3 absolutes mountain biking will teach you

The hand

Tru dat…

Even though I am a flatlander living in Central Florida, there are actually some pretty decent mountain biking trails pretty close to my crib. Most of these have been created from the remnants of the phosphate mining industry and the mountainous stacks of sand and dirt they left behind. I haven’t had the luxury of trekking on any true mountain biking trails and it might be like comparing snow skiing in North Carolina vs Colorado, but it gives me all I can handle.

Mountain biking/trail riding was something I always had an interest in and even tried it a few times with a tweener bike, but if you are going to do it proper you really need the right equipment and of course it takes somewhat of a financial commitment to get there.

After using a loaner for several months and knowing this was more than a passing fancy for me, I bit the bullet and bought the real deal. It was love at first site; even though my new girl friend can be quite contrary at times.

Even though I’m just a little over a year into this thing, there are some certain truisms I feel I can share at this juncture with some authority.

The 3 truths mountain biking taught me

  1. You will wreck; not every time you hit the trail but trust me, you will crash and burn. And everybody I talk to has either crashed and burned or knows someone who has. I know people who have quit riding just because of the wrecks; hmmm, should that be a sign?

Skill level doesn’t matter either; in fact, the better the rider usually the more spectacular the crash.

The crashes can occur when you least expect it too, on areas you would think as non-hazardous. I don’t know if it’s lack of concentration or what, but my 3 nasty spills were on very nondescript areas you would normally have little to no trouble negotiating.

And maybe it is my age, but every big crash is just like a mini-car wreck; you definitely feel it for several days afterwards. And do you know how hard it is to get a tired ass adult body off the ground?

2.  Your fitness level will increase substantiallyIf it doesn’t kill you first. 

Since I have started I have dropped 10+ lbs; then again, some of that weight is from the skin I have lost skidding along the trail…:). Of course, the 100% Florida humidity and middle of the afternoon riding does its part to help too. Just make sure you bring plenty of water.

I am probably about 5-7 lbs from my ideal weight and all my vitals are in the better than average range, so for an old fart like myself, this should be worth something, right?

As long as I don’t have to look at you on the beach.

Beach? Well, between the cuts, scabs, scrapes and bruises I’m not exactly Mr Body Beautiful, but at least I am in shape. Maybe I will just plan on retiring the Speedo then if I’m asked to leave the beach.

3.  It will replace other hobbies you have.

My hobby du jour prior to mountain biking was golf; and it is not necessarily that I was looking to replace golf on my schedule, but now with two broken hands I have not been real eager to grab a club and swing it around for 18 holes. Fortunately I have just enough grip strength in both hands to still ride my bike.

That’s just crazy talk. 

How long can this last?

Who knows, I am still enjoying it and have come to realization it’s like a NASCAR race every time I go riding; sometimes you will finish the race and some times you will get tangled up and kiss the wall or flip upside down.

Personally, I feel my skill level has increased tremendously since I have started riding and truly did not expect to be picking myself up off the dirt like I have lately, but I think it’s an anomaly and not the norm. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Or either I am just too thick headed to know when to quit; which is a very distinct possibility.

In summary

I think it’s a great hobby and diversion from the normal ways to stay fit. Yes, you can be safe and remain on the flat beginner trails or you can venture out to the more difficult ones. At the end of the day I would recommend you try it at whatever level you are comfortable with, and if you buy a really expensive bike and decide afterwards it is not your cup of tea, just let me know as I might be in the market to take it off your hands.

Happy trails to you. 

Until we meet again.

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When did you stop being good?

What in the hell happened to you, didn’t you used to be somebody? 

But I thought I still was…

Signing your first big contract

Now I can put it on cruise control.

When you see athletes at the top of their game finally break through and sign the mega-deal only to have their performance dip afterwards, do you think it’s because they lost their edge?

Is a contract based on past performance more of a disincentive, or a justified reward for your previous results?

Is that how we should reward our leaders in business, for what they did or what they potentially are going to do? Potential…ha, now that’s a loaded word, right?

What is the right call? If it’s performance based only, what if you have a bad year, bad two years?

