I had one of those life-changing, potentially hair-graying experiences a couple weeks ago.
You see, I thought I deleted my blog. Four years of love, attention, trial & error, sweat.
Worse than deleting the content, I thought I’d overwritten it with a very old copy.
I stood in front of my computer, staring at the screen, pumping my hands at my side, in a state of total disbelief and high anxiety.
Knowing that there was really nothing I could do, watching the little hour glass dance on the screen in a procedure that I couldn’t cancel out of, and knowing it would be at least half an hour before I could see the extent of the damage and my knee-jerk response to resolve it.
It was early evening. There wasn’t anything positive that I could think to do, except get on my bike and ride. Clear my head. Relax. And see what I found when I returned.
Within ten minutes, I was a new person. Definitely more light-hearted. Feeling the breeze ruffle the hair on my arms. Enjoying the cooler air that comes as the sun is setting. Breathing more evenly.
I realized that this “catastrophe” was not the end of my life, or my real estate career.
In fact, within seconds, I had this “whoosh” of relief. A total realization of how I felt my blog owned me, controlled me, and that in some sense, I was a bit obsessed with keeping it happy. Odd thoughts. That felt really good.
I realized that if I did have to totally start over with my blog, I would do it differently. It would be simpler, more video-oriented. Have a more Zen-like quality to it. Peaceful, informative, a destination to be enjoyed.
Amazingly liberating thoughts, when I’d been in a state of sheer panic earlier.
At that point, my conscious mind took over and started going though all the ways I might be able to recover my blog data. I had a Plan A, B and C to implement by the time I got back to my desk.
With a calm resolve, I returned home and to my desk. My first step was to bring my blog up and see what condition it was in, so I’d know where to start.
Wonder of all wonders, my blog was back; everything was there. Nothing for me to do, or recover.
I was surprised, but not really. I’ve discovered that if I can back out of my negative thinking, get more neutral, that solutions can appear ever so quickly. And this resolution was just another example for me.
My next thought: “Now what?”
And so over the past days, I’ve played with ideas of how I can incorporate my “ah-ha” of a new web design, with what I have. Sharing content that I find more pleasure in publishing. Thinking about how I can incorporate my joy of photography even more. It’s been a quiet, creative time for me.
Part two of the lesson came to me at the SAAR Expo, when I was speaking with one of my favorite social media people, Bill Risser. Bill does a lot of social media training, and we were discussing Facebook pages. The conversation evolved to something about how hard some people think it is to get started with blogging and creating content for a Facebook business page. Plus, there is a perception that it’s probably too late to get started anyway.
As I pondered this conversation later on, I realized that I really don’t think it’s ever too late to start anything. Not if it’s something you want to do, and you feel is a right fit for you.
Think about it. We are in the real estate business, and our clients move into new neighborhoods every day. How do they make friends?
Blogging and social media are nothing more than new neighborhoods.
What do people do when they want to meet their neighbors? They reach out. They see what they have in common. How they might help each other.
Social networks are exactly the same. Really.
People come and people go.
Look at the rapid rise of Google+. It’s kind of like the new “hot” ZIP code.
Some people have abandoned Twitter, while others are just joining in.
Facebook is growing. LinkedIn gains more credibility every day.
Blogs will come and blogs will go. Just like your favorite and not-so-favorite neighbors.
My advice: Find a place you like, be it a blog or a social network. Spend some time there. Make it feel like home. Be yourself. Have a good time. And know, without a doubt, that it’s never too late to get started.