I’m more like Al Roker, Michael Bergin and a former NBA guard than you may imagine.
One Dimensional Bloggers
Too many times I’ve seen bloggers as 1 dimensional machines. Churning out content, making connections, cashing in and living the internet lifestyle, you and I likely forget many of these folks live – or lived – way different lives.
I have dimensions/hobbies/past jobs/connections you likely had no idea about. I betcha you have a similar story yourself. The thing is, sharing these cool aspects of your personality draws people in to you.
- New bloggers
- Seasoned bloggers
- Like minded folks
- Potential customers
- New readers
You are SO much more than you think you are. Digging deep to share your personality, and your stories, makes you not only a person of interest but a darn versatile blogger too.
Blogging from Paradise
As I type away here in Savusavu, Fiji at dawn, I’m hearing the sounds of nature. Crickets, jungle birds, and a light, mild breeze flowing off of beautiful Savusavu Bay, gently serenade me.
Did you know that Savusavu Bay is one of the best places on earth to cultivate pearls? Time to set up another income stream.
Anyway, I arrived here because I told my story. Yep, you may know it by now. Broke security guard, on the dole, 5 years ago, and here I am blogging from a cliff side home, 50 meters above the water, in Fiji.
The story made it happen because my story is my story. Nobody else in the history of civilization can tell the story. So since I’m telling it, I stand out. Simple. Tell your story, at least if you want to blog from paradise, or stand out in whatever blogging niche you so choose.
Al Roker Comparison
I am a meteorologist. I studied meteorology at Kean University in New Jersey. I took courses like:
- Atmospheric dynamics
- Atmospheric thermodynamics
- Differential equations
- Physical meteorology
- Physics 1 and 2
Needless to say, I sharpened my noodle by sitting through these difficult, upper level courses. I’ve used some of the critical thinking skills developed during those days for my current world traveling, blogging lifestyle.
That’s the thing; my meteorology past is part of who I am today; the guy blogging from paradise who inspires folks to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. If you know that Al Roker and I have something in common I can automatically become memorable, which helps me connect with more folks who could see benefits from reading my blog.
I was a physique model, ya know? Part time gig. I spent a few years honing my physique to get super chiseled, for some paid work, and for some runway work too.
I shot with the photographer who did fashion model icon/actor Michael Bergin’s first shoot. In the same studio. I also did a runway show in New York City and more than a few paid jobs.
In fact, I built much of my life around modeling and more specifically, bodybuilding, from my mid 20’s to mid 30’s. I dove into the fitness thing full bore. I also gained confidence from posing in front of the camera, and developed poise during the runway show and few conventions that I worked.
These qualities have benefited me greatly as a blogger. We all need confidence and poise to blog effectively.
Playing with Former NBA Guard
I also played basketball back in the day. I was a shooting guard through Junior College, playing against the likes of future NBA players Tim Thomas and Brevin Knight in high school.
Anyway, when I attended junior college I teamed with an unknown but ULTRA talented and athletic guard named Horace Jenkins.
He went on to star at Division 3 William Patterson College. “June” Jenkins won the college slam dunk contest and impressed scouts enough to land a spot on the Detroit Pistons.
Horace beat the odds by making the NBA as an “old man”. He was my teammate and a friend.
Read Horace’s story if you want a lesson in persistence. He was one of the oldest rookies ever in NBA history, as after we played together at Union County he worked for 3 years, went to Willy P, played in Europe, bounced around until he was finally signed by the Pistons.
Bloggers, you just know how persistent you must be to make this blogging thing work.
What Does this Have to Do with Your Blogging Success?
Everything. Your story makes you, you. The more aspects of your personality, or neat factoids, you can stress from time to time, the more folks will buy in.
I could tell ya, I’m a former security guard who now runs a blog.
I can find 1,000 other former security guards who run blogs.
But..if I told you that….
“I’m a fired security guard who lived on the dole and accumulated $50,000 worth of debt, was sued by creditors, went bankrupt, saw my cash dwindle down to 4 pennies in my wallet, sold my car and gave up my apartment to fund a dream, and I’m currently a professional, full time blogger living in a home with a million dollar view in Savusavu, Fiji, who’s visited Thailand, Laos, Fiji, Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Costa Rica and Peru over the last 40 months of world travel, a guy who’s been endorsed by a New York Times Best Selling author and million dollar earning bloggers, and a guy who runs a successful freelance writing business, and runs a growing, thriving blogging community at Blogging from Paradise…”
….if I told you that story, well, no other person in human history can replicate that one. That’s mine. I own it. Since I own that story, I have a branding tool that nobody else on earth can use. This story tool helps me stand out from ANYBODY online…yes, even the famous folks.
The same rings true for you, if you tell your story freely, openly, and from an inspired space.
The Cool Facts
Telling your story includes sharing all types of stuff about yourself. I recall learning a neat fact about one of my idols, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The man was a multi-millionaire business man before he became the world’s greatest bodybuilder.
I never knew that. That little tidbit inspired me even more to live my dreams and to take you with me because if this guy could run a mini-empire, on the business front, being a dude who barely spoke English when he arrived in the USA, I know I can achieve neat things to inspire folks to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Don’t hold onto your story folks. Don’t be selfish. People want to know you. Sharing is caring. Really. Sharing different facts about yourself reminds you, how special you are, and it also reminds your current and new readers to dig deeper, to find new reservoirs of talent and to stoke old talents long latent, to become an even greater dynamo.
