2013: The Year in Review
This is one you don't want to miss!
As the year begins to wind down and we each begin to prepare for 2014, I'd like to pause for a minute, reflect and share some of the things you and I have been through over the last 360 days or so.
It's been said that experience is not the best teacher, evaluated experience is.
So today I hope you'll join me as I evaluate my experiences from this year. I hope you'll join me in a time of reflection. You and I have been through a lot this year; I wonder what we might learn.
At the beginning of 2013, this blog wasn't doing so well. The number of readers like you whom I was connecting with was barely 115 a month.
Up until about April, I held the belief that if I were to share my knowledge with people I had to be distant and detached.
I was wrong.
It wasn't until I joined Jeff Goins' Tribe Writer's course in June that made any changes. I realized that if I were going to be successful and make the impact on the world I wanted to make, I would have to find my voice. I would have to write the same way I talked and the same way I thought.
If you've been following me since the beginning, I owe you a lot so thank you! And, if you have, you might have noticed this change.
I also realized I had to get out of my comfort zone and connect with people. As I wrote in this blog post, I thought I could build a successful blog on my own. I mistakenly believed, “If I write it, they will come.”
Again, I was wrong.
The lesson in I learned is, whatever you're doing, you need a team. Whether it's a team to get the task done, or it's a team to support you in your efforts, we both need other people to help us along the way.
In May, I thought I'd really made it big.
On May 9th, my good friend, known to the San Antonio Spurs blog as “J.R. Wilco”, linked back to this post on momentum. Seventy-seven of his readers clicked his link to check out my post and I thought I'd hit a home run!
May saw the number of unique visitors swell to 356. I was on top of the world.
I also did a site redesign and moved to a new hosting service in May.
As May wound down, I began to doubt my ability ever to top the traffic I was seeing. I was filled with a boatload of skepticism, fear of failure and bewilderment as to how I could continue to reach more people like you.
June confirmed all of the self-doubts I had inside of me. Unable to rebound from May's numbers, I thought I was on my way back to 100 readers a month.
I was scared, frustrated, and annoyed at myself.
But June also brought about many gifts. I didn't know it at the time, but June was a pivotal month for me.
In June, I read this life-changing post on Jon Harrison's site.
After reading the story of how he and this guy named Jared got to hear Michael Hyatt speak at a conference, things started to stir inside. I began to see a world of possibilities I hadn't been able to see before.
June also was when I met my good friend Jared Easley.
(By the way, Jon allowed me to write my own Life Changer's article on his site, check it out here) **UPDATE: This post has been added to ellorywells.com and this link routes to that post**
Since meeting Jared, my life has moved at a much faster pace.
Have you ever met someone who's pushed you, pulled you, connected you, and helped you without you even asking?
That's how Jared
was is for me.
Without Jared, I never would have joined Tribe Writers, I would never have started The Empowered Podcast, I wouldn't be going to New Media Expo, and wouldn't be where I am today.
After May's traffic boost, June slowed down; not by much, but things did decrease.
By July I'd learned a few key things that have contributed to the growth of Empoweringthe80Percent.com.
For one, I learned that connecting with others was key.
I also learned something that will help you in whatever you're doing.
What is that one thing?
Up until June I'd been writing about every five days. There was no schedule and I didn't have much of a routine.
In July, I posted fourteen times.
The result? I connected with 493 readers! A new record for me.
If you're trying to make a name for yourself, build a personal brand, lose weight, exercise, or anything else, consistency is key.
By being consistent, you do two things:
- You're showing the world that you're dedicated to your cause and that you're reliable.
- You're showing yourself that you can keep the commitments you only make inside your head.
Both are key if you're ever going to achieve anything.
Keeping your word to yourself is one of the first steps to taking ownership of your life. (Tweet that)
My consistency took my writing from a hobby to where I am today. More on that in a minute =)
My birthday is in August and this year I turned 30. To celebrate, my wife took me to Costa Rica!
Jumping ahead to September, we find more growth.
I'd started making solid connections and building more friendships online. Again, whatever you want to do in life, you'll need other people to help you do it.
In September, I connected with 568 readers. My mind was going crazy, and I was beginning to really see the results of the work I'd put in and the long hours I'd spent sitting behind a keyboard.
