I love the new Facebook memories feature because in my early days of Facebook use, I did a good job of capturing my life. Who am I kidding? I still update Facebook pretty faithfully.
Today, Facebook alerted me to the fact that 6 years ago today is the day my first-ever blog post landed. I wrote the LeaderTalk blog for Mountain State University — both the university and the blog no longer exist.
I’m still here.
Here’s what my life looked like six years ago:
I lived in the city of Chicago. My girls were 7, 4, and barely two. I homeschooled my two oldest girls and coordinated a home-school co-op with several other families. My husband’s schedule included 12+ hour work days and regular extensions of his work into evenings and weekends.
We lived on the 2nd floor of a 6 unit condo building with a postage-stamp sized yard. I volunteered at church. I did everything you can imagine to keep our family going while trading favors on babysitting with friends to get a small amount of uninterrupted time to write.
All the stereotypes of a stay at home mom of littles: that was me. I started blogging at LeaderTalk and joined Twitter to make connections and share content.
Within weeks, a few heroes emerged who encouraged my efforts and helped contribute to early success. Dan McCarthy. Steve Roesler. Wally Bock. Mary Jo Asmus. Kevin Eikenberry.
And later, a new cast of characters emerged: Jesse Lyn Stoner, Whitney Johnson. The staff of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
At any point, it could have gone either way. I could have let self-doubt and lack of confidence sideline me. I could have held on to the “I’m-just-a-stay-at-home-mom” shtick, shrinking back. I could have succumbed to the thigh deep laundry and come up with a thousand excuses to stay in bed instead of rising early to work.
Instead, I showed up in a disciplined way. I published three posts a week. I reached out to new connections through social media. Somehow, and honestly it’s all a blur, I kept working, with no small amount of ambition fueling me. I had to squash the whispers of “You’re not enough” repeatedly.
I never became an overnight sensation, but I did establish a presence online, build valuable relationships, learn how to write a coherent blog post, and figure out how to use social media effectively. All of those experiences eventually made it possible for me to start my own business in 2012.
I still have to quiet my inner doubts. I waver between thinking I’ve done this amazing-wonderful-impressive thing and in thinking that what I’ve accomplished so far is fairly insignificant.
I stay grounded by thinking about the opportunities I’m creating for others, the ways my business helps my family, and the difference our team is making in the world.
6 years. It could have gone either way. I’m grateful for the people, named and unnamed, who have been a part of this journey.
Beautifully written and stated and just the type of encouragement I needed this morning. It’s amazing what we can do when we leave our comfort zone, right? Thanks for the reminder.
Becky, congrats to you! Thanks for sharing your story. I think it’s important for others to hear the hard work and mental strength that goes into pursuing success. Too many think it just “happens.” You truly inspire, and the work you have done and continue to do IS this amazing-wonderful-impressive thing 😀
You’re an inspiration to countless women and men, Becky. The successes you’ve helped create for authors, team members, and how many others is a tribute to your leadership skill. Overnight sensation? Well, you know there isn’t much substance in things that happen ‘overnight’. What you’ve built is a sustainable resource with solid foundation. That’s where the value is. (However, from where you started to where you are, and in the time frame given, in business terms, that could be ‘overnight’.
I just spoke with Becky for the first time (other than e-mail), and it’s obvious that the reputation she has built as a thought leader, connector and influencer is well-earned. In just 35 minutes she offered valuable advice about personal branding and leaving a legacy – in addition to covering the original agenda of the call!
Becky, we all doubt ourselves sometimes, so just remember when you do that you have a strong team of backers ready to set you straight. Congrats on where the past six years (and the ones before) have taken you!
I enjoyed meeting you today, Matt. Thanks for the chance to connect by voice and for your encouragement. I look forward to continuing the conversation!
Wow, I still recall the Chicago days when the (little) girls would be on your lap when we were Skyping and they always put a big smile on my face. And it sure doesn’t seem like 6 years.
You’ve continued to be a terrific wife and mom and a wonderful businesswoman. I’m thankful that we’ve remained connected all this time.
Thank you so much, Steve. I am grateful for you!
You are an inspiration, Becky. Congratulations on your well-deserved success. I’m delighted to be part of your journey.
Thank you, Jesse. You are a very important part of my story! Much love to you!
Becky, it has been an honor to watch your business grow and thrive (even if I’m not surprised that it did). So glad to see that you’ve discovered and built something that has meaning for you – isn’t that what it’s all about?
Thanks, MJ! Your coaching questions (still posted in my office) have been helpful along the way.