This week was Thanksgiving in the United States, and I know this time of year has a general theme of “thankfulness” around the world, since the holidays are fast approaching.
Side note: what the heck? Wasn’t it just July? Where has 2013 gone? Anyone else feel like it’s been a blur?
I want to write a bit about thankfulness as a blogger today, and I hope you’ll indulge me by reading…because I think a lot of people get it kind of wrong. Or at least not 100% right.
Around the holidays, from about mid-November to the beginning of January, I see a lot of bloggers thanking their readers for visiting, sharing, being part of the community. They say thank you to sponsors. They say thank you to readers who have turned into customers by making a purchase or donation. They say thank you to email subscribers and social followers.
All of these are wonderful targets of thankfulness. I don’t want to take away from how important it is to say thank you.
Only, I have to wonder, why don’t we say it during the entire year? And more importantly, why don’t we show our thankfulness year-round.
Being thankful has somehow become a feeling reserved for this time of year, when the calendar says it’s time to suddenly grow some warm fuzzies and tell people that we appreciate them.
Instead, I’d like to propose that we spend the year saying thank you. And the very best way I personally know how to do that is to pay it forward.
Think about the days when you first started to blog. Think about all of the friends who supported you, the readers who gave you a chance, and the new fans who took a moment to tell their friends. Think about your mentors, the people who spent their time teaching you and helping you succeed. Think about the people who said YES to being interviewed by you, even though you were just starting out. Think about the moments when you wanted to quit, but someone said NO! and their support helped you find the strength to endure. Think of all the brains you picked.
Often, I see bloggers turn up their noses at anyone who wants to “pick their brains.” It really, really bugs me when people rant about how they hate when people ask to “pick their brains.” I get it. I really do. Our time is limited, and we have to put food on the table.
But are you telling me that you really don’t have time to help out someone new by answering a question via email? You really can’t go to lunch with someone so they can get some advice to help them struggle through those first years of blogging? You really are so busy that you can only read the blogs in your feed reader already, rather than supporting someone new with a comment of encouragement, even though that comment isn’t going to bring any value to you?
Have you forgotten those who helped you? What if they would have instead turned their noses up at you? Would you still be where you are today?
You don’t have to give people hours of your time for free to show the world you are a thankful person. The thing is…most people won’t ask for it. If you’re too busy to have lunch, people understand and are happy for just 10 minutes over coffee. If you can’t answer an email in detail, people understand and are happy for just generalized comments. If you don’t have time for a Skype call, people understand are are happy that you just send them some favorite links where they can research some answers to their questions.
There aren’t enough hours in the day, especially as your blog grows in popularity. But you can try. You can get outside of your comfort zone circle of online friends and show others that you have a thankful spirit.
Help people. Let me say that again: HELP PEOPLE. And then remind them to pay it forward. Remind them to help people too, someday when they are rich and famous, as a way of saying thank you.
Put good out into the world and good will come back to you. Give it a try. I promise that this isn’t some kind of hippy-dippy belief system where if you really believe in something it comes true. It’s just a general way of living, with gratitude in your heart. If you can do that, you’ll be surprised at the new and amazing opportunities that come your way.