Do you ever feel like you are completely "lost in the crowd" while you are out here in the ever-growing world of cyber space? This "village" is so huge that you wonder if you will ever be "noticed" for all of the great work you are doing? Well, it is just like that wherever you go! We can't connect with everyone in the entire universe, and we don't need to. We will all find our little "niche" in the world of online business and community, and I've learned that it is not just having a million and one "friends" (although obviously quantity is important if you want to build a business) - but if you don't take the time to nurture the connections and new friends that you make while you are out and about, you have really missed an important part of this endeavor.
Of course, if we want to gain a following for whatever little business we are trying to build, we need to get the word out to as many people as possible. That's where running a successful advertising / information campaign on Facebook and Twitter is great. But along the way, it is so important to connect in a meaningful way with some of the wonderful people you meet in your online travels. I have had the privilege of "meeting" so many amazing people, and of course we don't have time in our lives to build life-long relationships with everyone who comes along - even if we really, really like them a lot. But take the time today to recognize the accomplishments of someone you have "met" in your travels. You never know, it just might be that they need a kind word, a bit of acknowledgment, a touch of encouragement, or just a friendly reminder that they are important in this great big world marketplace.
One of the people who has come into my life recently is Sue of Indiesmiles. She has been such a wealth of information and advice, enthusiasm for the work of independent business women and other artists, and kindness in unexpected ways. And then, as is always the case, when you take a minute really to listen to what another person is saying, I discover that she has had her own moments of struggle and discouragement. And I feel completely welcomed into the world of real people, with real lives, real hopes and dreams . . . . those "hidden" things that do not always come through in an email or a blog post. It is easy to hide behind our online persona and give the impression that we've got it all together and that everything is "perfect" in our life. But in the REAL world that is just not the way it is.
That is one of the reasons that I am working on my Journal of Gratitude. And that is the motivation behind my determination to include a column in the upcoming issues of Ruby for Women that will focus on the struggles and triumphs that various women have experienced through the grace and mercy of our loving Heavenly Father. Someone has to start saying it. Someone has to begin to speak the truth about the realities of life. Someone has to have the courage to be first. We're working on it here at Ruby for Women. But in the meantime, please visit Sue at Indiesmiles where you will find an incredible group of indie artisans who have created a community of celebration for those of us who work out here, sometimes in the silence of our homes, but always with the opportunity for connection through the Indiesmiles neighborhood.
If you want to read my blog post for which I was honored with the "Top Columnist for the Month of April, 2010," you can go here. But mostly I want to encourage you to join a community where you will be welcomed, embraced, nurtured, and encouraged along the way on you journey to reach your dreams and goals for 2010. When you stop by Indiesmiles, be sure to tell Sue that I sent you!