A Month of Birthdays

Believe it or not, this blog is a year old this month. And it was my birthday yesterday. As you read this, I’m easing back for a few days, basking in my gratitude for this last amazing year.

Join me in a slice of virtual birthday cake and indulge me as I share with you some of the highlights.

Creating

I started blogging because, simplistically, I thought it would bring together two passions of mine: my love for writing, and my thing about the role work plays in creating meaning in people’s lives.

In tandem I was ready to build more of a practice of clients who came privately to me, as opposed to having been referred and paid for by corporations, with all of the strings that tended to be attached. That meant building brand new networks.

In the beginning I had only an intuitive sense of what I could do with the blog. But the energy and enthusiasm I unleashed in myself just by starting it was reason enough to keep going.

I was a novice to the technical side of things. Still, I hungrily taught myself the basics of WordPress, as challenging in the beginning as that was. I also threw myself into learning about the wider social media world. As someone who’d done business in a traditional way for years, I felt like I’d stepped off my safe planet onto some fourth dimension, of immense potential.

Suddenly social media was opening doors I could never have imagined. If only, to begin with, in my own head.

Search for meaning

Offline it used to be pretty easy. My networks knew that I was the “go to” coach for the kind of stuff I do. Offline you don’t have to be so sharp: people know what you do and your experience speaks for itself.

But how on earth do you articulate that online to people who don’t know you from Adam?

Attempting to get clarity, I searched around in my niche and found a few terrific blogs and bloggers. Pam Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation is great for those wanting to set out in a entrepreneurial direction. Scot Herrick’s Cube Rules has terrific advice for people dedicated to sticking with their office jobs. In the beginning I put out some thought pieces, both for those who were thinking of quitting their jobs, and those in employment alike. I knew I wasn’t really hitting the nail on the head or being totally, authentically myself. But I had to search for my own voice and my own angle post by post.

Meantime, I was so convinced that social media was going to take my work in a new direction – and one that would allow me to work more from home – that my other half and I decided to move out of London. He doesn’t need to be in town, and I was concerned that having The City on my doorstep would tempt me to default of more of the same. So in October we took our courage in both hands and took up home in a 300-year old converted cottage in the Chilterns. Big change, but ultimately such a joy.

Focusing down

Moving house really did mean that I had to up the ante on the blog. By Christmas, I understood the whole blogging and social media thing so much better and so could begin to set targets for my business based on using it.

By then too, I was able to articulate for myself that my offering is about coaching and inspiring professional people to work and live on their own terms. I was starting to really get that my difference was in supporting people’s own process, rather than telling people what to do. Correction, I was starting to be brave enough to say that.

Additionally, I could see that there was a wave of people at work who tended to be more my kind of client than any other. They were those who were consciously directing their own lives and questioning the role of work within it. And in February, I put some of these thoughts out in my post on The Silent Rise of The New Work Pioneer.

I also started to get braver about putting my personality across, and wrote a real piss-taker in my How To Make Sure You Never Get Aheadpost. Now that was fun!

The clearer and more focused I got, and the more confident about putting it out, the more the comments and retweets came. More than that, the better I got to know and connect with people in and around social media, the stronger these networks and connections have become.

Whilst in the beginning an intuition drove me, I’m now motivated by the clarity of my vision and sense of direction.

Leveraging

So, things are now at a point where coaching prospects and clients are starting to come through the blog, both directly and indirectly. In addition, I’ve just run my first workshop, was very happy with the outcome, and am ready to start adding that as a product, which I’ll be running from September.

Of course, there’s more development to come yet. The New Work Pioneer Manifesto needs PDFing and sending out. There’s a book to be written from some of the material for The Worklife Makeover. There’s another, longer workshop in development, and next year I plan to add an Interactive Learning Environment to the site.

It’ll all get done. But the point is that I could not be building these things, and seeing them generate results without the foundation work that’s been done.

An interesting, but unexpected, twist has come this week when in just one day I had several requests for consultancy support for social media for coaching businesses. My own personal development coach has been telling me for months that I need to package an offering. I didn’t see myself adding this to my business portfolio. If I can help people light up their businesses in the way I have, and enrich their experience of work in a similar way, why wouldn’t I?

Well, I’m off to eat more cake and drink more champagne now, but as I chomp and slurp, I want to thank you guys for being around these last weeks and months. It’s been fabulous and I’m only looking forward to more.

Cheers!

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Comments

  1. Kerry Dexter says:

    Christine,
    this is my first time to your blog, and I must say it’s a fine introduction. many places where our perspectives and interests intersect, I think. I’ll be reading more, certainly. and happy birthday!
    .-= Kerry Dexter´s last blog ..kickstart an Irish music recording =-.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Kerry

      Thanks for the birthday wishes! Good to have you here and looking forward to finding out more about those intersecting interests!

  2. Eleanor Edwards says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    It sounds like you’ve had an amazing year Christine. I love your honesty about finding your voice. That can be tough can’t it? ;)

    It’s been a pleasure to get to know you these last few months. Here’s to many more blog (and personal!) birthdays.

    Now where did I leave that slice of virtual cake?

    Lots of love,
    El x
    .-= Eleanor Edwards´s last blog ..I found my thing! On niches and doing a happy samba =-.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Eleanor,

      Thank you SO much!!

      Yes, finding your voice can indeed be tough, but have you also experienced that something inside you keeps driving you to do just that ;)

      Pleasure to get to know you too, my dear, and indeed – here’s to many more.