What I see in my industry

Yep, still insurance sales; two things I know all too well, me and/or my J O B…:).

Run for the hills if you must.

I have been doing this insurance gig for 30+ years. For the most part, nothing was given to me nor did I inherit anything so my survivability was solely based on somehow figuring this whole thing out. That is not to say I did not have mentors and/or help along the way, but at the end of the day I still had to make it happen.

Ooohhhh, aren’t you special….

My greatness is only surpassed by my humbleness.

In the beginning

I had the education (Risk Management/Insurance degree) and a fantastic mentor who helped create some opportunities for me.

And I was young, eager and hungry.

Over time and because insurance and the renewals that go along with it are sustainable income, I was able to build a book of business. Meaning, if I didn’t stink it up too bad some were actually going to hang around for several years and I would get paid every year they remained with me.

Also along the way, I was motivated enough to continue my education. I have several initials behind my name but the one I am most proud of is the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation which is a masters level course that at the time was 10 parts and I did it all self-study.

And I never stopped learning; so my accumulated knowledge is still very relevant in today’s insurance environment so that should be worth something, right?

And then I cracked the code

When I first started out I was paid a minimal salary that was just enough to allow me so survive, but also keep me hungry. I knew the real money was after you validated and were paid directly on what you killed sold and brought in the door.

If I recall, I think it took me 3 years to validate and I haven’t looked back since.

Oh, there have been challenges as some years will be better than others and for some unknown reason people would fire me (even to this day) or sell out or just go out of business.

The nerve…who keeps moving my cheese?

So what’s the problem?

Over time it’s easy to get complacent and lose some of your focus; at some point you just want to build a fence around what you have and rise above the scrappers.

But as soon as you do that you start going backwards.

You can’t fire me, I am a CPCU…

Oh yes they can, and they will; especially if your price is too high.

What I am trying to say from the knowledge side I am as good as I ever was, if not better because now I have years upon years of accumulated wisdom; book smarts and street smarts. Some lessons learned were harder than others, but learn I did.

However, since I get paid on commission only and theoretically was able to sign my big deal, other than losing an account here or there and not having enough in your pipeline to replace it; how deep do you do you have to keep digging to stay sharp all the time?

Is this only applicable to a sales industry or is it prevalent across the board?

Why isn’t my phone ringing?

Energy and enthusiasm wins out

Maybe; is that why you see big corporations terminate highly paid upper management with all that accumulated wisdom and hire younger (and healthier) and cheaper replacements?

It was inevitable social commerce would grow with the way the social platforms were evolving, but how many of our compatriots have given this a try because they were forced to be an entrepreneur before they were ready?

The million dollar question is then, if energy and enthusiasm win out, how do you keep that light burning brightly so you remain the rainmaker you are capable of, always bringing above average value to the job; day in and day out regardless of the challenges you have to face?

If it was too easy I suppose everybody would be trying to do it, huh? At times, it seems like everybody is though.

What is your secret sauce?

If you are not independently wealthy and you kind of have to work because others are dependent on you; how do you keep it not only fun and interesting, but do it day after day, rain or shine?

I never stopped being good, but do you have to take the blue pill or the red pill to keep your game on so people remember your name?

Sounds a lot like the hamster wheel, huh?

Meet my friend, Jim Shorts

Huh? Really?

I try to be a give back kind of guy. I actually seek out opportunities where I can give back to my community. Yes, this volunteerism has certainly helped my business but I am serving because I feel it’s the right thing to do. If all you are going to do is be a taker, what fun is that?

I was a long time member of the local Rotary Club, even a Paul Harris Fellow at that. It was a very worthwhile service club and provided ample opportunity to not only give back to the community but meet like-minded business leaders as well.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Sounds pretty professional too.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

There happens to be 4 Rotary Clubs in my hometown, and each one has it’s own distinct personality. I was a charter member in one but eventually affiliated with another because it better fit my schedule. Of course when I changed clubs, I picked this particular one because it was known as the fun club.

I knew it was going to fit right into my juvenile mindset when during the announcements of visiting guests and Rotarians, Jim Shorts was in attendance.

See, the trick is to pick the newer members who have to get up in front of a crowd of 50-70 people and are probably apprehensive about public speaking anyway, to make the announcements and recognize the visitors. I mean, they are literally handing you the sign-in sheet of names as you walk to the podium. Hence the opportunity to get someone to say a name without knowing the joke will be on them.

Have you seen Sir Charles Barkley’s “I’m a dumbass” clip? This is what happens when you are concentrating so hard to enunciate correctly and say the right thing.

Didn’t they catch on?

Oh yeah, because Jim Shorts was always in attendance so it created a tendency to let your guard down once you got past Jim’s name. Public speaking shuts your brain down sometimes…:).

But do you think we would let it stop there? Not when you have the mind of a twelve year old.

But I thought these were professional business people?

Oh they are, and I can’t speak for the ladies but I know the crowd I run with are just about the biggest goofball’s you’ll meet. We can dress up well, but when you peel the onion back we are still those kids with water balloons and flour bombs on Halloween.

BTW – My wife said she didn’t sign up for this and is still waiting for me to grow-up. Hmmmm, I think you grow old when you grow up so I’ll pass for now.

Who else went to these meetings?

Well, Ben Dover was certainly there and sometimes his friend Jack Strapp came along as well. It was always good to see Stu Pudidiot enjoying the fellowship too.

Because it was a mixed crowd and typically clergy in attendance, most of the names were G-rated. But during my time in the club I do remember Bud Weiser, Cole Dusak, Neil Down, Arthur Itis, Jim Nastic and Justin Time making an appearance.

I guess it’s funny how we never got any of those people to join, huh?

What do you think, does humor have it’s place and should only be used appropriately, or should we always look for humor in just what goes on in our everyday life?

But that wasn’t funny…

I know, not really. But it doesn’t take much to make me smile or laugh and there is more that I keep to myself because sometime it’s just too silly.

So, if you see Jim Shorts, tell him I said hello and I’m looking forward to catching up with him again.

Time to fish or cut bait

Miss me? Yeah, I didn’t think so…

Don’t get all excited though, I’m still a mere shell of the social man I used to be and this does not mean I’m back. I did actually write some posts during my hiatus, but never got around to pulling the trigger.

So then, what are you doing?

I’m at a crossroads with my domain name as I received the renewal notice on my GoDaddy account to keep billdorman.me active. As The Clash are wont to sing, should I stay or should I go?

The money isn’t the issue; I’m just afraid it might turn into some gay porn site if I let it go and how in the heck will I be able to explain that? However, if I’m going to keep piddling around like I have been, then what’s the point?

Piddle de diddle, the cat and the fiddle…

Well, if you haven’t been blowing up social

Then what in the heck have you really been doing other than sitting around and picking your butt?

Not much I’m glad you asked.

If you recall from earlier posts, my youngest son joined Lanier Upshaw, Inc about 6 months ago. I’m trying to assist him in any way I can and since sales can be as fickle as social, sometimes you really have to keep your eye on the ball or it all turns to fools gold.

In addition to my semi-regular rounds of golf and matches of tennis I have now taken up mountain/trail biking in my spare time as well.

Finally, I’m back to reading again since I’m not spending all of my free time in front of a computer. I’ll bet I’m reading on average a book a week. And I’m a big baseball fan and the pace of the game allows me to read at night while I watch my beloved Tampa Bay Rays.

So yes, it’s still all about me like it always has been, I’m just channeling my interests outside of the online social realm. Yes, my Klout score turned to dust and I haven’t had a free perk in ages, but no surprises there.

I want to thank

Those who have checked in on me from time to time. I do miss everyone and apologize that my tired, lazy ass rarely gets by to your place. I just know if I even try to do that a little bit I will be right back on that social hamster wheel again and I’m trying to spend that time on the treadmill instead these days.

In conclusion

I guess I’ll keep billdorman.me instead of letting it fall into nefarious hands.

Maybe you’ll see me again; maybe not. If you see me pimping a Lanier Upshaw post, feel free to give it some love.