I was beginning to hit my stride, and it, felt awesome!
October brought a few hidden treats!
In October I wrote a post that went viral (at least by my calculations.) To date, my post 7 Types of People Successful People Avoid has been shared 337 times!
I was so excited! Seeing the success of that post, I called my friend Jason on the phone to do a little bragging and he said,
“I read the headline and said to myself, He's finally got it!”
I then texted my friend Jonathan who said,
“That's what happens when you write something people want to read.”
You gotta love your friends who will keep you humble!
October saw 1,393 readers come to my site. That's a pretty long way from nine months before. I'd gotten a tasted of how addicting blogging can be and I wanted more!
Back in September, I had started talking to people about a few other projects too.
Through September and October, I was doing a lot of work meeting with people and recording our conversations.
No, not in a creepy way; for my podcast!
Jared had finally convinced me to start my own show, and my wife's birthday present (my microphone) was just the kick I needed to get things going.
If you haven't yet checked out my show, you have to do that right now! I've had some amazing guests already, and it only gets better. I promise, your life will be changed if you listen to the wisdom my guests share with me. I know my life will never be the same.
But back to November.
Riding the traffic high from October, I headed up to Dallas to go to the Platform Conference. The people who I met that first weekend in November have since become great friends and mentors. I can definitely say attending that conference, and, more importantly, making the connections that I made while there, will go down as a pivotal point in my online career.
Me & Cliff Ravenscraft Me & Dan & Vanessa Hayes Me & Jeff Goins
If you're not getting out of the office and meeting like-minded people, you're doing more harm to your future self than you realize.
Later in November, with the encouragement of readers like you, I finally got up the courage to launch The Empowered Podcast. As of today, I've produced eleven episodes.
To date, I've shared the story of how an NFL hopeful went blind in his 20s, yet went on to become an Emmy-winning entrepreneur, author, and movie maker.
I've spoken with two accountants who want to make a positive impact on the world and shake things up in an aging industry often afraid of change.
I've shared how two Air Force retirees have chosen to live a life on their terms, not the terms dictated to them by society.
And many more awesome conversations.
The coolest part?
It only gets better from here! Trust me.
And that brings us up to today, December 23rd, 2013. Today holds me prepped and ready for Christmas. Beyond that, 2014 and my very first New Media Expo.
I can't wait to share some of the things I've got coming in 2014!
While this story shares a lot about me and what I've been up to, the real star is you, my reader and friend.
You see, 2013 was a monumental year for us both.
Because of you, the Empowering the 80 Percent brand will head into the new year full of life and energy.
You see, most blogs fail shortly after they're started. Most bloggers quit before they have a chance to get their legs under them. Most people do what I did for fifteen months – they try to do it on their own.
But with your support, through your comments, sharing my words with your friends and family, I've been able to connect with over 5,500 people this year!
That's more than five times as many as last year and it's been absolutely amazing.
Also because of you, and yes, seriously you, I'm more excited and encouraged than ever before.
Would you have read this far if there wasn't a connection between us?
No, I don't think you would have.
So, if you've made it this far, I know it's not by accident. I know it's because you want to be here.
And, since we're friends, I have a favor to ask.
I want to hear from you more often. I really do!
Sitting in my office gets lonely sometimes. Even now, my wife is getting our house ready for the family to visit for Christmas and I'm up here with the door closed working.
Just the other night I spent some time talking to James Kinson of Cash Car Convert. He and I shared ideas, encouragement, feedback and our plans for the future. I loved it!
If you haven't guessed by now, connecting is the name of the game. Heck, connection IS the game.
So, again, I want to connect with you!
Email me: [email protected]
Tweet me: http://twitter.com/ellorywells
Like me: http://facebook.com/ellorywells
Pin me: http://pinterest.com/ellorywells
Listen in iTunes: https://www.ellorywells.com/itunes
Listen in Stitcher: https://www.ellorywells.com/stitcher
Pick one or choose them all, but please take a moment and say hi! It would mean the world to me.
And, if you haven't already, would you take a few minutes and tell me a little about you?
If I can do anything for you, will you also let me know?
You're truly awesome for reading this far. Even if you just scrolled all the way to the bottom to see what's here, that's ok too.
I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and an empowered 2014.