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Something happened to me recently that hasn’t happened in a long time. Far too long.

I just finished reading a fabulous and hilarious guest post on Kevin Duncan’s Be a Better Blogger called Making Your Split Personality Work For You (aka Me, Myself and Them).

Go check it out, and don’t skip the comments section – you’ll see why. I was so inspired that I actually sat down and started writing immediately (well, as soon as I stopped laughing).

Just writing. No planning, no outlining, no keyword research. (Sorry, Google, this one’s not for you.)

You may have noticed things have been a little quieter over here lately and PART of that is because I’m working on super-secret, fun, exciting project that will be announced soon.

But part of it is also because Content Marketing Mandie has been poking her head out and nagging me incessantly about things like Pagerank & SEO. Quite frankly, she’s been sucking all the fun out of this whole blogging thing.

Lately, my passion for writing has been getting buried underneath a lot of junk, like social media marketing (Oh-em-gee, who’s going to invite me to Ello?!), re-designing (More widgets! No, fewer widgets! More calls to action! Bigger buttons! Better opt-ins! Ahhh!), and traffic-building (Give me Top 10 lists or give me death!).

It wasn’t until Jaime Buckley of Wanted Hero inadvertently reminded me of a time when I was just a girl, dreaming of far-off lands and unexplored worlds that I remembered – hey, this is supposed to be fun.

Jaime is a fantasy writer with an array of larger-than-life characters who are guaranteed to speak to you. (Literally. Read the comments section.)

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I am a fantasy junkie.

I traveled the world long before I ever stepped into a plane. And not only this world. I’ve traveled through Middle Earth, Narnia, D’Hara and Azeroth. I’ve battled dragons, quested through orc-ravaged lands and defeated Garrosh Hellscream.

(That’s right, kids. World of Warcraft, level 90 resto druid. FOR THE ALLIANCE!)

Chatting with Jaime reminded me of what inspired my wanderlust in the first place.

What made me want to travel? Why did I set off on an great adventure with little more than a backpack and a passport? Why did I choose to jump head-first into the challenge of freelancing full-time without any sort of safety net?

Because I want to be the hero of my own life.

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Grey

I don’t know about you, but I want to build my own dreams. Live my own adventure. Be my own hero. I have no interest in winning ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for the game of life.

So what have all those years of playing video games and reading fantasy novels taught me?

 

1. Heroes take action.

When all the townsfolk are gathered in the town hall discussing what to do about the impending werewolf (or zombie, or vampire) attack, the hero is already on the way to meet them. Others dream, but heroes DO.

There’s this really big line of BS we like to tell ourselves that starts out, “Someday, when I’m ready…” I’ve got news for you, folks:

It’s up to you. You can be the person who sits around pinning photos of Mount Kilimanjaro onto a Pinterest board or you can be the person out climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. A dream is worthless if it stays trapped into your head.

 

2. Heroes don’t let fear stop them.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “heroes don’t have fears.” Heroes get just as scared as the rest of us. They have self-doubts and insecurities. They have moments when they don’t see how they could possibly succeed, but they go ahead anyway.

I was chatting with some girls at a wedding I attended last weekend, and one of them commented on my solo travel adventures. “You’re so brave,” she told me. “I can’t believe you weren’t scared to do that.”

Ummm, what? You guys, I’m scared of everything. I have a social anxiety disorder and being surrounded by a large number of people I don’t know tends to induce near-crippling panic attacks. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid that just maybe, I’m not as witty and brilliant as I think I am. (Nah…just kidding about that last one.) 😉

Fears are monsters that get bigger the longer you avoid them. When you face them head-on, they tend to shrink.

 

3. Heroes achieve the impossible.

When Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak first proposed the idea of a personal computer they were laughed out the door. There’s a now-infamous quote by Ken Olson, the president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Now we carry them around in our pockets.

Almost every single person who wound up in a history book was once mocked for thinking they could achieve the “impossible.” A horse-less carriage? A 4-minute mile? Invisibility?

Wait, what? That’s right, an invisibility cloak, much like the one in Harry Potter, actually exists. Although it’s fairly rudimentary, Dr. Susumu Tachi & his team have created the technology to make someone invisible.

