Thank Goodness for My ActiveRain Family
I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who participated in this month's challenge. I read each and every one of your AMAZING entries and am so very thankful for each and every one of you.
Some of you shared a 'silly' side of you, others were more serious and others, so deeply grateful that your posts brought tears to my eyes. I am thankful to each and every one of you for sharing you, your lives, your loves, your hearts with us this month. November is THE perfect month to publicly share how very grateful you are.
I am thankful for so very much in my life - my family (including our fur babies), friends, clients, nature, home...and SO much more. As we are in our last few hours to post tonight for the challenge, I thought I would share my gratitude to my ActiveRain family.
Who knew, 15+ years ago that an online platform could change my life SO much?! I know I certainly didn't! As I've shared before, I began using ActiveRain with more trepidation than you can even imagine - it took me 6 months to leave my first comment! While I am not the total extravert everyone thinks, my 'inner introvert' took over when I started in the Rain! It took Brad Andersohn, Rich Jacobson and a few others, to finally get me into a comfort zone!
I'm so thankful for the incredible direction that we were given in the beginning; learning was at the forefront of everything we did in this platform. While training was key, we had SO MUCH FUN while doing so! I've enjoyed groups of masterminds over the years, who taught me how very important peer support is.
Today, and every day, I am so very thankful for my ActiveRain friends & family.
I enjoy reflecting about my tenure here--as I said, 15+ years here in the Rain! Yes, things have changed, people have changed and those who started here in the beginning will tell you, social media and personal websites as well as increased business have taken many of the original members in another direction. Many, including myself have taken sabbaticals and then there are those who have remained faithful to the platform each and every day of the year.
New members have taken to blogging and socializing here in the Rain, like taking a bull by the horns! What a wonderfully welcoming, caring, loving community we have here. We are truly ALL blessed with this platform and the amazing people here!
I watched the original ActiveRain members - day in and day out - for 6+ months but, I could NOT muster up the courage to write a single post. I rode from showing to showing, listing appointment to listing appointment, traveled to & from the grocer, running errands, etc. and DREAMED of how my first post would read...SERIOUSLY! I would create the post in my head and get home, start typing and hit the delete button. I was sure that not a soul would read anything I wrote, much less appreciate it enough to comment on it!
Why did everyone else seem so comfortable with blogging but, it seemed so foreign to me? At that time, Facebook did not exist so, online communication was not that common to most of us - unless, of course, one was on an online dating app - and that was not, nor will it ever BE me!
When I finally did get the courage to write a post, the stress was almost immediately gone! POOF! People actually commented--not many but, hey, I didn't know them from Adam and couldn't imagine what they found interesting in my local posts! (Above - with Jason Crouch in Seattle for a RainCamp meet-up).
After hearing over and over and over again from clients who found me here in the Rain, "I feel like I know you already," I realized that what I was writing (both business & personal) was striking a chord with the consumers in my area. I realized how ridiculous I was to think that leaving the 'personal' out of my blogging equation was the right plan. The inclusion of 'me' in some of my posts made a world of difference in making my phone ring.
I am so thankful for the original members, as well as the ones who came after me here in the Rain, for the learning, relationships, business and never ending FUN! I have learned how to blog, what to blog about, how to use keywords, write market reports, focus locally and everything that I needed to know to become the source of information for my area.
During the early days, my ActiveRain family taught me how to create a Facebook & Twitter profiles, then Facebook business pages, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram - every social network. Together, RIGHT HERE IN THE RAIN, we have learned so very much!
When a member or family member falls ill, our AR family reaches out, offers a shoulder, words of support and prayers.
Recently, my husband was quite ill and landed in ICU for a bit. Numerous AR family members reached out to me every single day during his hospitalization. That's what family does and I will be forever grateful for my ActiveRain family! Just today, we received this adorable kitty 'get well' card from dear friends here in the Rain. Did I say I love my ActiveRain family?!
BTW, this card is what pushed me to stay up late and get this post in, right under the wire for November's thankfulness challenge! Also of note, this adorable card received Gracie's stamp of approval!
Many of my AR lifelong friends have become family - who knew?! I have sent and received LOTS of referrals, found two fantastic lenders, an amazing local stager and, of course, received wonderful direct clients from my blogging here in the Rain!
