Let me start with an apology. My internet has been almost completely down for the last three weeks. I haven't been able to go online unless I paid by the hour for dial-up [which is my back up internet]. I've been bursting to share with you some of the great nuggets I learned about writing, marketing your writing, and life in general. I'm going to start by sharing a little lesson I learned on December 26th about taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.
Then I am going to start sharing my story with you. I always enjoy learning from people who are further down the path than I am. Sometimes knowing someone else has faced rejection and setbacks makes me feel like less of a failure. Other times, I've learned from the things others did [both good and bad].
I'm not sure how long my story will take to tell because I will post it along with regular content [to help you with your business] but I hope you'll enjoy it. And, if not, it will be easy to skim past.
So first, Lesson learned.
I read every blog posting from internet businessman James Brausch. I think he has great nuggets and have learned a huge amount from him. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I've listed some of his posts as recent "Blogs of note".
He gave a gift for Christmas to his subscribers. It was $2,000 worth of products to help with each person's internet business. What he did is had people who wanted it sign up. Then he sent out a postcard to each person who signed up and said to come watch for an email from him on Christmas day. On Christmas day the email arrived with the link to a webpage where we learned what we were being given.
As I mentioned previously, I've had a huge number of internet problems recently and so I signed on, opened the email and clicked through. Then I posted the links to a Word document, clicked print and signed off.
The next morning my husband asked about the gift [he helps me with my marketing]. I looked everywhere for the printed page. It was not on my printer, not in my office, nowhere. Not to worry, I'd saved the email. When I opened the email and clicked the link there was one line:
"Christmas is over"
I was angry, so angry, at myself. I got off the phone with my husband and walked out of the office to cool off. I was angry that I'd squandered an opportunity to use something that cost far more than any product I'd ever bought. And it was a GIFT. For a moment I was mad at James Brausch, but truthfully only for a moment. I actually stopped and said to myself "You are not OWED anything, Tiff. If you don't take advantage of opportunities when they appear than shame on you."
I went about my morning tasks which included a large number of writing and editing projects. I was excited to have so much work on my desk to be done. I printed out a few pages of a rough draft I was working on. I'm applying to teach at a conference and I was working on how I wanted to do the worksheets. When I clicked on the printer it started to print. And there...were the links to the $2,000 gift.
A few hours later I got an email that James had posted another blog. It seemed many people had missed the opportunity to download their free gift. Many of them were going on their own blogs and bad-mouthing James for putting an expiration date on his gift. For me, he gave an even greater gift than the $2,000 one many people were expecting.
In life, opportunities will pass by us all the time. Each day we have a chance to change our life. Are we going to take advantage of these opportunites, or watch them go by?
On that thought I'll start to share a bit about how I got here.
This actually ties in nicely to what I just shared. I had always dreamed of being a writer. When I was six I wrote my first story. When I was eight I began telling everyone I'd be a writer. By the time I was in 7th grade I was reading Writer's Digest Magazine. Every issue, cover to cover, I'd pour over lessons and interviews in my pursuit of writing.
I had two great teachers along the way who encouraged me in my dream: Dr. Thomas Lloyd and Jim Meister. Every person needs a starting point, and mine was there. Dr. Lloyd assigned a story of a minimum of 7 typed pages. I still remember the story pouring out of me. As fast as I could write, my mom would type it on our little "word processor" typewriter. These people were as real to me as anyone else. I could hear them talk; I could feel their emotions. I was engrossed with the story. I don't know how long I wrote but I remember it was after dark when I stopped for the night. The next morning it was with trembling hands that I turned in my 22 page story. I had hoped that I would get an A.
What I got instead set me on a path I could never have expected.
I'll see all of you tomorrow for Part 2 of my story.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008