Hope everybody is doing well and progressing nicely along the path to their success.

Until we meet again…

Didn’t you used to be somebody?

Why yes, yes I did until I became somebody else.

The older I get, the better I was

Athletic exploits, past romances, certain people; does time have a tendency to soften reality and give the impression that things seemed better than they really were?

I know someone who married his wife twice. Guess what? It didn’t work out the second time either. There must have been a reason they broke up in the first place, and apparently it didn’t get any better the second time around either.

It’s ok to fondly recall the past, but I truly believe we are better served to let the past be the past and start each day fresh, moving forward. People have a tendency to wallow in what was or labels that were attached to them even as far back as high school, and instead of growing, allowing this to limit their potential.

That’s letting others control your outcomes; playing to what others think.

I don’t know much, but I do know this

With age comes wisdom…sometimes; if it doesn’t kill you then it makes your stronger and wiser, right?

Do as I say, not as I do. Oh, I am still prone to do some pretty bone-headed things, especially when I hang with some of my male friends, but it’s never malicious; I should get points for that.

In my weekly (sometimes daily) redefining of my social strategy, I think I have come to the conclusion I like playing in social media way much more than I like working in it. Of course, that has probably defined me all of my life; I play much, much better than I work, I was just lucky enough to find a job that incorporates a lot of play into it.

I just wish you would grow up.

Yes, dear.

I tried, I really did but it was just not a good fit for me.

I’m afraid once you grow up, you grow old.

Don’t live life looking in the rear view mirror

It’s hard not to. There are certain moments you wish you could capture and just squeeze the living bejesus out of them and never let them go. Maybe if we can clear our minds and quit thinking about what’s next and fully live for the moment we can get close to maximum appreciation.

Do you ever go through a week and don’t recall one memorable moment; feel like you are sleepwalking through life?

Maybe it’s because I’m simple minded and easily amused, but I really look forward to each day because I know somewhere, somehow there will be some adventure or fun out there. Sometimes it occurs online and a lot of times it’s happening out in the real world. But if you look hard enough there is plenty of fodder to keep it humorous.

If you always think someone is out to get you and it’s never good enough, that’s just draining; no wonder you are worn out at the end of the day.

Want to know my secret of likability? I don’t bitch and moan much; if you are hanging with me I’m probably not going to have an ax to grind.

Maybe because I’m not not too controversial or a big fan of drama, I have a tendency to blend in instead of stand out. Kind of like watching grass grow or paint dry but at least I’m consistent. What you see is what you get…

Zzzzzzz…..

Age is just a number

Yes, I know it’s only us old coots who say stuff like that, but I can tell you I don’t feel 87. I didn’t get the nickname Mr Happy for no reason and I’m certainly more apt to give you a smile. And it is very rare if you smile at someone, they won’t smile back.

My lesson for today? Attitude; it makes all the difference in the world and if you have the right attitude, you will always be somebody.

And guess what? Attitude is the one thing within your power to control; you might not be able to control much else around you, but how you react to these events are totally within your control.

Pretty prophetic, huh?

Why do you think it’s easier for some to have the right attitude and others never will? Can people really change?

Yes, you Brian Meeks, time to give it up

Yes, that Brian Meeks; the one on the cusp of super stardom.

Give up what?

His damn @ExtremelyAverage moniker, that’s what. I have been hounding him for close to two years now because that moniker is a much better fit for me than him.

Sumbich won’t budge.

He was featured this week by Geoff Livingston no less; you know, the dude that wrote Marketing in the Round with Gini. In addition to Brian’s most recent self-published book Time and Again which you can snap up for free on Amazon if you hurry, he’s has a whole litany of other works ready to follow. Extremely Average my ass…

You think I’m kidding?

Just to show you the depth of my quest to wrest this moniker away from him, this is my post of January 30, 2012; verbatim. Do you think he budged? Hell no; that’s why I’m cutting lose a second salvo. Republished with Billy’s permission; this is what he had to say that day:

* – * – * – * – * – *

Time to move on Brian Meeks*

Ha ha funny, right? Except I’m not kidding; Mr Meeks of @ExtremelyAverage notoriety needs to give it up. Whenever I crack on him, all the women are quick to defend and quickly proclaim he is anything but ‘average’. Hmmmm…..all I know is that ‘extremely average’ is a much better fit for me, so this is my active campaign to make it happen. There is a shelf-life for these things Brian, and you have exceeded it my friend.

I mean really; the dude already has books published and 9 zillion blog posts. I barely have reply buttons at my place; c’mon man…….

You probably find this hard to believe after reading of all my exploits of heroism, how it was really me who invented the internet, and I’m really a double-naught spy; but in reality, at a party I am so extremely average I have to keep moving so as not to blend in with the wallpaper.

This past week was tough

My day job and meetings pulled me in many different directions; all of it good, but all of it primarily offline. No big deal, right? Except when you peek in and see all of your friends playing; kind of like staying home sick from school and you see all your friends outside afterwards. Makes you kind of antsy, huh?

I keep telling myself I am NOT going to jump back on the hamster wheel; but the pull is there.

So what’s the problem?

It was difficult to catch back up with all the posts I missed; I’m realistic in knowing the only way I drive traffic is through my engagement. I’m afraid without it, I could very well pull out the invisible moniker once again and just leave Brian alone.

So what do you want to do?

Part of me says quit looking out the window and just keep doing what you are doing. The other part says, quit being a doofus and if you are going to be in the game at least be the best you can be.

There is even another pull to put all this effort into our corporate blog at @LanierUpshaw which is probably what I should do because it is my company after all, right? That would probably be the smart thing, but don’t know it it will be the fun thing. Fun is my motivator BTW…..

And of course all of this takes time, so do I substitute my commenting for writing and guest posts? I can just show up and comment; writing takes thought and planning. And it’s a given I don’t have enough game to attract an audience on my writing alone.

Where did you come up with all this?

As I had small blocks of time during the week I could have very easily caught up with friends one blog at a time. However, when the time came I could not muster up the energy.

During my catch-up phase over the weekend, I did read posts and some gave me reason to think and once again ask myself ‘what are you really doing in here’?

Dino at DIYBlogger featured Francisco Rosales, the brains behind @Socialmouths and whereas our models are different, it made me think I should be more strategic and doing something like Francisco suggests.

The other was from my good buddy Jack Steiner (or whatever name the witness protection program will let him go by this week) @TheJackB. He’s calling out the guru’s and exhorting everyone to just be themselves and forget the noise.

And finally, my friend Margie Clayman at @MargieClayman.com who I respect and admire but seems to be feeling some angst on several fronts. She’s trying to wade through what is real and what isn’t (and this wasn’t a shameless link BTW…:).

Did I miss the boat?

One thing I can do, is be myself; and part of that is truly ‘just showing up’. I have tried to play the person who doesn’t care for about as long as I can carry this thing. Now the big question is, do I want to do anything about it; or just keep on ‘showing’ up and take what I can get?

It never ceases to amaze me how a couple of days offline can totally change your perspective and potentially your focus.

If anybody out there is reading their tea leaves or horoscope this week, will you let me know what direction it is taking me in? I’m a Leo…:)

*Brian had no prior knowledge of this….hopefully he is a good sport.

Three reasons your Avatar has a shelf life

First and foremost, if we ever do meet in real life, I might not recognize you because that glamour shot you insist on using already has some miles on it. Plus, this isn’t a dating or casting site, so put it in play somewhere else.

But it was the best photo I had.

I hear ya; once I found one half-way presentable pic of myself it’s been all downhill from there. I’ve tried to come up with a newer, better version of me, but when you only have so much to work with you better run with what you got, right?

Your Avatar tells a story

Because the majority of the people we interact with online and don’t know in real life, we have to pick up on the subtle nuances going on with them online to try and judge their personality.

Avatar’s are a good starting point.

Some use their picture, some do not. When you have a mug like mine maybe I should think twice about what I’m trying to project, huh?

