If you could turn back the clock…

No, I’m not talking about going all the way back to 6th grade so you can change the outcome when you totally dorked it up as you attempted your first real kiss opportunity. I’m talking about your blog; I know some of you elder statesmen are a little longer in tooth in blog years, but most of us have only been in this arena for a few years at best….and it still feels like a lifetime….

I’m going to let you in on a little secret as I rapidly approach my 2 year anniversary as a blogger; even though it might not appear so, I have learned plenty during my time in here and can say I know how the game is played. But I also know how the game of golf and baseball are played too, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to find me inside the ropes playing with the pros however.

I thought a blog was your ticket to the dance, so I got one. And I actually danced; it might have been the jitterbug, but I was dancing.

But you still have the same haircut and clothes you did from two years ago. They should come back in style eventually, huh? As long as I can still get in the door I should be ok, right? I just hate it when these A-listers keep asking me to park their car.

If nothing else, I have been consistent. Is that worth anything in social currency?

You are only pretty as you feel

There are many things I could have been smarter about and have had plenty of encouragement and suggestions to make this journey easier and more successful. But if I could turn back the clock would I do anything differently?

Knowing what I know now….probably not. The whole process and the people I met along the way are something I wouldn’t change at all.

When I started in Twitter three years ago the economy was scraping bottom and a lot of people thought social would be the ticket to be their own boss and make some crazy money. I mean, it’s the internet after all, right; what is Facebook worth?

With the crowd I initially jumped in with, it appeared every one was successful and just having a grand ol’ time. The reality was almost every one was working their asses off and weren’t making enough money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I was somewhat disillusioned with this discovery, but also naive thinking social was an either or proposition.

Social is just a tool, that has many, many applications. It does not have to be the be all end all. Some are successful with the be all end all premise, but percentage-wise it is a very small number indeed. The others who are using the social platforms as a supplement seem to at least have options and can use it as much or as little as need be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in, hence the continued but somewhat sporadic presence of the Invisible one.

Do you like analogies?

Ok, I was intrigued when I first jumped in because it did appear to be a relatively easy and fun way to maybe at least supplement your income. And it still can be…..but easy is somewhat of a misnomer.

I have been very fortunate to have a paying gig career that suits my personality very well, but to be successful, it too requires hard work and paying attention to detail. If I start chasing rabbits down the social hole, is it diverting attention away from my bread and butter?

Have you heard the expression time suck, yet?

I’m really a simple guy, it does not take much to amuse me; I do a good job of being comfortable in my own skin and satisfied with what I have in my life. So here’s my analogy; I like to network and social provided a global platform for me to do so. I also like to golf, but have no aspirations of becoming a professional. I also like to write which blogging allows me to do so AND interact with others.

Can’t that be good enough?

People ask why am I doing this if I have no end game in mind; like, what’s the point? I suppose the same reason I play golf, I enjoy it.

If I get too serious about this social stuff, then I have to pay attention, commit, show up for work everyday and I’m already doing that in my day job; which I like BTW. That doesn’t make me the The Biggest Loser, does it?

I’m sorry Gini as it appears you missed the mark in your assessment of me and I will not become the next A-lister, but I am a survivor. I do appreciate you letting me have the first dance however.

And even though I will never be invited to speak at Social Slam, I know most of the people there and suppose if that was my end game I could make it happen.

What’s the point?

I have my ticket and it doesn’t expire; I might not be down on the field playing, but social is still enough of a fan-friendly sport it provides the opportunity to get to know all of the players. And by being in the arena it gives me the opportunity to see what is working for others. Just like golf, I can emulate what I want and still enjoy the game.

So, for now I will be retaining my amateur status in social while keeping my ‘pro’ card with my day job. That doesn’t mean I won’t grow from here, but it’s definitely going to be on my terms and I’m ok with that.

If you could turn back the clock on your blogging and social journey, would you do anything different?


45 thoughts on “If you could turn back the clock…

    • I am; every time I think I have found a direction it seems I just settle in to what feels good for me. There are things I still want to do but I don’t want it to become a job….

  1. Interesting premise. It’s tough not to have some blog regret – every now and then I’ll go through old posts and some definitely make me cringe. But hey, when you’re your own editor, that can happen. I think if I could do one thing differently, though, I wouldn’t have written as openly as I did about a few people. The last thing we’re trying to do here is hurt somebody, right, and I crossed that line a few times, which ain’t cool. Anyways, great post.Bill!

    • There are definitely bumps along the way and you could use a few do-overs if allowed. My biggest challenge has to been finding something to write about other than myself. I know it must get old for others who read it, but I just can’t seem to help myself.