I Aced Atmospheric Thermodynamics
Maybe I didn’t ACE the class in college but I scored a B, or B+, I believe. Considering the complexity of the subject matter and the depth of the knowledge being presented, that was a damn impressive task in my mind.
I had to work at it, and study, but I also have a few brain cells working in my favor. So when I tackle a blogging problem which pales in comparison to the long, complex, at times mind-boggling mathematical equations I tackled in atmospheric thermodynamics, or in physical meteorology, or in differential equations, or in advanced physics, I know that I can solve just about anything on the blogging front.
Blogging from Paradise: Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Today Kelli and I visited Nagigi, Fiji. The banana lady from the market we visit, named Olivia, invited Kelli and I to her home village for lunch and an afternoon on the beach.
I love the woman. She reminds me so much of a Fijian version of my Grandma Biddulph, a beloved, kind, generous person.
When Kelli snapped a picture of Olivia and myself I placed my arm around her shoulder. I didn’t feel self conscious, or awkward, or funny doing so, for a few reasons.
1: I’m largely comfortable in my own skin, so since I love me, I’m confident in myself, and feel free to spread love to others.
2: Olivia is a loving, caring person, who is way comfortable in her own skin. She’s outgoing, chatty, and just a plain fun Fijian to hang with.
Why am I comfortable in my own skin? I tell my story. I shared stories from our trips with Olivia, I shared facts about New Jersey with her, and facts about New York City, because I just love telling my story, and most aspects of it, at that.
I love publishing posts like these. Why would you subscribe to my blog, or buy my eBook, if you don’t get to know me? Why buy from a stranger? Or subscribe to a stranger’s blog?
I may not share every aspect of my personal and professional life but if I dream to make a connection with you I better share much of my life with you, to allow you to know, like and trust me.
I had to tell my story, to build my friend network. Avoid the common blogging mistake – check out Rebekah Radice’s post as it really rocks (click the prior link) – of hiding your story, so you can accelerate your blogging growth.
We buy into stories. More importantly, we buy into people who we can learn much about, and learning much about me requires me to be a bunch more than a one dimensional automon, publishing posts, posting comments, writing eBooks and helping my freelance writing clients.
OK, on to the factoids.
- I am a meteorologist by schooling
- I was a physique model – part time
- I was a security guard in Port Newark, NJ for 5 years
- I once bench pressed 335 pounds during my bodybuilding days
- During my basketball playing days I could dunk….a soccer ball
- I went on my first date at 26 years of age
- I was a song leader during my school church days, as a wee little lad at my grammar school in NJ
- I received awards for oratory when I was 10 years old
- I was terrified of both stray dogs and Godzilla movies as a kid
- I owned a BMW 323i during my employment days
- I owned a Peugeot as a high school and college kid
- I once petted three 400 pound tigers during my travels
- I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks while suffering through giardia in India
- Avid wrestling fan back in the day, with the WWF and ECW being my favorites
- Then New Jersey Archbishop Theodore McCarrick offered me an Irish Blessing
- I lived a hop skip and jump away from former NJ Governor and headline maker Jim McGreevy
- My friends include successful programmers, financial analysts and a prominent podiatrist in New Jersey
- My friend Derrick Gordon is the first openly gay Division 1 men’s basketball player
- I’m currently spending 4 months in a bay front home in Savusavu, Fiji
- I’ve traveled the world for the past 40 months straight
- I was shy growing up (yeah, seriously, I was, but the first date at 26 thing probably clued you in)
- I flew for the first time 3 years ago
- First flight: New York City JFK to Denpasar, Bali (23 hours total)
- Kelli and I have adopted aka taken care of street animals during each stop on our current trip
- My dad worked 37 years for a steamship company; mom was a nurse for almost 30 years
- I followed St. Patrick’s high school basketball team in NJ; notable NBA players from Pat’s include Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kyrie and Michael played on the same team with Derrick Gordon listed above, as well as North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland)
- I am obsessed with the TV shows 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm
- I ate 7 to 8 meals a day when I was a bodybuilder
- I did a runway modeling show in NYC
- I worked as an inside sales rep for one of the top software/hardware resellers in the world
- I was a database analyst for a large telecom in New Jersey
- I worked as a client enrollment representative for a large financial firm
- I am old enough to see a nun wrap someone on the knuckles (Sister Pasquale)
- My hometown spawned celebrities like Olympic Gold Medalist Decathlete Milt Campbell, Parliament Funkadelic’s George Clinton, Superstar Lawyer Robert Shapiro, Duke and Chicago Bulls basketball star Jay Williams, and movie star Dudley Moore spent his last days in my town
I hope you enjoyed reading the list.
5 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d be living this life, let alone, writing a list like this.
Being shy hurts you in so many ways. It’s fine if you’re private; I get that because Kelli and I are private folk in some ways….but keeping your story hidden, on lock down, is in most cases selfish….because you could help so many folks through their problems when you share your wins, your losses, and just as many aspects of your personality as possible.
So the lesson for today; stop being shy! Open up. If this former social wallflower can become the life of the party, and if I can inspire a bunch of folks to island hop, to become pro blogging, traveling folks, you can do the same.
If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here: