Many of you may have noticed, I disappeared. Without any warning I just dropped off the “internet” for a little while. The reaction was actually the most interesting part. I got quite a few emails from those who were looking for more ass-kicking. It is amazing to me how much we can touch people’s lives without us never even knowing it. For months and months I had been writing away and posting things all over the place. Then I decided to take a break. Hide out at a cottage for a while and enjoy some sun and allow for some much needed re-energizing, yes indeed, even a professional ass kicker needs to give his boots a break once in awhile and get his feet firmly back under him. It has been a really wonderful summer! But now I’m back and ready to share some more of my learning from my own life and those around me.
So what have a I learned lately? Well 1 thing is for sure. You are making a difference in people’s lives everyday whether they tell you that or not. Therefore, keep plugging away and doing the work that you love because it is helping. Fascinating to me though that we don’t tell people how much they help us or change our lives so quickly. After receiving some emails after I went “off-air” it made me think-‘wow do I do that to people? Do people help me and I don’t really let them know what a great job they are doing?’ So my mission this month is to thank every person who is excelling at their job and excelling in life to provide me with quick service, friendly smiles, filling my head with wonderful and inspiring information, and all the other good stuff that exists in life. I honestly can’t say that I do that now. I know I complain a lot when I get bad service, someone cuts me off in a line, and/or I get ripped off on some bill but what if I spent more time thanking those that are doing all the little things right? Wouldn’t that make my life and theirs so much better. Perhaps that is the lesson: Ignore those who are not helping and appreciate those who are. Even if it is just the little things.
Ok so what about the title? What about the numbers? Well when I just kind of went “off-air” (it should be noted I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it, it just happened) one of my really close business friends scowled at me and said “WHAT ABOUT YOUR NUMBERS? Shawn you have to keep writing, you have to stay in contact, you have to constantly be publishing, and creating new things, you will lose ALL of your people.” My friend even asked me how often I check my numbers. Believe me I understood where he was coming from. I know that readers like new content and that they do get distracted and venture off onto new things. That said though I’m not NUMBER crazy. I don’t look at my statistics everyday maybe not even every week. I look at the numbers casually but what I’m most interested in is making connections. I want to really understand who it is that is reading the things I write, why they are reading it, and how else I may be able to help. I really want to just get to know people. The best thing about my numbers (at least what I think, and really isn’t that all that matters) is that people from over 50 different countries are reading what I write. I love that I have a chance and have connected with people doing amazing things from all around the world. This internet thing can be just so amazing. It gives us a chance to meet like-minded and diametrically opposed minded people from almost every nook and cranny. I know these numbers get me excited. Even more than the numbers, names get me excited, stories get me excited, personalities get me excited. So what do your numbers tell you? What do you want your numbers to tell you? Loyalty vs Breadth? That is always the question for me.
The lesson I learned from the numbers discussion: Numbers can be important and fun to watch. It helps you understand growth patterns and it can help you decide what is relevant. But, and this is a big BUT don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Remember you are a person and that all the content you are writing is for other PEOPLE. Get to know a few of them if not all of them and you will be amazed at what you can find out.
Welcome back and thanks for sticking around! Next time should I let you know I’m taking a hiatus?