Once upon a time, I was sitting in my home office in Mesa, Arizona with a tiny baby boy in my arms, and a big idea in my head.
“What if I could help all those people I met in my years consulting in large corporations who wanted to start a business?”
It felt like crazy talk.
I imagined disguising myself and going into the cafeterias of Silicon Valley companies and handing out flyers.
I had no idea where to begin.
Thankfully, through Andrea Lee, I met Suzanne Falter-Barns. Her course about building an online presence had an assignment to start a thing called a blog. I didn’t know what it was, but I loved the idea.
When I wrote my very first post, I had no idea what I was in for.
I didn’t imagine it would lead me to spend the night on an aircraft carrier with a bunch of famous bloggers.
Or meet Gloria Steinem.
Or write an Op/Ed piece for the New York Times.
Or become friends with the software developer in Pakistan who would break the Osama Bin Laden story on Twitter.
Or get a book deal.
Because of my blog, I have a place to share things that I don’t want to be forgotten.
I have a gigantic love magnet that brings amazing people into my life. Tens of thousands of them. That astounds me every day.
And I have a vehicle that has made magic happen in many people’s lives. Not magic because of what I say, but magic because of what happens when people have a place to connect and share ideas with each other, and provide encouragement. Like Jon the Ballplayer.
I have a place where prospective clients can come get to know me from a place of total freedom. They can read my thoughts. Check out the comments of people in my community. Pay close attention to what I say and how I say it. All with total anonymity. If my message doesn’t resonate, they can leave with not one cent charged on a credit card. That creates freedom for them.
And when I do have something for sale, like a book or a class or a live event, I can talk about it openly. Without a fuss, pressure or shame. This has allowed me to build a thriving business that takes care of the family I love so much.
It is home for ideas. A place of abundance. A place to celebrate.
I remember talking with Penelope Trunk once about negative blog comments. She gets thousands.
“Hmm,” I said. “I think I can remember two.”
Controversy is not what lights my fire. Discussion does. Compassion for each other and for ideas. That may have slowed readership or incoming links over the years, but that is OK.
Because those of you here are family. You are just right. You are that invisible force that gets me all misty-eyed when I stop and look at what this whole experience has meant to me.
You, through this blog, changed my life.
My big blogging brother Hugh MacLeod released Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear yesterday. This post is in honor of that book, and of the inspiration I got from reading Hugh’s posts when I first started blogging.