Don’t Miss The Boat! Belated Networking Lessons, Courtesy of ProBlogger

Jan 13

The Boat I Missed A while back…

I had a good long whine about missed opportunity, and my failure at bloggy networking  1.0.

As I said then, I was a fairly early reader of some now hugely successful figures in the blog world – specifically, Darren Rowse and Brian Clark.  But I was shy, and intimidated, so I didn’t get to know them.

I read them, recommended them, but rarely interacted, networked with them or took advantage of their audience building promotions, because “it wasn’t my niche.” I quietly watched their audiences, blogs and businesses grow, and took a wistful sort of pride as their names became synonymous with online  success stories.   Still, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d missed the boat and was left standing on the dock with a broken champagne bottle.

Every year or so, that feeling would return as Problogger published another list of up and coming bloggers to watch, none of whom I knew.  I’d read and smile and wave, wish them good journeys and mutter about having missed my opportunity.

So yesterday, when I clicked a Twitter link through to this year’s ProBlogger list (compiled by Jade Craven) I scrolled quickly down the page, expecting the usual list of strangers.

Then an odd thing happened…

I recognized a face, a name.

Woohoo! Go Pace Smith! She’s in my Twitter stream. We Tweet!  Her partner Kyeli and I Tweet! We’ve even tried (and failed) to meet for coffee… twice! Why, that makes us practically family.  And I was thrilled to see her there, a friend on that list of important awesome people. Seriously!

So I scrolled again… wait.. that picture there, that’s LaVonne Ellis, of #CustomerLove fame, and a fan of All-Things-Emmit.  We even recently did a BlogTalk interview together!

And OMG, Willie Hewes, monster-artist! And there’s El, of Heaven And El, who mentioned me in one of her glorious entertaining podcasts! Yay! There’s Mr.ByBloggers, Jonathan Wondrusch, and Catherine Caine, whose magical Donkey I keep stealing on Twitter, with the help of mutual friend  KirstyMHall. (not on the list but she’s brilliant anyway). And David Crandall, whose unicorns have likewise been “liberated” by Kirsty and I for the Circus Menagerie.

Jade Craven herself is on my Twitter feed, as well, along with many others on the list (like Natalie Peluso). Though we haven’t had a chance to quip back and forth very often, I’m sure we will.

The point of all this?

I didn’t “miss the boat” way back when, because there is always another boat. Let me repeat that, in bold,  with flourishes:

It's A Flourish!

There Is Always Another Boat.

It's Another Flourish!

And sometimes, the other boat is a better fit.

In this case, by taking a later boat, I wound up on a cruise  full of folks that I don’t just like and respect, but whom I genuinely feel I belong with. Our interactions are easy and natural, and (so far as I know) have nothing to do with intentional business networking for profit and exposure.

We interact not because it’s part of a “social media marketing plan” but because it’s fun. Somewhere among them may be the next Darren Rowse or Brian Clark.  Hell, maybe I’m the next Darren Rowse or Brian Clark (even though that would mean a sex change and is extremely unlikely)

So  if you’re feeling left behind, like the train-boat-plane is leaving with out you, take a deep breath.  There’s still time to get on board *this* boat – all of the people mentioned above are exceptionally friendly group, and they’re easy to talk to. But if you don’t feel like you’re ready, or don’t feel like you quite fit?

That’s ok too. Really.

Despite all the dire predictions, the Internet isn’t going anywhere. Yes, the landscape will shift and evolve. Yes, business models will change, but that’s a good thing.  Each time a group advances, they leave room for the next group to move up in their wake, with a much bigger community already in place.

Mind you, this isn’t permission for procrastination on your dreams.

It *is* permission to stop freaking out, stop believing that it’s now or never, stop fearing that opportunity never knocks twice.

We’re lucky enough to live in a world where we can create our own opportunities, a world where there is always room for more success…  a world where there is always another boat.

Look! Another Boat!