 

4. Heroes fight for a cause.

You know what the difference is between a hero and a moron waving a sword? A purpose.

“It’s good for the soul to believe in something bigger than yourself.” – It’s possible I made this up.

Most of our favorite superheroes only became so out of necessity. They fight against injustice, oppression, bullies. They don’t just put on the suit to look cool. Well…with the possible exception of Tony Stark. But even he made sacrifices for the greater good when the time called for it. (I know, I’ve watched The Avengers way too many times.)

What’s your cause? Is it to help people find their purpose? To inspire them to travel the world? To create a good life for your kids?

You have to know what you’re fighting for, or you’ll have no reason to keep going when it gets tough.

 

5. Heroes build other people up.

Do you ever notice how heroes have a way of bringing out the best in the people around them? They’re fiercely loyal to and protective of their friends. They make people feel good about themselves.

Anyone can tear someone down. It takes a much bigger person to build someone else up.

That doesn’t mean always being a merry little ball of sunshine. Sometimes it means giving constructive criticism or doling out some tough love.

 

6. Heroes play by their own rules

Name one book, movie, or video game hero who just does what they’re told without question all the time. Yeah, they don’t. Breaking the rules is pretty much a defining characteristic of the people who inspire us.

Imagine if Harry had stayed in his dormitory instead of going up to the forbidden third-floor corridor? Or if Katniss hadn’t pulled out those berries? They wouldn’t have been very exciting stories, would they?

“Get good grades, go to college, get a good job, buy a big house, work until you’re 65, and then you get to do what you want.” That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Even if you haven’t followed this particular formula for happiness, it seems like there are rules everywhere.

Rules on how to run a successful blog. Rules on how to write a popular book. Rules on how to be healthy. (Omg, you’re still eating GLUTEN??!)

Rules were made to be broken. (I may have learned this one a little too well…)

 

7. Heroes have opposition.

Have you ever pissed anybody off? Had someone troll your blog? Go off on you in a Facebook comment? Good for you! Congratulations, you’ve achieved something.

No hero has ever just had smooth sailing the whole journey. We may not like it, but conflict is what drives a good story. And yes, it actually makes us stronger, better, happier people in the long run.

Most of the time, it’s the so-called ‘negatives’ in our lives that actually shape us and push towards becoming the people we’re meant to be. Without opposition, we get lazy; we get stagnant.

Sometimes when people are TOO encouraging, I sort of feel like I’ve already succeeded. I think, “Well, everyone already thinks I can do this, so why do I even need to?”

But tell me I can’t do something, and, well…just watch.

 

8. Heroes set their egos aside

(Again, possible exception being Tony Stark.)

Confidence and ego are two very different things. I’ll be honest, this is the one I struggle with the most. I mean, obviously this is because I’m really smart and I’m always right…right? (In case you didn’t pick up on that, it was sarcasm, Internet.)

Ego is a sense of entitlement. Ego is fear-based.

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” – John O’Donohue

The truth is, heroes value the outcome a lot more than they value being right. Or getting the credit. Or…well, being the hero. Sometimes the hero is the one making the assist instead of the game-winning three-pointer.

 

9. Heroes are persistent.

Sometimes annoyingly so. Heroes tend to have one-track minds when they get something into their heads, they don’t quit until they’ve achieved it. They trust their instinct and hold steadfast even when everyone around them is telling them to go a different direction.

Sometimes they need to adjust their path or change strategies but they never lose sight of where they’re going. If they can’t get through the mountain they go over it. Or around it. Or under it. Or they use a fair maiden as bait to attract a dragon, lasso one of the legs and hang on while it flies across…

Sometimes we get off-track. We have setbacks. We hit the gym and then eat half a package of cookie dough on the drive home (Okay, that was ONE TIME!)

The point isn’t that we never hit a road block. It’s that we keep going.

 

10. Heroes use their gifts

You have a gift. Probably more than one, but at least one thing that you are naturally good at. Are you using your gift? Are you working your ass off to turn that talent into something worthwhile?

