But today I’d like to submit that there is also a magical side of blogging most folks generally overlook. Frankly, the big reward here often times has nothing to do with dollar bills. No, it’s much, much more than that.
When I look back on what has transpired for me in 2011, I can only smile in awe of what has took place these past 365 days. Without question, it has been an amazing year on many levels, but much of the blessings have been a direct result of the labors I’ve put in here with The Sales Lion.
So to paint this picture clearer, here are my top 5 magical moments I received from my blog in 2011, and when I’m done, I’d love to hear yours as well.
1. Meeting a Hero, Fulfilling a Dream
A while back I mentioned in a post that I met one of my heroes, Tony Caridi (The radio voice of the West Virginia Mountaineers), when he contacted me to help him better leverage Hubspot and have more success with his inbound marketing. When I went out to meet with Tony and his staff, not only did he give me a full tour of everything WVU, but weeks later I also ended up sitting with him in the press box for the biggest game of the season, WVU vs. LSU. Although we didn’t win the game, it was an experience I’ll never forget. And one last thing—The video you see in the upper right hand side of this page was produced by Tony’s company as well, something that was done in a trade, and an element of this site that has generated many more speaking opportunities for me since.
2. 25 Minutes in Cleveland That Changed Everything
I’ve talked a few times about some of the experiences I had at Content Marketing World this year, but without question that one event, and the short 25 minute presentation I gave, were a quantum leap in my career.
The events of CMW lead to multiple other speaking engagements, including Blog World LA and the Mesh Conference in Canada. But more importantly, during my time in Cleveland I established relationships with some really, really amazing people, like Amy Porterfield, Michael Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, CC Chapman, Deb Ng, Jay Baer, and others.
3. Canadians are Awesome
As I mentioned in #2, a few months ago I spoke at the Mesh Marketing event in Toronto Canada. Although I’ve had fun just about everywhere I’ve spoken these past few years, none were quite like Mesh, which I owe to the fact that Canadians are passionate about social media (at least in Toronto) like I am about bacon for every meal :-). As I explained in my “Twitter is the Greatest Feedback Tool in the World’ article, the reaction I got from that event, and the people I met, were all unforgettable.
4. A Simple Trip to Michigan
One of the great parts of this blog and what I do is the fact that companies hire me to come out and speak to their organization about the power of inbound and content marketing. Although I did this a few times this year, one that really stands out is my trip to Lansing Michigan when I met with the folks from Block Imaging. To make a long story short, after speaking and conversing with their staff over the course of an entire day, I truly came to care about their people, their vision, and the integrity they stand for as a company. Months later, I’m still closely following their marketing progress and keeping in touch with some of their employees.
5. Boston Baby!
Another opportunity that came from this blog in 2011 was speaking at the Hubspot User Conference in Boston. As everyone knows, I have strong feelings about the power of Hubspot and Inbound Marketing, and so getting a chance to help fellow Hubspotters on a large yet personal level is very rewarding.
But not only that, after I gave my seminar and went out for a bite to eat, I realized the Boston Red Sox were playing, so my business partner Jason and I walked down to famous Fenway to see the historic structure.
Minutes later, as I described in much detail here, Jason and I had walked straight through the gates without paying and found a seat next to the famous ‘Green Monster’ in left field, which was a moment neither one of us will ever forget.
5.5 When Online Friends Become ‘Real Life Friends’
I know I only said there would be 5 magical moments listed here, but I’d be very remiss if I didn’t mention the relationships I formed with some incredible people online this past year. For example, when I attended Blog World New York, I finally was able to catch up in person with two of my favorite online people(and super-talented bloggers): Gini Dietrich and John Falchetto.
Meeting Gini and John only solidified what I already knew—Online relationships can be very, very real, especially when properly nurtured over time.
In reality, I could mention many other wonderful people I’ve formed strong relationships with this year because of this blog, but I’m sure you understand my point. In fact, I’d imagine that if you’ve been blogging long enough, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Again, It Isn’t Just About the Money
20 years from now, when I look back on 2011, one thing I know for certain is that money will not be the first thing to come to mind. Yes, this year was a financial success, but the magical moments, smiling faces, and relationships built will make up the memories that will stand the test of time.
As for 2012, I simply can’t wait to turn the page and see how the wonderful story continues to unfold.
So those are my magical moments that resulted from my blog in 2011, now I’d love to hear a few of yours. Whether it was a business blessing, a personal lesson, or something very simple—Please share with the community here a blessing or two your received from blogging this past year.
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