      I hope I don’t lose my blogging card…..

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts; much appreciated.

  2. I wouldn’t change a thing. No regrets, only lessons.

    I’m glad you’re finding your peace here, Bill. While social can seem like an irresistible force, by balancing it with other demands, such as earning your keep, you can make it work for you. Sounds as if you’re finding that balance.

    You’re A-list in my book, Bill, no matter what Social Slam says. 😉

    • And you seem to be my biggest fan for some reason; the one who always makes me smile. You did it the right way, you actually produce something of value. Mine has limited value because it’s all about me. But because of that I do try to keep it somewhat entertaining…I just hope nobody finds out how shallow my game really is.

      Day job is good right now; if I was a surfer, I would be riding the wave.

  3. Don’t sell yourself short Bill… if we could get you to the bar at Social Slam, I’m sure everyone would love to hear you speak.

    I think if you’re enjoying something and providing value to others, then that is enough by itself. You are successful on your own. You don’t need social to validate you, just to get you off the golf course once in awhile. 🙂

    • Ah the bar; yes, I could hold court there……..:).

      It’s not that I don’t have a plan, or at least think about one, I’m afraid to get as far down the road as you have and then decide I don’t like it anymore and just go away. The one thing having a personal blog allows is I can really come and go as I please and nobody really notices one way or the other.

      My feelings about all this change weekly, so next week who knows what blinding flash of inspiration will strike?

  4. Good Morning friend! I wouldn’t change much at all about how to use these tools. I love my journey, and needed every inch of it to become more informed about how my clients can integrate these tools into their existing marketing and business development strategies.

    I think some became frustrated, or maybe disillusioned, because they came to the dance not knowing what they wanted to do with it. They didn’t necessarily view it as another tool to plug into “the Plan,” even if one of the goals in that Plan was pure networking in their field. They just liked to dance.

    I get that because I like “the dance,” too. It’s fun here, and I have made many friends that I will call friends for a long time. What becomes important is to figure out how this activity fits into your business life. If you sell widgets to wombats, then, by golly, connect with all the widgety wombats and related parties you can in order to get to know, learn from and help them.

    Along the way, you’ll meet lots of non-wombats who will be an absolute joy to meet, or at least pique your curiosity. There’s nothing wrong with adding them to the mix as long as you continue to work on the widget connections, too. In fact, the bonus is finding out we can learn a great deal by listening to these non-wombatty people, too…you know…getting outside of our comfortable surroundings long enough to see how others do things.

    This is all still pretty new in the grand scheme of life and marketing, so people are still figuring out how they want to use the tools. If playing in “the big kids” sandbox is a goal that supports your business, then go for it. It’s when we think that is a goal because we aren’t worthy unless we are “in their league” (whatever that means) that we become hamsters on a wheel that never stops spinning, and that doesn’t feel very productive to me.

    Enjoy your week, Bill! Thanks for hosting this conversation at your “house!”

    • Ah, the hamster wheel indeed; I was definitely on that circular path for awhile. I hate to say this, but it was probably more ego than business driving me early on. I just wanted to see if I could crack the code by being the ‘just show up’ guy. And you know what, in a way I did.

      But what did that get me? A new set of running shoes because now to keep up I had to start running much faster and longer. And if that was what life was going to look like if I became more structured and business focused, it wasn’t getting me real excited.

      The good news is, I was able to back it down and still be able to hang around without it running me off. The bad news is, I truly look no different than when I started two years ago. I say bad news, really no news, just the way it is.

      The beauty of it is, I can come to your house and now I know which fork to use for my salad; I get it. Like you said, it is still relatively early in the game so I have plenty of time to take advantage of all this acquired knowledge now and that can mean many different things.

      For now, just keep the door open and let’s see what happens. So good to see you and thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. Hi Bill, I always think I could do things differently with the clock turned back. I really wish we could do time travel like Back to the Future, one of my favorite movies! I would have started right on my self hosted site vs. starting on blogger. Nothing against blogger but the transition was messy. I agree you must love it to do it and enjoy it. When the day comes I don’t enjoy I’ll be gone and I don’t see that day coming yet 🙂

    • Ah, time travel; if only, huh? And not everybody, just you, right?

      But you had a much more defined purpose than me; mine was just to have a calling card when I showed up. I suppose I thought my vision would just come into focus but every time I tried to get serious about it, it sounded more like work or work I wasn’t prepared to commit to.

      Some days I have to keep talking myself into it because I don’t want to give up what I have, and then there are others I feel like I could post every day.

      Just call my Sibyl with the multiple personalities……..:).