It can be scarier to use a talent than to let it lie dormant. That’s because you’re taking something that comes from deep inside you; something sacred, and putting it out there for the whole world to see. It’s less hurtful to be judged on something that doesn’t mean as much to you.

Heroes use their talents, whatever those may be. Some are clever, some are strong, some are genius billionaire playboy philanthropists.

“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” – Erica Jong

 

11. Heroes practice.

Heroes aren’t born fully formed and ready to save the planet from disaster. They work at it. They study, they learn, they practice. Most of the time, we only see the end results, so we think we can achieve that kind of outcome without putting the work in. Wrong.

My friend Ryan Biddulph over at Blogging from Paradise wrote a fantastic post awhile back about Why You Have no Business Writing Short Blog Posts. He talks about how guys like Seth Godin can write a 2 sentence blog post and have it go viral.

Why? Because Seth Godin has spent tens of thousands of hours practicing his writing, speaking & coaching. Talent is worthless without hard work and practice.

Ryan spends 2, 3, 4 hours a day writing. This is how he churns out eBooks like a fricking writing machine. (In those eBooks, he shares how he does this and his other secrets to success, so you should probably check them out.)

How about you? Do you dream of writing the next great American novel? One that will top the New York Bestseller List for months? You’ll go on book tours and travel the globe. You’ll be interviewed by Oprah and buy a house in the south of France.

Now…how many words have you written today?

 

12. Heroes have flaws.

Perfect people are boring. Well, at least, they would be if they existed. Would you go watch a movie where the protagonist has no flaws, no shortcomings, no weaknesses? He’d walk around being all perfect, and his life would be all perfect, and yawn. I’d be asleep before I finished my popcorn.

Imperfections are what make us interesting. They are what make us relatable.

They are also the most powerful tools for success we have if we use them properly. I am stubborn, impetuous, and flighty. I drink too much wine.

Or…I am a determined, risk-taking free spirit who practices letting go of inhibitions, depending on how you look at it. 🙂

Imperfections aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Stop wasting your energy trying to look like you’ve got it all together all the time. That’s boring anyway.

 

13. Heroes keep improving.

Wait, didn’t you just say I shouldn’t try to be perfect?

Yes I did, but that doesn’t mean you just get to rest on your laurels. How many successful, inspiring people do you know who achieved something and then said “Whoopee, I did it! Now I never have to accomplish anything ever again.”? Yeah…not many.

Heroes are constantly growing, learning, evolving. They are open to change, and able to adapt.

You know what sets great bloggers apart from good bloggers? They are continuously looking for ways to improve and educate themselves so that they can share this knowledge with their readers.

If you’re not improving, you’re decaying.

 

15. Heroes are authentic.

The bad guys may masquerade as heroes for awhile, but intentions always come out in the end.

The heroes may have their alter-egos but the person that they are underneath always shines through.

For a long time I hid this side of myself. This fantasy-loving, nerdy side that isn’t quite convinced fairies don’t really exist. The side that believes in quests, adventures, and fighting for freedom. I worried that people wouldn’t relate to this side of me.

But then I realized something: the more authentic you are, the greater chance you have of connecting with people who relate to the real you.

And then the happier you will be. And they will be. And even if people don’t 100% relate to you, they will respect you for being unabashedly exactly the person that you are.

Look at Dolly Parton. The woman may be 78% plastic but, by God, she owns it.

Some people learn these life lessons through studying the works of great artists. Some learn through yoga and meditation. Me? I learned them from World of Warcraft. 🙂


 

How about you? What does being a hero mean to you? Are you the hero of your own life or are you just acting like a sidekick?

Author

Mandie

Mandie is a writer, rebel & web design junkie. In her spare time she enjoys drinking wine, traveling & working on her perpetually unfinished novel. She was a nerd before it was cool.

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Comments

  1. Sabina @GirlvsGlobe    

    Mandie, I love you. As always, you’ve managed to entertain and educate with your fantastic post. I’m actually working on something a little similar – how to be the leading lady of your own life, not the sidekick. I heard the phrase in “The Holiday” and it really stuck with me. Such an inspiring post, keep on being awesome <3

    1. Mandie    

      Omg, I LOVE that movie, and that line has stuck with me over the years, too. I can’t wait to read your post – I’m sure it will be ridiculously awesome. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this. I had so much fun writing it!