What does that tell you about the people who don’t post their own picture? To me, it screams witness protection program or bad divorce, but either way that is the spice and flavor of this online world; we would like to assume there is much more intrigue and glamour than is reality, right?

What about the ones who have never changed their Avatar? To me it screams lazy as hell, I know, because I am that guy. The reality is, I don’t go out seeking someone to take my picture just so I can change my Avatar. Plus, I am much better looking in real life, right Adam?

What about the ones that change it weekly? Restless souls? I don’t know; sounds like work to me so just refer to the above paragraph to see how I feel about work.

What are your thoughts on the three different scenarios; where are you in the mix?

Have you ever?

Followed or not followed someone back based on their Avatar?

I have used it as a deciding factor; maybe not 100% based on the Avatar, but if they had a cheesy about me to go along with it and I didn’t know them, they might not have made the cut.

The flip side of that is, most definitely I have used it to decide. I have followed back some just because of their Avatar; isn’t that right, ladies?

If you still have some type of follow back policy on twitter, how much does the Avatar come into play?

For the record? It’s a good thing I got to know some of you clowns first, or you might not have made the cut. What? It goes for me too? Well I never….

Have you ever two?

Been surprised at how much different a person looked in real life compared to their Avatar? Of course, in real life you get the whole package, with an Avatar it’s typically just the head shot.

I have, but not in a bad way; it’s just in real life it was much more current. Of course, I shouldn’t talk, everybody probably thinks I’m this relatively young, hip dude and when they see my big ol’ tired ass head, go whoa, what the hell happened to you.

I’m not that shallow thankfully; I look for the essence of someone and can say for most part everybody I have met in real life matched up pretty well.

But I am visual in that every time I correspond with you it’s the image of your Avatar that pops into my head.

So what does that say?

Well, since this is my educational series I would say this:

  1. Your Avatar is the face of you online, so what story does it tell? Do you care?
  2. Your Avatar can make or break a deal; even if that is a very shallow statement, it’s true.
  3. Every once in awhile, your house needs a coat of paint; so does your Avatar.

I guess it says maybe we are all shallow to a certain degree…hey, I’m not going at this alone, I’m dragging you with me, so when I say we I mean all of us.

Am I right or wrong, what do you think? I haven’t changed mine in two years, would you rather see the real me or reasonable facsimile from two years ago?

When we have fertilizer plants blowing up and terrorist bombers at the Boston Marathon, how important is all this stuff anyway, huh?

Have a great day.

Bow wow, you really can teach an old dog new tricks


Hey, who are you calling an old dog?

If the shoe fits….

I used to be the young guy around my office, what the heck happened; did somebody fast forward the clock?

With age comes wisdom

In exactly 61 days from this post, I will be celebrating 30 years of employment with the same firm. Is that old-school or what? It must run in the family; my dad was with Minute Maid/Coca Cola for 40 years.

Doesn’t sound like I took too many risks along the way, does it? I didn’t get married until I was 27 but started on a family shortly thereafter. I am somewhat conservative by nature but being responsible for others, my family specifically, probably made me even more so.

Would your outlook change about work if you didn’t have a guaranteed paycheck? Out of approximately 70 employees in our corporation, there are currently 7 of us who have no income other than what our book of business produces. No guarantees. That is called 100% commission and it means for the last 25 years I have never, ever had two paychecks that were the same.

That sounds pretty risky for a conservative guy, doesn’t it?

That is why I have to laugh at times when I see certain guru’s online, these young whippersnappers who are so-called experts, telling me how to do it. Their motto really should be do as I say, not as I do.

Oh, they might have had some limited success along the way, but was it sustainable? If they were so successful, then why aren’t they doing it anymore? Do as I say, not as I do…

30 years, same job, commission only; I must be doing something right, you suppose? Or just too dumb to know any better.

However….comma….that is not to say I am too old and set in my ways that I can not still learn. In fact, I like to think I am more of a sponge and can still learn from each and every person I encounter. Some good, some bad, but it all can be processed to make me smarter.