Here are a few of my collection of my ActiveRain friends & family. You've seen these photos before but, I love them so! I enjoy sharing them again and again!
*Atlanta meet-up, 2017, hosted by Lynn Friedman
*Denver, 2019 with Will Hamm.
*CRS Sellabration & ActiveRain meet-up, Dallas, 2018
*Boston meet-up, 2018, hosted by Lisa Von Domek
*More photos from Boston NAR Meeting/AR Meet-Up
*Atlanta friends travel to Charlotte for a meet-up, 2013 - Love my Thom Abbott (& Ray) and a fantastic lender, Brian Dover. We've seen Ray and Thom Abbott on numerous occasions since then and speak with Brian fairly regularly.
I joined forces with other members to start Charlotte's first ReBar Camp and put several ReBar Camp events together for several subsequent years after that. We even helped support other area ReBar Camps across the south, including our NC friends in Raleigh.
We are currently planning a ReBar REBOOT in 2023!! Stay tuned...
*Rebar 2010 in Raleigh
*Orlando RainCamp, 2010
I've hosted ActiveRain 'family' meet-ups in my own home (below) and visited others across the nation as well. This one was held only 3 weeks after we finished building our new home in 2014! Talk about love of family!
*2014 Nationwide meet-up! Love these peeps!
*One of my favorite shots - I learned on AR how to focus on one part of a photo and turn the rest to black & white. Another meet-up in Atlanta with some AMAZING AR peeps!
Recently I realized that in just 3 short months, we will have not missed ONE week of our ActiveRain ZOOM calls in THREE YEARS!! We started during the pandemic lock-down to support one another and to truly have some 'social' time while we hibernated according to each of our state's regulations. We have shared so many laughs, incredible camaraderie and never sign off after an hour (each Tuesday) without learning something - NEVER!
Every single week, George Souto announces the upcoming Tuesday @2PM EST ZOOM call info, including a graphic designed by our own Craig Daniels, which Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist also shares in the Q&A. Many members go to either George's or Kathleen's post to get the link to the call on Tuesday.
Kat Palmiotti, Kathy Streib, Margaret Rome, Carol Williams & Eileen Burns help line up our amazing speakers. Rocky Dickerson backs me up as host and also helps recruit speakers for our calls. In fact, one of Rocky's 'recruits' updated my site and WEEK 1, I received an online lead that Closed on a new home here in Charlotte less than 45 days later!
That recruit, YourSiteNeedsMe SEO Team (Charr Hammett) shared on a call with me one day that she lived in Michigan. I shared with her that my favorite libation, Sixth Element (a peanut butter vodka) was made in Michigan and only sold in Michigan and Virginia. She found me a case of it and had her sister, who was in Charlotte for a meeting (less than a mile from my office!), deliver it to me! (Charr's sister, Candice is pictured above).
*2021 visit with Carol Williams who traveled cross-country and was hosted by many ActiveRain members - who also had never met her in person - and we all fell in love with her and had the pleasure of seeing her again in Vegas - along with our friend Rocky Dickerson!
*February 2022 with Rocky in Vegas
*February 2022 with Brian England (in Vegas)
*June 2022 Rocky, Ray, Carol & me in Vegas
Finally, remember that any experience in life is what you make of it. When you find a good thing, do your part to make it better. I'm a big believer in this (hence the dedication to AR ambassadorship & keeping our ZOOM calls going) and it pays back in dividends.
Being thankful for you, my ActiveRain Family, is a daily blessing. I love being a part of this family - we are all blessed!
Rest in Peace dear friend. I miss you every day, Russell Lewis (Dallas).
And a repeat reminder...
If you're a newbie to the Rain, jump right in--I promise we don't bite (well, most of us don't)! Add ActiveRain time to your calendar - block your time to spend a little bit of it here each day. It's a great place to hang your hat and stay awhile! ActiveRain ZOOM calls are also a wonderful place to meet new friends and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge that will help you grow your business. Check George Souto's blog post or Kathleen Daniel's announcement in Q&A each Sunday/Monday for Tuesday's call.
*Photo above - With Christine Donovan - Charlotte RainCamp, 2011 (and no, we didn't color coordinate - it just happened)!
Heartfelt thanks to my ActiveRain Family!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | SavvyBroker@me.com | Thank Goodness for My ActiveRain Family