    2. Jaime Buckley    

      I think Kathilynn and I have watched The Holiday at least 16 times. Literally.

      Doesn’t help that some of our best friends are British, lol.

  2. Kevin Duncan    

    Mandie,

    This is rock star. It’s epic. It’s one of the most inspirational posts I’ve read in a while. (And none of this praise is due to the fact you mentioned me at the very beginning!)

    Well, well done. I’ve shared it on Google+ and Twitter. Also, I’ve been meaning to send you an email for a while now, but thanks to this post I’m resolved to drop what I’m doing and do it. Be on the lookout. 🙂

    Once again, awesome work. Hope you’re having a great Friday!

    – Kevin

    1. Mandie    

      Kevin,

      Thank you very, very much! 🙂 Apparently I should just sit down with a glass of wine and write without preamble more often…my writing actually seems to be better the less I think about what I’m typing. Lol

      I eagerly await your email, as I’ve been meaning to send you one as well…and I hope it’s regarding what I think it is because if not, then I’m going to feel pretty silly. Haha 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

  3. Morphiophelius Smith    

    Did you know I cannot get this child to stop crying?!?

    That’s how powerful this article was to him, my dear.

    I mean, he does have his little whinny, quirky moments and all–but the rest of us tend to turn our heads and count the flowers on the wallpaper, if you get my drift. But buttered nuts and toffee cones, child, I’ve not seen Jaime more touched, moved…or generally unHINGED, than after he read this article.

    Well DONE, you beautiful child! Mahan’s Pink PANties, WELL DONE!

    Evan Dax is sniffing. ‘Course he’s a bit of a nut to crack–but a sniff is something to be sure.

    I’d like to let you in on a little secret, Mandie. Come closer. …noooooo, closer.
    Clooooooooser. There. No, seriously, there is fine. I don’t know you that well.

    You just fulfilled one of Jaime’s biggest dreams of 20 years.

    No, you don’t see me smiling, do you. Okay, you can’t see me at all, but that’s not the point.
    Since Wanted Hero was started, Jaime’s whole focus has been relentless in showing people, especially youth, that YOU ARE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE!

    (Oh stop yer boobin– boy, you’re starting to embarrass me…)

    It was a hearts desire that someone, someday, would be vocal about being a hero–sparked by something…anything Jaime wrote. I think it comes back to the point you made on still having weaknesses and fears. You not only wrote a fantastic article, you inspired us to be heroes oursel…..?

    (What? Oh. Yes. Quite right. My mistake….no, don’t apologize, I would have remembered if Wendell was here…)

    Mandie, let’s just say that you strapped this boy onto a rocket and shot his butt to the moon. He’s tickled.

    (There. Satisfied? Right then….shove off and go find a tissue.)

    NOW, onto more important issues….FAIRIES.

    Who said they weren’t real? Load of poo. I know from personal experience that fairies DO exist.

    *sigh*

    Lindyllian…now there was a fairy! She could crack walnuts with those thighs…. *sigh* Yessssirree,

    Oh, she was mocked by the other little, annoying flippity-flip yappers–the ones children’s books are filled with. Jealously, that’s what it was, I tell you! While they fluttered about, my girl could bench press a gnome without breaking a sweat!

    Now THAT’S a woman!

    So don’t you listen to stupid people, Mandie. You can’t fix stupid.
    They want you to prove they exist…you smack ’em (*ahem*…in a ‘loving’ way, of course) and say, “Prove they DON’T!”

    That’s about all I wanted to say. Have to get back to boobin’ boy here…but the rest of us are awfully proud of you, young one.

    Very proud indeed.

    1. Mandie    

      Oh my gosh, this totally made my day!! I’m so glad you guys ALL liked the post 🙂

      I’m thrilled (and seriously humbled) to be able to fulfill anyone’s goal! And trust me, as someone who has traveled through the Irish countryside, it’s pretty hard NOT to believe in fairies.