There is usually good information in there somewhere, but sometimes you just have to take it with a grain of salt…whatever that means…

Something else I know

Sales is all about production; what have you done for me lately? You might have had a walk-off home run along the way, but if it wasn’t enough to walk away, then you have to get right back in the grind. Ideally you can parlay that shot into other opportunities, but as soon as you start to coast you are losing ground.

That sounds like hard work, you would think after 30 years at least you could slow down.

No rest for the weary and there are young bucks coming in every day taking shots at my accounts.

But that is what keeps me in the game, eager and willing to learn and know if I don’t at least get up to bat, I will never get a hit.

Age is just a number…

That’s what all the old people say…

I can assure you, the texture might look a little weathered, but Billy the Kid is who you will find inside.

For what it’s worth, my 9-point guide to new tricks

  • Be all in; if you are going to commit to something, give it all you have. Do what you said you would do.
  • Be persistent; not annoying, but stick with it.
  • The grass is usually not greener on the other side.
  • Be marketable; always continue to grow and learn to increase your worth to the organization and to yourself.
  • Make the ask; otherwise, don’t complain if you don’t get what you want.
  • People really do remember how you made them feel; work on making it a positive experience.
  • Don’t assume I know what you do; own it and tell me who would benefit from it. How can I help you?
  • Say please and thank you; that will never get old.
  • Finally, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; just smart enough.

Almost as good as my eat less, exercise more wisdom, huh? It never is rocket science, it just seems everybody wants to put a new or different twist to it.

My lap around the track

My first quarter was very solid; but that was only one lap around the track. If I’m going to break Bannister’s mile record I will need to keep this pace for the next 3 laps as well. That means keeping my eye on the ball (hey wait a minute, I thought you were talking about track…). That also means my social activities online will be intermittent. But it’s ok because I am in a good place online and off, so it’s still good to be me.

How is your year shaping up; are you still keeping your eye on the ball?

You will probably notice I use quite a few sports analogies in my writings; since I was never going to be a pro athlete, maybe writing about it would have been a good avenue for me. Nah….I’m where I’m supposed to be; I have the greatest job in the world…really.

Oh so close, you almost made the cut

By the time this is posted, I will be closing in on the 10,000 legitimate comment mark. However, I did want to share some comments not in those numbers; comments that never got to see the light of day. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on what your interests are I suppose, the porn related spam seems to have abated since it’s been awhile posting about butts and fingers. However, these weren’t quite ready for prime time either.

Evidently, I am a much, much bigger deal in the land of spam than among my living friends.

Maybe spam is like The Walking Dead, huh?

Spam gets a bad rap by the way, I remember carving it up as a kid and putting in the frying pan and turning it into a delicacy; I recall frying some bologna too. Ever have a mayonnaise sandwich? Hmmmm, about the only meat in a can I will eat these days would be tuna or salmon if you can consider fish a meat.

Drum roll please, now you see light…

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Me, a webmaster? Really? They must be thinking of someone else who looks like me. 

  • I smiled all the way through your video. The happiest 2 minutes and 37 seconds of my day. Wow. Thank you so much for letting your light shine!

See, I’m sure I told you the story that my father thought I was so bright he called me sun; shine on…

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Been amazed to me? Me too I suppose; should I tell him/her you are welcome? 

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Has anyone ever subscribed to your augment? That might be a first for me; I hope they got what they wanted. 

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Yes, I’m not sure what post they were referring too, but I do have some legitimate factors. 

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Now wait, if they are going to contact me should I hold off dropping them an e-mail? 

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Yikes, since I normally don’t have a topic I wonder when and if I will be able to let them know? 

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God Bless you too sir; I’m glad your hunt is over. 

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I’m not sure what I would suggest about my submit; probably the same as my augment. 

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Not brussels sprouts I hope. See, people can find me on Google. 

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Groovy beat man; and now I have an apprentice. Looks like I helped them just enough. 

See, some of you probably thought I was just a big goofus in here, but just by reading these replies you can see I really am somebody and have quite the following.

What kind of spam numbers do you get? Do you ever take the time to actually read them. I would say their English didn’t seem to be too good, but I have friends who talk like that all the time. Who am I to judge?

Have a great day.

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?