  6. You’re an A lister in my book, Dorman! That’s the thing, right? If your customers were at Social Slam, you would find a way to go. I struggle with wanting to go places like that to see a bunch of my online friends at once or spending my travel time growing my business. This year I made a very hard decision to ONLY travel to places where either I’m being paid to speak or I can do some significant business development. That means no Social Slam, no SxSW, no BlogWorld, or anything else our friends attend.

    • Well, then it must be so……..:).

      Yes, if it was where my customers were I would find a way to go. However, it wouldn’t take much for me to go to something like that just to meet the people. But then again I’ve only been on the edges, I haven’t gone to every single one like you have and I still get a kick out of meeting some of these people in real life.

      You know first hand I will travel for food and drink…:).

      I’m really gaining some momentum in my day job and really enjoying it right now. Two years ago when I first jumped into social my day job was not very fun because it seemed like EVERYBODY was struggling. I’m up 25% from that point and expect to improve even more this year.

      I’m in a good place right now and I think my social IQ is not too bad for a knucklehead. There are some locals who think I am the man and I’m not going to tell them otherwise. If I did, I wouldn’t get to wear the Burger King Social Media Crown around town…:).

      Glad you had a good weekend; I’ve got a significant anniv coming up at the end of the month and that sounded like a fun weekend to do. Hmmmm…..

  7. I think I would have started earlier, and made a bigger commitment to it… with the goal of being paid to speak at fab social events in places like Costa Rica with @MarkHarai, in Hanalei with Elvis Presley and Tallahassee or some such place with @BDorman264

    • Nah, you’ll have to come to Central Fla to speak with me; I’m the man around here if you didn’t know….:).

      True story, I spend quite a bit of time networking in not only my home town of Lakeland, but Winter Haven as well. My youngest son just joined our firm and I’ve been taking him to events in both cities. He said the hardest thing to do is remember all the people I am introducing him to; he thinks I know everybody. Cumulative effect I suppose.

      Good to see you sir.

  8. I’m a student of life… I love to learn new things (other than techy stuff!). The social web may not be the end all, but it is impacting lives across the globe, both on a personal and business level. That is very interesting and exciting to me : )

    I’ve always aspired to making a difference in the lives of others… The possibilities of a global impact makes it all that much more intriguing!

    Geesh, I’m starting to take this social stuff way to serious!

    But I’m on a mission – a mission to change lives and have impact. That’s serious business to me.

    Very boring for some. but that’s just who I am 😮

    Productivity is a result of having a goals and reaching them… Folks who worry about being worthy or not aren’t getting anything done anyhow.

    The only thing that really matters in life is the league you’re playing in now; you’re in the game at this point and anything can happen if you’re willing to step up to the plate and take your swings.

    One more thing – don’t be afraid to swing for the fence!

    Cheers, Bill!

    P.S. I just got hosting set up with Amazon AWS over the weekend. It’s a bit more complex than other hosting solutions, so it will take a few more days to get set up – but its the best out there for websites with big dreams 😮 I will keep you posted!

    • You and I are a lot alike sir; we both want to make a difference in somebody’s life. That’s enough reward for me.

      Swing away Merrill, I’m not afraid to swing away because chicks dig the long ball….:).

      Keep me posted; keep thinking big.

  9. Totally weird. Totally true. I basically responded to Mr. McBreen with the same notion as you wrote here before I popped over here to read this. Great minds and all that.

    I suggested to Craig that if you see this as a business development tool and use it as such then it can be very helpful. You say your the simple guy who loves to network so this should be your ever-loving playground.

    The way I see it is a 300 yard drive is as valuable as an 8 inch putt. Different strokes is all.

    • Too much of a playground at times, but I do like to network.

      As I told Mark, chicks dig the long ball, but drive for show and putt for dough….every single time ’cause you always have to close the deal, right?

      For now, because I’m dialed into my day job, I would rather somebody tell me ‘do this, do that, and do it at 9:00 am every day’ for social and I would fit it in the schedule. If I have to think about it and put it together too, I’m ok to back shelf it for now.

      See you soon, right? We will have a beer together………

  10. Hi Bill,

    If I knew then what I know now things would have been totally different. Probably would have not directed my efforts in so many directions. Streamlined what I was doing and stayed focused on what is now working. But unfortunately we end up kicking the can down the road over and over again until we figure how everything connects together. What works and what is a more of a waste of time. What you should never do and the consequences of doing the wrong thing. Rarely does anyone get it right, unless they have a wise mentor in their pocket.