      Can I borrow Dax to smack any stupid people I encounter? It seems like something he would excel at. 😉

      1. Dax    

        It’s been a few since I hired out, but sure…so long as Wendell don’t need me, I’m game.

        You cover all the beer and I’ll make sure ya get anywhere ya need to without bein’ bothered. Throw in a few spiced potatoes for breakfast and I’ll even make ’em cry just for fun.

  4. Dax    

    I wasn’t sniffin’ ya old fart.

    The room is dusty.

    Good job on the post, kid.

  5. Jaime Buckley    

    Ok, I’ve got it under control.

    Fantastic article Mandie. Truly brilliant. You hit it out of the park and out of sight.

    So much so, I’d like to talk about it and you in the book I’m working on right now. Would that be alright? I’d like to link to this article, site & talk about your personality–which is the kind that people gravitate towards.

    Chuck said most of what should have been said, but I’d like to add that with your talent for writing, you really need to let that inner awesomeness come out and unchain it more often.

    Wow. That’s what I think.

    $#@#$!! epic.

    Go play more World of Warcraft….=)

    1. Mandie    

      Thank you so much, Jaime! (At least I learned how to spell your name before I published this haha).

      I would be incredibly honored to be included in your book!! Absolutely it would be all right. As for my personality, well, after so many years of having to repress it for corporate America, my inner goofball is FLYING free these days.

      I will definitely work on channeling my inner awesomeness on a more regular basis – although I don’t think it will be a problem if I keep surrounding myself by awesome people. 🙂

      1. Jaime Buckley    

        …well when you find them, I’d like to hang with them as well.

        Oh…wait….
        That was a COMpliment!

        Thanks =)

        Good, good. I’m choosing some very specific people to talk about–and to direct people to on the web. It’s for fiction writers…but now I see bloggers will probably want a copy as well. It’s called “Made From Scratch” and teaches how to do what I did with Wanted Hero with what you have available. Part of that is blogging–so people will need role models. =)

        You and Kevin are SO on my list.

        You know Mandie–Kevin’s offering free books on Be A Better Blogger to a rather cool site. It happens to have a book called “Advanced WORLDBUILDING”.

        I also hear it’s the authors best seller–even in Europe.

        If you want to write some fiction, it might not be a bad idea to pick it up.

  6. kelli    

    Hey Mandie
    Excellent post and you made so many excellent points in a very clever and engaging way. You are very, very creative. Good for you for embracing all parts of your awesomeness, even the ‘nerd.’ Clearly, you have learned some great lessons so no time wasted there! I love everything you said, but the idea of not waiting to be ready particularly struck me because it is one of the key ingredients that will form the foundation.

    We are very good at delaying and convincing ourselves that now isn’t quite the right time. We tell ourselves we’ll get moving when X, Y or Z happens. But, if we wait around for outside circumstances to change so we can feel more comfortable acting, we may be waiting a really long time.

    Amazing!

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks Kelli!

      I’m a HUGE believer in that there is no perfect time to act. Telling ourselves that we’ll do something when… is a way to be sure we’ll never actually do it. You and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to being “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It’s the reason I am continuously challenging myself and stretching my comfort zone. The more you practice acting in spite of the lack of “perfect” circumstances, the easier it gets.

      Hope you’ve had a great weekend! 🙂

  7. Ryan Biddulph    

    Hi Mandie,

    Brilliant! And thank YOU for the kind mention! I gotta admit, I love what I do but since I’m human, it gets tough at times, churning out these eBooks – finished 5 last night, Kelli is proofreading now – but seeing myself noted on such an awesome blog humbles me, and nudges me in the direction which inspires me to keep on practicing, no matter what. Keep on, keeping on. I always say, guys like Seth, and Steve Jobs, and women like Dolly Parton, were all nobodies, but they just practiced more intelligently and persistently than everybody else, and because of that, they became world-renowned, and inspired millions of people.

