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This just happened.

I'm sure you've heard people say that little phrase.  Usually when something unexpectedly good shows up on your life's doorstep.

Under great duress, after some really convincing arguments, our marketing department (we're a small company, so it really was just our lovely and talented sister team of Alessandra and Tatiana) convinced me to start writing a blog.  Of course, everyone else chimed in, and peer pressure took over, and here I am, thinking about what could I possibly write about that anyone would want to read.

When making a blog, the first task, of course, is to name this little blog thing.  A fireside chat would be nice, but really, are we sitting in front of a fire wearing our smoking jackets?  I remember when I was a kid, we had a neighbor who smoked a pipe, but as much as I like the smell of a pipe, the idea of me smoking one and doling out advice just sounds like something someone much older than me would do.  I'm 42, and every day I feel like I learn more lessons in life and business, so I definitely won't delude myself into thinking I'm some oracle at the top of a mountain.

So if we're not sitting in front of a fire and we're not in some ancient Shaolin temple, where are we?  You're probably at work, killing time looking for something to read, or laying in bed, trying to fall asleep.  

The idea of branding a blog is as difficult as branding a product, a service, or a company.  So what method can I use to create this brand for my blog?  I like to start with emotion, as it's the part of our brains we can't turn off.  So when I think about this blog, I think about the emotional reaction I want readers to have.  Just like when you are communicating about whatever it is you do, how you put yourself in your clients' mindset.  So I wrote down a few things that describe how I want people to feel:

  • Valued (you are important)
  • Relaxed (there's no pressure here, this is just a fun place to share stories)
  • Educated (this should be a learning experience)

So where would you go to feel these things?  I have a few "happy places", one being on my paddleboard, and another when I'm on a hike with my dog.  If I can brand that experience and turn that in to a blog, how would I do it?

I think about other people who find peace and wisdom.  People like Walt Whitman, Eckhart Tolle, even inspiring leaders like Richard Branson or Elon Musk.  How do I find a fragment of what they have created and build an experience from that in a blog?

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  It can be in admiring the achievements of others, but it can also be a simple smile from a stranger, reminding you that even the smallest things are deserving of gratitude.  This blog will be sharing that inspiration.

I envision you and I hiking on a trail near the ocean.  The sun is shining, a light sea breeze is blowing.  It's warm, but not hot.  The smell of pine needles is in the air.  The soothing sound of waves mixes with the rustle of trees in the wind.  We find a clearing... and there it is!  That's a good name for the blog!  

We sit down on a couple of comfortable rocks and take a load off.  I have a story to tell.  It's a human story, full of ups and downs, mistakes and trials, success and failure.  It probably shares some common threads with your own story.  This is an interactive experience - I want you to tell me what you think, too.  

And that sets the scene.  That's where I want to be.  Hopefully you will, too.  Until next time, I'll see you in the clearing!


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