  1. Tori,

    I hate boats. Really bad moting sickness. However, I would get on a boat for you. Lovely analogy with a whole lot to learn and takeaway.

    Good to meet you


    • Tori Deaux /

      Luckily, it’s a whole boat made out of Dramamine. But thank you for the willingness to suffer! Nice to “meet” you too 🙂

  2. Yay you! I’ve discovered what i love about Twitter is the interaction with people as people, sharing a joke and similar interests. I have vowed to follow those with whom I think I have somethng in common. People are only going to read/buy my stuff if it makes sense to them anyway so why not enjoy the whole process?
    And a whole boat made of dramamine – how thoughtful! x

  3. Tori – this is exceptionally well said and perfectly timed!

    Thanks for saying it 🙂

    Boats aren’t exactly my thing; maybe fanciful hot air balloons with the basket underneath?

    • Tori Deaux /

      Air balloons. Total fabulous. Emmit’s favorite mode of transport, I’m sure.

  4. A delightful post! Although I do love my freaking out, I will try not to. Now you need to start rockin’ that boat!

    • Tori Deaux /

      Marie! Will you be our musical entertainment on the boat? Not like a cruise ship crooner, but a boat-rockin’ swingin bluesy mama. Yeah. That’s the ticket!

  5. Yes, there is always another boat. Thanks for the reminder, because what brought me here was a creaky rumbling thought-train that went something like this:

    What the heck is Emmit? Dammit, I don’t even know what Emmit is, and it’s one of Tori’s things, she’s cool I should know what she’s up to, hey, Colin’s into it, he was right there with that customerlove thing, too, I bet I missed the boat again…

    *smacks self* Right. So. I still don’t know what Emmit is, but I’ll stop worrying about missing the boat now. Especially since, apparently, I’m already ON a boat. With Jade Craven. How cool is that, she’s not even in the same timezone.

    • Tori Deaux /

      “You’re on a boat!” (which you might need context for, being across the pond and all. It’s here: Old Spice Guy

      If you’re still wondering about #Emmit, there’s this: What The Hell Is An #Emmit?

      And.. Yeah. I’m still reminding myself there’s always another boat. It’s so tough finding that balance between procrastinating and freaking out about “now now now”. But we’ll find our sealegs yet!

  6. Great post, Tori, and very true.

    I was so thrilled when I read that list and so many of my Twitter mates were on it. Especially since they were people that I properly talk to rather than just follow along behind.

    It’s a bit of an odd feeling though because I suspect in a couple of years people might be feeling the same way about our crowd as you do about Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. I imagine people saying ‘oh my god, you know Tori Deaux?’ and I’ll be all, ‘oh yeah, we stole unicorns together. And then they’ll look at me funny…

    • Tori Deaux /

      “oh yeah, we stole unicorns together” — priceless. If they look at you *too* oddly, just smile sadly and mutter about it being such a shame they didn’t make it back on board the Ark ….

  7. Well Tori I’m not sure I paid for my ticket. That Jedi mind trick thing is really useful…

    I think if you had been on the other boat you wouldn’t be the you we love. No disrespect to Copyblogger et al, but I don’t see them creating #Emmit or Habit Habitat. I’m not sure what’s next, but I can guarantee you I will be here to see it!

    • Tori Deaux /

      You know, I agree with you – they were breaths of fresh air at the time, an alternative to the then-pervasive Yellow Highlight School Of Internet Marketers. But the particular brand of wacky that is the Circus? There still wasn’t room for it yet. So I’m glad I took a later cruise. Because I’m on it with ya’ll 🙂

  8. Thank you for this. I’ve had a rough couple of days. This post hit the spot.

    • Tori Deaux /

      I’m glad I could help one of my favorite Twitter personalities, and may the next week be smoother sailing!

  9. RIchard /

    Boat? Will there be narwhales?

    🙂 Hugs you and I hope you are feeling good.