The long road back home

I wanted to share what happened to me recently. How change, when it is supposed to happen, comes smoothly and naturally. Oh, and that I was right the whole entire time. Let’s not forget that.

Some key points

Before we get into what happened me being right, let’s clarify some main points:

  • The other day I wrote about how what you do today can affect you tomorrow and how that ties into leadership/management skills. Leaders, people who are innovating, have to make smart decisions especially since many times they are doing something new. Stupid decisions rarely lead to success or allows success to be maintained.
  • I’ve always said I shy away from being the center of attention. I do not crave the spotlight. My goal is to be financially secure, my name well-known in my niche (to accomplish my goals) but I can walk down the street or go out a date undisturbed.
  • Social networking is cool but not necessary to achieve success. Having a lot of Twitter followers or Facebook friends does not measure or guarantee success.
  • My Mom taught me to have fun, enjoy life, have your crazy moments, don’t be boring, but handle myself with dignity and grace. Respect is earned, not given, and rewarding if maintained.
  • I grew up around celebrities so I do not become a fangirl. Celebrities are people too. Everyone has a gift – they have one that puts them in the spotlight.

Online people who “believe” in social media as if it was the solution for growth surround me. People became social media experts without any qualifications and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. The numbers of fans, friends or followers implied how popular one was. I am the opposite. My good friends and I aren’t connected on social sites. People become curious, then want to be friends, and it spirals. The word friend is used loosely because they don’t really know each other. In any event, people who really don’t belong in your world end up having an open door to peer into it. Because they don’t belong, they don’t know the entire picture of what is going on (because they aren’t around) and this leads to a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions.

What happened…

Tired of feeling like a fish out of water, I decided I needed to make some changes. I wanted to start the New Year right, not repeating the mistakes I made in the past. Using the internet, I went exploring. I started looking at communities because, as I said previously, it seems like communities are dying out with blogs as the shift from commenting to sharing takes hold. I found a couple of communities I never heard of before. One of them made videos and I watched a couple hundred of them, and still, I never heard of them. I’m interacting, having fun and I find out, accidentally, that their community is mega huge. You’d never know it by the interaction in their forums, their video views, etc. The size of their community does not reflect in the stats people can view. However, let the owners of the community come to your town and they would fill up a hall. They are laid back, very encouraging and supportive of each other, and they are having a blast. I was shocked when I found this out. I didn’t realize I was about to be stunned into sheer joy.

Shock #2

I found another web show, accidentally, that I enjoyed. I watched all of the videos. I loved the sense of humor, I loved the creative aspect of the show, I always learned something and I particularly loved the laid back nature of the show. At a party, I was talking to a friend and I mentioned this new show I found. He said something like, “Oh yeah, he owned a gaming company and he’s the executive producer of [one of my favorite TV shows]. He has a couple of web shows…” and I stood there hopefully not looking stupid because I had no idea.

Ya feel me???
  • No “friends” being jealous or envious of my accomplishments or achievements. Or feeling guilty having them.
  • No more having to watch what I say or how I say it in fear of provoking jealousy or insecurity.
  • Most times when people who don’t have money increase their financial status, they change (usually for the worst). I don’t have to worry about that because these people are already financially secure.
  • They are people who are hard working and ambitious. They’ve made and maintained their own success. They know what it is like to work long hours and have to push yourself because you are following your dream.
  • They are honest. No backstabbing.
  • Because they have those values, their core friends will help them accomplish their goals instead of detract from them.
  • They have fun, and lots of it, while achieving their goals. That is how I live and I am inspired to have people like that around me.

Many of the people I know would want to be friends with these people because they are wealthy, popular, etc. Not me. I was attracted to their personalities before I knew who they were.

This was a huge eye-opening experience for me. All this time when I was saying what I wanted, and told I was wrong, I was right. I was looking at people doing exactly what I wanted. Successfully. These people are ridiculously well known (and before someone corrects me, wealthy) yet you’d never know it from their online presence (the degree of it). I love it.

Birds of a feather flock together…

You cannot have success if you have shackles around your ankles. Shackles can be fears, insecurities, people, situations, etc. One of the hardest things to do is transition. Most times our friends do not have the same destiny as we do. These people enjoy what they do, and have fun with their friends, family and their community, but they also put significant effort (work) into their projects. Ironically in many cases, hanging with friends, family, and community helps their projects – it seamlessly works that way. That was the way it was with my gaming community. I spent many hours playing games, writing reviews, talking to game publishers, etc. My friends could go to any of those events and fit in seamlessly, even the ones that weren’t gamers. It was a great “fit” and I want that back.

But it is hard to think about letting go of friends but it is a process that happens gradually. Your focus is spent elsewhere, the amount of time spent together decreases, the amount of time spent with people with the same ambitions and goals increases, and it all balances out without any drama.

It is also hard to let go of fears and insecurities that can be holding you back. Fear of failure/rejection is one of the main reasons why people hold back. Staying in a rut can be very comfortable because risk has been removed. This brings me back to two points that have been circling in my mind for awhile:

Sometimes, you have to take the jump. I don’t need anyone there to catch me if I fall because, like a Phoenix, I rise.