I promise to get back to the regular programming with the next post, but after releasing my business/career vision, I felt that this was the time to give thanks.
So, below are some of people who helped me in the first four months or so of this blog.
I’ve been blessed with some very loyal friends who have taken it upon themselves to cheer, encourage, affirm and validate me.
Avani was really my first blogger friend, one who took time to interact with and get to know me way before I started getting any traffic or comments. It’s so easy to overlook beginners, as they don’t offer “promotional” benefits of being a friend — but Avani has been kind to me always. Not to mention she herself is a formidable blogger — a beautifully executed site filled with thoughtful, supremely readable posts, run like she really means business.
Jennifer of Principles of Peace
Nothing beats the pleasure of finding someone to relate to, and Jennifer and I’ve been running long e-mail conversations, delighted by apparently pretty big common grounds we share. What I admire about Jennifer is her deep faith-driven conviction and sincerity, clearly apparent in everything she writes. Not only that, she is also an out-of-box creative — who would have thought of running an online bookstore/coffeeshop? If I am correct to believe that one’s potential can been seen in the freshness/uniqueness of one’s ideas, then I think Jennifer is one big cup of healing water — and I suspect she is really not pouring out at her full capacity yet. I intend to be around to witness that, as it will be glorious.
Bamboo Forest of Pun Intended
Now, here is one mysterious, intriguing individual — unique and quarky like no other. It means a great deal to me that this highly unconventional mind tells me he sees something valuable in what I’m doing. In fact, he’s been the most persistent and vocal cheerleader, sending me links to blogs I ought to read, sharing tips about StumbleUpon, and recommending this blog to Barabara of Blogging without a Blog for New Blog of The Week award (along with Al of 7p Productions — I am one lucky soul to have two people championing on my behalf!). I also have to mention that his site is equally intriguing as the person running it — I believe in the power of story telling, so I can appreciate Bamboo’s use of humor to deliver a point.
Dereck of I Will Not Die
I am subscribed to dozens of blogs, but his is one blog where I absolutely, positively cannot skim. It’s because his posts are always supremely challenging and thought-provoking in a satisfying way. He throws a lot of himself into it, but the logic that runs through his posts are so advanced, I have to read it very carefully to follow him. In these days of bite-sized and lowest-common-denominator nuggets, Dereck proudly leads the counter-movement, challenging his readers to aspire to meet him at the height where he is, instead of stooping down and spoon-feeding. All this before I mention his courageous campaign to raise funds for his dream, a cross-country bike trip! I hope after you read this post you go straight to his site and put in at least a coffee’s worth. I’m sure that Dereck will make it go a long way.
Bloggers I Admire
These are people with whom I don’t feel close enough to call them a friend yet (though hopefully I will), but I read their blogs anyway because I simply admire what they are doing.
Barbara of Blogging without a Blog
She is not one to wield unnecessarily verbose proses (like yours truly ;-)), but with just a few potent, thoughtful sentences and well-placed questions, she has built a great community of intelligent, caring bloggers. Instead of scouring through blog carnivals and Entrecard, recently I’ve been just browsing through her blogs, visiting others who participate on her site. Always gentle, mature and accepting, Barbara is my role model of a community organizer.
Robert of Reason-4-Smile
I actually do consider him to be a friend as well, though he’s based in Asia (Singapore? Hong Kong? Sorry, I can’t remember….) and our paths don’t seem to cross as often. But what I like about Robert is his beautifully articulated site design and organization that’s at once unique and intuitive at the same time. Now that’s not an easy feat. And he’s no slouch on the actual writing department — his recent entry titled “Your Heart, Your Fight, Your Dream” got me so excited and inspired, that I immediately went on to submit it to all social bookmarking sites I know of. It was a perfect post, if there ever was one, for me, as it really cut through and caught me exactly where I was standing.
Kent of Financial Philosopher
Don’t let the title fool you, as he really doesn’t write about finance — he writes about life, based on observations he makes from a financial point of view. Along with Dereck above, I always have to stop what I’m doing and read his post, as he unfailingly tells me something new, something deeper than what I have known. When I think of someone “wise,” Kent is the one that pops into my mind.
Tom Volkar of Delightful Work
Tom and I seem to have overlaps in terms of what we talk about, though his is more focused and credible, backed up solidly by his real work as a personal/career coach, instead of a hack musician like me. 😉 As a person who aspires to get into coaching/mentoring myself, I’m watching and observing Tom — learning and stealing what makes him so effective and convincing.
I’m just as smitten with the charm of Sean the Writer Dad as everyone else. What’s amazing to me is that he has proven — in a manner that appears so effortless, even easy — that personal branding doesn’t have to rest solely on expertise or experience, but rather, it can simply be one’s character. Armed with deceptively simple, succinct and articulate writing, he seems to do what I always dreamed of doing — simply be himself. And win regions of fanatics fans in the short time he’s been blogging. If you don’t call that “gifted” then I don’t know what is. Definitely someone I wish to get to know personally.
I’m forever indebted to Bamboo Forest for turning me on to this mysterious woman (what the heck is “Skelliwag?”) who writes about the business of being online more eloquently, articulately and thoroughly than just about everyone else. Enlighting, illuminating, yet so honest and down-to-earth, Ms. Skellie has the site and the writing that I want to emulate so badly. Not to mention all the practical tips I acquire by reading her. Substance and style — she’s definitely got both.
To everyone outside of indie music circle, Derek is an unfamiliar name. It’s a shame, because he has much to offer even to non-musicians. A founder of the indie music behemoth CDbaby.com (where you can buy a CD by yours truly. 😉 ), Derek has let that vehicle go to explore more entrepreneuring. His observations on the music industry, the business of being a musician, and on life itself, is always delivered in a concise, witty and entertaining manner, that you can’t help but remember what he said. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I want to be more like Derek. It’s a hero worship, pure and simple.
He doesn’t need any introduction, does he? The most popular personal development blogger of all-time is also responsible for inspiring me to pursue blogging professionally. I realize how ordinary that is, as I’m sure there are thousands of us, but it only proves how wide and effective his reach is. I’m afraid the peak of Mr. Pavlina the blogger is already behind him, however, as he seems to be moving on to other directions at this point. But his past articles are timeless and his forum is a rich community of people asking good questions.
Family and Friends
Finally, I have the deepest gratitude to my wife Terri and my kids Marie and Noah, who continue to teach me what it is to love and learn everyday.
To my long-time friends Lorie, Ken and Audrey Marsh, who taught me that two families are better than one.
And, to my parents for birthing and raising me, whose capacity I’m still uncovering, after over 30 years of existence. Am I being pompous when I say I am turning out to be much more than what I thought I was? I am formidably and strongly made — and I’m eternally grateful to my parents for that. And I must say, it’s probably not a bad thing that my dad is in heaven — as he can now understand (neither of my parents are fluent in English) what I’m writing and he can see clearer than ever how I’m growing. I’m sure he’s all smiles. 🙂
If you’re not on this list, that doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful to you. The mystery of web is that we don’t know who are all the people reading, witnessing what you put out. Some of you are reading this and never commenting (I do hope you say hi!), I know. Regardless, if you are reading, I am indebted to you. I use this analogy often, but a best musical performance requires the presence and positive feedback from audience. Without you, I cannot do any of what I do.