Want to know the very best thing about getting that last post on paper?  It prompted ME to get off my backside and reconnect with friends.  Chat them up over the phone and see how they are doing, what they are struggling with, what they are most proud of, and what they need next.  Not ask for ANYTHING but the chance to have a relationship.  Be proud of how friends have grown, and the different paths we have all taken.  And above all – LISTEN.  I know people are busy, I am too.  But without taking the time to purposefully reconnect with *people* all the hard work will be for nothing.  We are careful to keep the ties strong with spouses and children, but relationships (both personal and professional) need attention also.  Being a small business owner, it is difficult to find peers you can trust to talk to let alone a mentor that will actively take the time to help you design and reach goals.

Yes, sometimes I need help, advice, and encouragement from friends that understand my industry, but I promise you I get greater joy and satisfaction to helping others.  It’s not an ego trip.  I want to help other people be successful, love what they do, and feel that fire that comes with a brain bursting full of ideas.  This is why Social Media Club and Podcamp Philly mean so much to me.  To be truthful, sometimes it’s hard to keep putting myself out there and busting my back to help, only to have people openly criticize my efforts – or worse yet – take advantage of my help.  I suppose that was what ticked me off most about the source of the rant in my last post (having to do with helping people out only to have them want to charge me for their time when I need their help) is that it made me feel taken advantage of and unappreciated.  I don’t want to ever be that way to people that are my friends and associates, especially since I know what it feels like to have that done to me.  It has also made me more understanding of friends that I reach out to that are very busy and juggling a lot of projects.  Rather than take it personally, I’m glad they are (presumably) successful and may have to bump me further down the queue to grab a chat.  I only hope that when friends reach out to me – they can be understanding as well.