    • I tried to do a lot without asking any questions and early on I was doing everything so manually it was taking me 10 times as long as everyone else. But it was a good learning tool.

      I jumped in with no purpose in mind other than playing in the blogs. I’m kind of still there two years later except I’m not in the other blogs like I was at one time. But I’m ok with that because that is just the way it is for now.

      I’ve had some wise mentors who offered excellent suggestions….I just didn’t act on most of them….:).

      Good to see you, thanks for the visit.

  11. Oh I would have changed some things for sure Bill since my first year and a half of blogging went absolutely nowhere. It was a learning experience and I didn’t start meeting other bloggers until later into this thing.

    I say if you’re enjoying the ride then enjoy! Everyone is here for different reasons and that’s really a good thing. We’re just glad you’re sticking around.


    • Thanks for the kind words; it seems sometimes my feelings toward my online efforts can change daily. However, the driver is usually what is going on with my day job that determines this. For now however, the less you see me means I’m doing more in my paying gig, and right now more is better. 50% of annual goal in two-months; let’s see if we can kick the door in.

  12. When I step back and look at blogging I see people who are willing to be vulnerable. I like those kinds of people. It’s fun to be around them. You can tell them anything, play with them, support them ’cause they’ll let you, learn from them, and …etc. Blogging is just getting uninvisible. <not a word. And when you become uninvisible, you can play in the uninvisible game with all the other players- players like you who bring their personality, adding a new dimension to the game.

    • So true; from what I’ve seen people have a tendency to open up more under the cloak of semi-anonymity in social. Some more than others, but it’s there.

      Yes, there is a plethora of personalities, that’s for sure. But it’s what makes the world go ’round, right?

    • I concur, that was half the fun. If I had this grand business scheme as my mission I might have never taken the first step. I know there is so much more I can do, but as long as I’m cookin’ w/ gas in my day job I’m not going to worry about it.

      I probably ‘know’ a lot more than I think I do.

  13. I am not sure if I have a career that suits my personality, but that certainly got me thinking 🙂

    I would probably do something different, because I have made all the mistakes possible, but I am enjoying every minute of it. I believe that we don’t necessary need an end goal as long as we’re enjoying the ride.

    • I concur, enjoying the ride and w/ very few exceptions, I certainly have. There have been a handful of people who have reached out at just the right time, or said just the right thing, that makes this all worthwhile.

      You are willing to jump in and try things; me, I’m more willing to see others try and then decide if I want to play too. The main reason I’m running on the cheap is the fact my CFO (wife) thinks this is all frivolous and until I make some money for my efforts she’s not willing to spend any money. I’ll just have to show her, huh?…:)

      It’s all good; good to see you sir.

  14. I feel like you’re in my head Bill. Everything you just said is exactly how and what I’m thinking.

    You’re further down the line than me but recently I felt overwhelmed again with keeping up. So I slowed down again and I must admit, whilst I missed everything, I felt much more relaxed.

    I also felt like I was neglecting what I’m really here to do at the moment, which is looking after the kids. Not in a ‘call in the authorities’ kind of way but just not giving them my full attention.

    I’m going to keep blogging because I do enjoy it and enjoy writing. It also keeps both me and my mind busy. Will I ever be an A-list blogger? Probably not but maybe one day I might make a couple of bucks of it. Who knows?

    • Who knows is right? And who knows what the landscape will even look like in 3-5 years; we might all look back and laugh at our efforts we used to think were so important.

      By paying more attention to my day job, I know I’m already at 50% of my goal for the year. Coincidence? Hmmmm, hard to say but I can truthfully say my mind doesn’t feel like mush because I backed off. When I saw it was going to become like a second job I had to re-think my efforts. If I was willing to put that much time into it, I should just direct those efforts to my day job because I know exactly how much money I can make there. That’s why it is important to me it remains fun for now.

      Let’s just keep plugging away at whatever pace seems appropriate, and we’ll figure it out.

  15. So rather than “I wanna be a Cowboy”…I should just sing “I wanna be a non-wombat”. And regarding analogies – hey, I even tag my blog Social Media Sports Analogies. I’m not famous, and I’m not an A-Lister, but I’ve enjoyed getting to meet fellow non-wombats like you, Bill.

    • I want to be a walker…as in Walking Dead…:). My sons keep sending them story plots, they are hoping to get a walking cameo….

      Sports analogies I can do well because so much of competing and practicing can be tied to sales too. However, probably one-third of my audience are either non-US or non-sports so sometimes my point gets lost somewhere in the translation.

      Yes, I’m a legend in my own mind and perfectly content to stay that way. Non-wombats indeed.

      Good to see you BV.

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