    Persistence and practice, and authenticity, these concepts stick out in my mind. I really try to explain to folks that I only knew how to check espn.com and my email 5 years ago. I am not kidding. We had no computer at home. Hell, I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 32, and barely used it at that. I was so backwards, wasting away my talents in a shipping terminal, looking forward to payday, and doing nothing with my life. I just freaking want to take SO many people with me, whether paradise is here in Fiji, or in Bali – where KC and I will be next month – or in their hometown. Wherever you want to be free, just go for it, because if I could do this, anybody can.

    The thing I love about you, and Kevin, and all of my blogging buddies, is that you are positive and authentic. You’re high energy, and nobody on earth is quite like you, and since nobody on earth i quite like me, either, I feel we all make great matches, supporting one other, and lifting each other up, on our way to greatness.

    Mandie, thanks so much again! For the article link and eBook link. You really do rock….and if I didn”t stop myself now, our visa would run out because I’d still be writing this comment 🙂 Tweeting, and signing off from Savusavu.

    Have a fun weekend 🙂

    Ryan

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks Ryan!

      Your authenticity is one of the reasons you’ve had so much success. Your desire to help everyone create their own life of freedom is really what shines through in everything you do and write.

      I feel the same way you do – I wasted my talents for years. It was a lot safer to be really good at something I didn’t care that much about than it was to risk failing at something I wanted very badly. (It’s also a little daunting for an aspiring writer to be the daughter of a world-renowned theologian & successful author.) But in the end, the regret of NOT living the life you truly want is so much greater than the fear of going for it. So, like you, I want to help people go for it – whatever their “it” is!

      I feel so lucky that I have connected to such an awesome group of bloggers, including you, Kelli and Kevin! I agree, we all being something totally unique to the table but all of our talents really compliment each others’. 🙂

  8. Andrew    

    Hi Mandie,

    You know something? This is one of those posts that can really help people and motivate them. This is one of those posts that just inspires you with each word that you read. This is one of those posts that’s just brilliant and awesome job writing it.

    “Because I want to be the hero of my own life.”

    That’s truly awesome and really amazing actually. Thanks for sharing this with us and I hope you have an awesome weekend.

    – Andrew

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks, Andrew!

      Gosh, you guys are all going to make me blush here. Who would have thought letting out my inner nerd would be so inspiring? 🙂

  9. YourFriend    

    I liked the way you presented your every point with at least one example. I like the quote about making your dreams or somebody else will use you to build theirs. Overall, it was fun to read post. I found it on Google + and I guess it was shared by Kevin Duncan.

    Here are some of the quotes that I want to share with you. Maybe they will help you in writing your next Blog Posts 🙂

    1) The word impossible says itself I M Possible.
    2) If you can dream of something, you can do it too.
    3) No dream is big and no dreamer is small.
    4) I know I am important, because God does not create garbage.
    5) The word impossible is not in my dictionary.
    6) A man with no imagination is a man without wings.

    Thanks for writing this wonderful post 🙂

  10. Brittany Bullen    

    Mandie,

    I love, love, LOVE this post! So much of what you said was exactly what I needed to hear today. A recent post on my personal blog has been getting a lot of mean comments in the past few days and I really needed to refresh my sense of purpose about all of this. I particularly loved when you said, “You have to know what you’re fighting for, or you’ll have no reason to keep going when it gets tough.”

    Such a great reminder! Thank you!
    Brittany

    1. Mandie    

      Brittany,

      I’m so glad! I haven’t YET been trolled but I know it’s only a matter of time. It’s the Internet, after all…anyone can be a critic; it’s creating something that’s a much bigger accomplishment.

      I’m going to have to check out your personal site. I’m in the process of “splitting” my site as well in order to use my personal page as more of an online resume for my web design & content writing services. In fact, I might shoot you an email to get some advice. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. lynne    

    Hi, well written post. this is very motivating…. when you mentioned that “negatives’ in our lives actually shape us and push towards becoming the people we’re meant to be”, is definitely true, these obstacles we encounter are our stepping stones to success, we should accept and learn from it in order for us to reach our goals. Thanks for sharing. Great post.

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks, Lynne!

      I’ve found that to be true, at least in my case. Being so miserable at my corporate job was ultimately what gave me the steely determination to do whatever I needed to in order to succeed freelancing. I’d always had it in the back of my mind that I should be working for myself, but I needed that kick in the ass to get there. Haha

  12. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom    

    Hi Mandie!

