I had ‘arrived’ enough for me…..

      It all seems like quicksilver and you work so hard to get to a certain point and it feels like if you don’t keep that pace it all slips away. We both know it really doesn’t and if you let that dictate your presence you will probably burn out before you succeed.

      I’m social and I like engagement. Being active online has grown my ‘friends’ exponentially and that is a good thing.

      Good to see you, hope your week is going well.

  17. I don’t know what big is , I just compare myself to my past. When I started my blog two years back , I had 0 followers, 0 likes. But now it has changed . I follow a number of people and I get followed back. To get some recognition feels great. I may not have million followers but only a few which is good because it is an incremental steady progress which keeps one grounded.
    The important thing is to make good relations with a few rather than many. It is the quality of relationship that matters to me.
    Really enjoyed reading your post. It is full of wisdom and practical suggestions 🙂

    • Quality of the relations is key; everything else is just smoke and mirrors. If you take the time to make meaningful connections I feel that is your most sustainable track to success; however you want to measure success.

      I see way too many people keeping the social out of social and they wonder why it is difficult to have good engagement at their place. They want to post every day but say they don’t have time to visit others. I would suggest maybe cut down on the posting and always pushing your stuff out there and take some time to pull people into you by being more interactive.

      But before being judgmental, everybody has a different definition of success and what they are trying to accomplish. Comments on posts might or might not be a success measure for you.

      Good to see you sir, hope all is well.

  18. Man, I hate showing up late to your place! There are always a billion comments to read. On the other hand, I love showing up late and reading all of those great comments and the wonderful conversations going on. There were some really great points made here. You have some smart readers, Billy Boy;)

    As for me, I’m not quite where I want to be yet. However, as I take the journey sometimes the place I want to end up changes, too. That’s okay because it’s part of life–of learning and growing:)

    • I like to hang around smart people; makes me appear much smarter than I really am…:).

      I’m a journey kind of guy, I like enjoying myself along the way. Learning and growing is good, definitely one way to keep you young in spirit.

      Thanks for stopping by; good to see you. I hope all is well.

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