      Lots of love

      xx

  3. Ryan Hanzel says:

    Happy Birthday! I agree with Eleanor. It’s really been a pleasure coming here and reading your material. I hope this next year goes just as well as the last if not better for you.
    .-= Ryan Hanzel´s last blog ..Whats the buzz? =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks so much, Ryan. It’s been brilliant connecting with you too in the last little while. Looking forward to more in the time ahead :)

  4. Mandy Lehto says:

    What a year for you! Congratulations. And what an adventure the coming year will be too! It’s a joy being along for your journey via your insightful, entertaining and thoughtful blog posts.
    .-= Mandy Lehto´s last blog ..Power-dressing – the next generation… =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you SO much, Mandy. I’m so happy that you’ve been part of this journey and truly value your support. Here’s to another successful 12 months, eh!

  5. Ali Davies says:

    Christine, thanks for sharing your experience. Reading someone elses journey and experiences always gives food for thought and reflection on my own journey. Wishing you every success in the year ahead with your new projects.
    .-= Ali Davies´s last blog ..It’s Half Time. What’s Your Second Half Strategy? =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you, Ali. I’m glad that the post gives some food for thought with your own work. It’s been fantastic to connect with you this birthday year – here’s to many more :)

  6. Heather Villa says:

    Happy Birthday! You have a wonderfully, awesome story! Thanks for sharing it. It’s a great inspiration for all New Work Pioneers.
    .-= Heather Villa´s last blog ..Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 6/25/10 =-.

    • Christine says:

      I realised recently that “awesome” is a word I use a lot – thanks for using it here, Heather! It’s great to be sharing this space with you!

  7. Happy Birthday and it sounds like you’ve had a good time. I have to wait until January for my birthday but that’s ok lol. I look forward to more great articles from you.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Get To Know Me Better: Ask Me Any 2 Questions You Want =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Eric. I had a terrific time, especially as I added some unplugged days too :)

      Good to have you here and contributing as much as you do. Looking forward to continuing to connect in the months ahead. We’ll have more to celebrate in January, by the sounds of it?!

  8. Happy Birthday Christine and blog!

    You’re a true inspiration to us all and a fantastic coach.

  9. Marc Winitz says:

    Happy Birthday Christine. Your blog is a reflection of you. How lovely :)

    Marc
    .-= Marc Winitz´s last blog ..How Giving Improves Ourselves =-.

  10. Bret Simmons says:

    Is your birthday June 24? So is mine!! Congratulations on another year on the planet and your first year online. Keep up the great work! Bret

    • Christine says:

      NO WAY!!?? Well, that’s just too awesome for words. Thanks for the congrats. Looking forward to meeting up with you in London very soon.

  11. happy belated birthday christine,
    i’m sure you enjoyed yourself. wishing you the best in life always.
    take care
    .-= ayo´s last blog ..The Importance of Motivation =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you so much, Ayo!!!

      I had a wonderful day and I really value your good wishes.

      Take care you too.

  12. Adrian Swinscoe says:

    Hi Christine,
    Happy belated birthday. I hope you enjoyed the weekend and look forward to following your work and meeting up again in the near future.

    Best wishes,

    Adrian
    .-= Adrian Swinscoe´s last blog ..Net Promoter Score- Would Your Employees Be Promoters of You =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you, Adrian. It’s been great getting to know you these last months and here’s to more!

  13. Happy belated Birthday Christine! I hope you had a wonderful day. it’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year and congratulations on your blog’s birthday! My blogs is next month, a great time to reflect on the past year.
    Jen

    • Christine says:

      Thank you, Jen! It’s been delightful getting to know you over this last year. I can’t believe how the time has flown. I’m sure you’ll Twitter or blog about your blog’s birthday, but happy birthday to it too when the time comes. And happy mullings over the year and what lies ahead. It’s a great time to take stock.

  14. Very very belated congratulations on both your blog and birthday. Will be catching up on the other posts I missed…
    I have been offline thinking about all the things that came to mind from the Workshop and also taking action that was discussed of taking a break on the beach to stare at the sea. Kind of glad I put that plan straight into action.

    • Eleanor Edwards says:

      Hey Tim!
      I have email notifications switched on for this post and just saw your comment in my inbox. Just wanted to say well done on the beach thing. Hope the sea staring was good and you’re feeling relaxed and peaceful.

      Have a wonderful weekend,
      El x
      .-= Eleanor Edwards´s last blog ..How to give through the grumps =-.

      • Hi Eleanor,

        Yep it was great ! Also I met some captains on a sailing boat who were pretty inspiring and also very relevant to this blog. They gave up more traditional jobs to “work” (as they laughed) 5 months a year doing something they love – sailing. They truly loved what they do, sailing the Aegean, sharing their favourite spots, going fishing and entertaining groups with their stories and fun. It was very relaxing and I have come back a little different.

        • Eleanor Edwards says:

          Sounds wonderful Tim :) So, what’s next for you then my friend? Or maybe we should get you blogging and you can share it all with the world ;)
          .-= Eleanor Edwards´s last blog ..Perspective It all depends on where you’re standing =-.

          • Hahahahahahaha – blogging I don’t have time for yet and not really sure that I would want to take on such a commitment right now. As for what is next, well I booked some more holidays in the sun, more islands, a favourite of mine, Folegandros for my birthday later on this year. :)

          • Christine says:

            Whaaaaa!!! Now I’m SO jealous…. As you know, Folegandros is one of my favourite islands too. Still, I know you’ll have a blast!!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you, Tim!!

      I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been following up on your workshop action steps so thoroughly. Hanging out on the beach and staring at the sea…. Awesome :D

  15. Kate Bacon says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Christine and congratulations on all you’ve done this year to be so true to yourself.

    Kate x
    .-= Kate Bacon´s last blog ..Do you let others name who you are =-.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you so much Kate.

      It’s been wonderful to have had you along for the journey so far. I truly appreciate your reflections, feedback and support.

      Christine

      x

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