    Jaime from Wanted Hero introduced you to me and I’m so glad he did!

    What an awesome post. I recently decided I wanted to write a book (for some reason for the longest time, I thought it was something that was just going to happen to be – don’t laugh, I’m a bit naive)! Anyway, I realized I need to take action for this to happen. I need to be the hero in my life!

    Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin in saying thank you for this. I am pinning this and I’m going to look at it for frequent inspiration.

    Thank you so much!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    1. Mandie    

      Hi Jennifer!

      Thanks so much for stopping over 🙂

      I would never laugh – I too, am guilty of just expecting my brilliant novel to manifest itself into existence. 🙂 However, Jaime has goaded me into accepting the NaNoWriMo challenge, so apparently I will be doing a lot of that novel writing in November. Now I just have to decide if I want to work on one of the 87 I have started or begin fresh. Haha

      I’m so glad you found inspiration from this, and I hope you have a fabulous rest of the week!

      1. Jaime Buckley    

        NOoooooooo, no, no, no…
        I did not “goad” you into anything, Mandie….

        (deeeeep breath)

        …I may have ‘strategically encouraged‘ you, but “goaded”?
        *gASP!* Never.

        (do you think she bought that?)

        1. Morphiophelius Smith    

          I don’t think she’d buy that, my boy…even if it were free.

          …just sayin.

  13. Adrienne    

    Hey Mandie,

    Don’t you love it when inspiration hits you and you just sit down at the keyboard and the words just spew out. This is the real you, this is what your audience loves to read. Forget about Google cause he’ll find you anyway due to all the sharing and attention your content will get. Yep, they won’t be able to help themselves.

    Jaime did a great job with his post, I agree but sounds like you two have much more in common. I love hearing that too and really enjoyed what you shared. I’m glad it took his post to remind you of why you do what you do. You’re awesome young lady.

    Really fun read, well done and sharing as well.

    Hope your week is going well and thanks for the entertainment.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Morphiophelius Smith    

      I second what the cute girl with the dazzlin’ smile said!

  14. Carol Amato    

    Hi, Mandie,

    Loved your story – how you shared the impact reading Jaime’s guest post at Kevin’s place had on you – loved it!

    Don’t you just love connecting with awesome people and the strong positive effects they have on you? I do.

    EVERY single one of your 15 awesome points about heroes can relate to me as a marketer, and I resonated with your message, Mandie.

    I couldn’t agree more when you said you were worried that people wouldn’t relate to you but if you’re authentic there’s a greater chance of people connecting with you. That is so true. It seems counterintuitive, but it is exactly that way as I’ve experienced this first hand.

    I really enjoyed reading your article will be sharing with all my friends.

    Have a blessed evening.
    – Carol

  15. Don Purdum    

    Hi Mandie,

    Why in the world did it take me so long to find your site? Wow, I wish I had found you sooner.

    I can completely understand why you got the blogging life sucked out of you! For too many it’s become about all the wrong things instead of all the right things.

    I blog for the purpose of advancing my business, showcasing my knowledge, experience, and competency. But for me it’s fun because I’m achieving my dreams and goals.

    I love this quote in your article; “I don’t know about you, but I want to build my own dreams. Live my own adventure. Be my own hero.”

    Isn’t that why we own our own businesses?

    So that we can ultimately have the life we want? I want to do what I want, where I want, with whom I want, whenever I want!!!

    I want my life and my business to be fun!

    There is nothing more in the world fun to me than when people can say “thank you!” I have written several times that it’s my personal mission that if I you don’t walk away having learned one thing from me that makes your life or business better, I’ve failed both you and me.

    I don’t care about keywords and Google. I care about building a community and a business that makes a difference. When I do that right and I’m proactive, Google will re-actively follow.

    It sounds like you’ve been around while Mandie if you’re writing about “opposition.” You’ve experience a little of that have you?

    Unfortunately, it comes with the territory doesn’t it? In ten years of entrepreneurship I’ve made a lot of friends and a few enemies. It’s tough at first but over time you begin to see it for what it really is; and that’s when it gets exciting.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey. I look forward to reading more from you and engaging with you!

