Why is it so hard for us to step out of comfort zones? Eleanor Roosevelt said: "Do one thing every day that scares you." While I do love that quote and love the challenge she gives us, saying it and doing it are completely different things.
I challenge myself to try new things, to get out of my comfort zone and do things I'm not comfortable with, to "boldly go" if you will. But wow, is it ever hard sometimes. Do you feel like that?
I wouldn't call myself an introvert, but I'm certainly not an extrovert either. Regardless, sitting on Google+ Hangouts or doing video just scares me to death. I literally could feel my heart begin to race each time I thought about it. I continued to find reasons to not do video: I don't have the equipment, I need to find the right topic, I don't have a good place...
Fortunately, I tend to surround myself with people that push me , inspire me and make me better. I've always been like that. I tend to shy away from being that bring me down, and flock to people that lift me up. I also tend me be a little more bold when I'm surrounded by friends.
The picture below was taking around 1990 - the six of us were the best of friends and we did almost everything together. My very best friend is pictured on the far left, and that's me next to her. She is now my wife. We were introduced to each other by the couple on the right. They are now married as well. I owe much of who I am today to these guys, we went through a lot together.
Surround yourself with great people
My oldest son, who is a senior and will be heading off to college soon, brought home is report card yesterday - All As and one B. As we talked, he told me about his two best friend's grades and how they were all As and Bs as well. My son has been getting really good grades for almost two years now, right around the time he started hanging with these two best friends. I realized that the three of them challenged and supported each other. There was a bit of healthy competition there, that benefited all three of them.
This seems that works for adults too. Since I've been active again on Google+, I've tried to surround myself with great people, and specifically great bloggers. As a result, I've upped by game. I started publishing more, made some fairly significant changes to my blog design, switched from Thesis to Genesis and made many other positive changes. The biggest recently was publishing my first video.
These great bloggers than I follow and interact with on Google+ have had a significant positive impact on my blogging business and me personally. These people inspire me, challenge me, and teach me. While there are many people in my circles I value, there are a select few that rise to the top of my circle list on Google plus and people I would highly recommend you add to your circles:
- Rand Wilson - Rand is the person, that pushed me to do that first video. He publishes lots of video and has been sharing his tips and learnings along the way. Rand also has a great sense of humor and is guaranteed to make you laugh at least once a day. The world needs more laughter.
- Jesse Wojdylo - Jesse is competitive and so am I. Jesse's competitiveness challenges me and he overflows with self confidence. His style has influenced me and pushed the way I use Google+.
- Jason Hill - Jason reminds me of myself in 2006 when I first started blogging and was trying to build an online business. Jason is incredibly passionate about what he's doing. He's excited about it, and it shows in his posts. His energy and passion about what he's doing inspires me and serves as reminder of why I started doing all of this. Jason also challenges me to try new things and explore. While he'll tell you he's new, he has certainly taught this "old dog" some new tricks.
- J.C. Kendall - There are two key things I highly respect about JC that keep him on my Google+ VIP list: 1) He is dead honest. You always know where he stands, and he's not afraid to express his opinion 2) He openly expresses his love for his wife and how important she is to him. Not many men do this, but they should. JC taught me to be myself on Google+, and to not only share blogging and technology posts, but to also allow people to get to know me personally through my posts on Google+.
- Keith Bloemendaal - Keith is someone I've just recently started interacting with a little more. Keith is a guy that knows how to try new things, experiment and grow a business online. He recently wrote a 5 part series exclusive to the Zero Links Blogging Community - it's seriously a must read story for anyone inspiring to run a successful online business. Be warned though - he lives at the beach, and will make you incredibly jealous with his beach pictures...
- Lynnae McCoy - Lynnae and I have been blogging friends since 2007 and watched our first blogs grow together. She's a great lady with a wonderful family. The funny thing is, Lynnae and I have never actually met in person. Lynnae is someone I trust and someone I can always depend on for good advice, guidance, and an honest opinion. I know that if our families lived closer together, we would be very close.
Please don't feel slighted if you aren't on this list, I just can't list everyone and I wanted to call out these particular people as a result of them having a particular significant impact on my life. There are numerous others in my circle that I love interacting with and talking to on a daily basis.
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are you surrounding yourself with people that inspire, support and challenge you? If not, maybe you should be. These people will keep you motivated, will help you grow, and will pull you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to do great things.
The Friday Most Excellent
Here are my favorite links for the week:
- Rand Wilson shares a Free eBook he wrote called $0 - $5k in 6-months. If you're interested in earning an income online, this is a must read. Not only is it an inspiring story, but it's full of great tips.
- Mike Allton wrote about How to Increase Traffic and Generate Leads with Landing Pages. I added this to my list of to dos, this just makes so much sense.
- Bob Dunn shared 7 Reasons Your WordPress Blog Post Is Not Ready to Publish. This is a really great checklist to look over before you press that Publish button.
- Lynnae McCoy wrote about Homeschooling, The Christian, & The Common Core Standards. We don't homeschool, but have considered in many many times and often waffle back and forth.
- Jesse Wojdylo published an article on his blog about the new Google Keep. Many people are thinking it could propose a challenge to Evernote. This article shows that it isn't right now, but could be down the road.
That's all, short list this week. See ya on Monday!