    I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

    1. Jaime Buckley    

      Don, I loved your points, specifically:

      “I don’t care about keywords and Google. I care about building a community and a business that makes a difference. When I do that right and I’m proactive, Google will re-actively follow.”

      SPOT ON! I’m not sure I’ve ever heard other people saying this, until I met sweet folks like Adrienne. We haven’t met yet–but I’ll be stopping by your blog soon and hope to have a chat or ten with you in the near future.

      Fantastic crowd you’re drawing, Mandie.
      See how much you inspire and encourage? =D

  16. Anna    

    I LOVE this post!! I love the idea of being your own hero. I think it’s too true that most people expect their happiness to come from others (getting a good promotion, finding the ideal partner, etc.) and don’t realize that all along, they have the power to change things.

    You know I started my blog because I wanted to be my own hero too. And while I haven’t made a single cent off of it and I decided that I’m just a hobby blogger for now, I’m still pretty damn proud of myself for not letting my fears stop me. I could have so easily stayed in my old comfy stable, but unhappy, life. And I’m SO glad I didn’t!! I can figure out the financial stuff on the way! For now, I’m happy to be a hero-in-training…. by practicing, searching for my talent, and finding a purpose. 🙂

    I’m so happy for you for the purpose you found and your new endeavor. I can’t wait until you announce it!! From the comments above, you are being a hell of an inspiration to a lot of people!

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks Anna!

      I’m so glad we’ve connected, too – although I’m still bummed we didn’t get to hang out in Budapest. You may be a hobby blogger but I think your blog is going to continue to grow. 🙂 Your writing is outstanding, and I find you SO inspirational! Me…I’ve been the crazy, flighty girl my whole life, but you are actually facing your fears and choosing to be in a better place. 🙂

      I love that – hero-in-training! I think that’s what I am as well. Yay for us for moving towards happier places. 🙂

  17. Kellie    

    I really needed to read this today Mandie. I’m glad I found you!

    We all have the ability to change things if that’s what we want to do. We have the power to be our own hero, we just need to remember that.

    I recently made some decisions that are making me happier, some which are happening right now and others that need some more time. I’m making this happen though and I’m happy to be in control.

    Great to connect.

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks Kellie!

      I’m glad you stopped by as well. It’s so true – it’s easy to blame circumstances, or the government, or the economy, or our parents, etc…but we really are so much happier when we take personal responsibility for our own lives and what we can change. 🙂

  18. Rachel    

    Epically fantastic and inspirational post Mandie 🙂

    P.S Level 90 fire mage – Alliance FTW! Maybe see you in WoD….

    1. Mandie    

      Oooh, I heard fire is back to be the top DPS spec. I really love when fellow nerds come visit me. 🙂 Maybe I will see you around! Haha

  19. Sherill    

    Really enjoyed reading your post. Heroes rock! Let us live our lives like one.

    1. Mandie    

      Thanks Sherill! I agree. 🙂

  20. Sylviane Nuccio    

    Hi Mandie,

    It’s my first time here and I would love to get to know you more as I see so many familiar faces who seem to know you, here, and I wonder why I don’t.

    I agree, talent alone is not enough. Actually there’s always a great amount of work behind it, it’s that often times people think that when someone does something well it’s because they’re “talented,” but it’s not all. It’s a deception we should not fall for.

    I am also a writer, and English is not my mother tongue so I can tell you that I’ve spent hours listening to, reading and writing English to get where I am now. Hey it might not be perfect, but I write for others who like my work, so all in all I feel that my work has paid off.

    I really enjoyed your post and the way you presented it is very creative.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Mandie    

      Hi Sylviane!

      You have been on my list of “people to meet” for awhile now as well. I keep seeing your name pop up, and I’ve been meaning to introduce myself, but you beat me to it. 🙂

      I have so much respect for people who blog in English when it is their second language – heck, it’s hard enough for me to put together a good post and I grew up speaking it. Haha! Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a great comment – I’ll be sure to return the favor. 🙂

      Have a great weekend as well!
      Mandie

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