“We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” ~Anonymous
Before September 2009, I thought I wanted to run a personal development blog—a place to share the lessons I’ve learned and generally build a community around the idea of teaching people to improve their lives. Then I realized that wasn’t my vision.
There were a couple reasons for that:
- I feel the biggest challenge isn’t gaining new information; it’s learning to apply it. Instead of trying to build authority I wanted to embrace my humanity—to be both strong and vulnerable, willing to share what I’ve learned and continually learn from you.
- I wanted to be part of this community, not standing outside it telling you to follow me. I am not Tiny Buddha—we all are. We all have the same capacity to learn, grow, and inspire.
This year you have all inspired and amazed me. You’ve demonstrated bravery, honesty, and authenticity. Whether you’ve written for the site, commented, read and shared, or simply passed through, you’ve been a valuable part of this community.
Though I know I just said this site isn’t all about me, it means the world to me. I put all of my heart into running Tiny Buddha, and I couldn’t be more grateful for your continued participation. You make Tiny Buddha what it is, and I appreciate you.
So I’ve decided to do a hybrid year-end review. I’d like to share a little of what I’ve accomplished, some of what you’ve accomplished, a bit about the site’s growth, and a few details about plans for 2011.
My Personal Highlights
- In the beginning of the year, I broke my anonymity, realizing I could acknowledge I run this site without letting my ego run the show.
- In April, I spoke at the first annual Wisdom 2.0 Conference, sharing a few suggestions to use social media to share wisdom. You can view my Wisdom 2.0 talk here.
- Recently I was invited to participate in this year’s Wisdom 2.0 Conference.
- In July, I signed my first book deal. It includes a selection of tweets from you along with personal stories and ideas to help us live empowered lives–even in a world with so much uncertainty.
- Tricycle: The Buddhist Review asked me to contribute an article about mindful social media. You can read it in the February issue. During the same month, I will host a discussion on their site about this topic.
- I completed a number of interviews about Tiny Buddha, which you can find on the About page.
- I began offering blog coaching services to help anyone who would like to improve their content, develop a passionate community, and increase their readership.
The Contributors and Their Achievements
- Sonya Derian, who gave us 30 Ways to Live Out Loud, launched her Om Freely Store. She has created a number of adorable meditating characters which all represent different traits and ideas.
- Sam Russell who taught us about Identifying Real Problems and Letting Go of Imagined Ones started writing her novel. I’ve gotten to read a little–she’s really got a gift!
- Karen Mead who shared her insights on Overcoming Perfectionism received abundant praise for aromatherapy oils.
- Melissa Kirk who showed us How to Find Strengths in Weaknesses co-authored a book: Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse.
- Amanda Owen launched her book The Power of Receiving, which I reviewed last week. She tackles an important topic—that we need to find the strength to ask for and receive the things we need and deserve in life.
- Scott Dinsmore who taught us How to Discover Happiness Through Purpose competed in the SAM-e Good Mood Blogger contest, which I was a part of last year. Like me, he didn’t win the title, but he still came out victorious. His blog Reading for Your Success is growing by leaps and bounds!
- Harriet Cabelly who taught us How to Deal with Pain and Uncertainty re-branded her coaching business, focusing on people who need to rebuild their life after dealing with tremendous adversity.
- Celestine Chua who gave us 60 Things to Be Grateful for in Life launched The Personal Excellence Book, an amazing e-compilation from her site with several never-been-seen posts, which. I reviewed here.
- Erin Lanahan who taught us that Life is Happening For Us decided to amp up her blog. Look for big things in her fitness coaching business in 2011!
- Allison Miller who shared 5 Random Acts of Love became the Dear Abby of inspiration through Ask Allison.
- Brianne Burroughs who showed us How Planting a Seed Can Change Your Life launched the “Likes for Learning” Campaign and on the I Want Her Job Facebook page and raised enough money to send two girls in Guatemala to school.
- Tara Sophia Mohr who gave us 16 Ways to Get Unstuck helped generate awareness for The Girl Effect, getting over 172 bloggers to share the cause, which supports education in developing countries.
- Frank who reminded us to be mindful of Where We Place Our Attention launched his Course in Happiness book.
- Jen Saunders found the courage to re-create her life in China after she was fired from a teaching job that was accidentally offered to both her and her boyfriend. She shared it all in her post Finding Joy in the Ruins of a Crushed Dream.
- Jeanelle Rabadam left her safe 9–5 for an adventure in Barcelona, Spain. You can read about it in her post On Fearing Change: When It’s Time to Take a Lead of Faith.
- Genny Ross Baron who gave us 6 Tips to Deal When You Feel out of Control popularized the phrase “roatan vortex” about the island and did an interview with USA Today.
- Srinivas Rao who taught us How to Wake up Every Morning on Top of the World reached 6,000 downloads per month for BlogCastFM and made major strides with his blog, Skool of Life.
- Mars Dorian who taught us The Magic of Making Mistakes rocked the blogosphere with his expertise in online branding. His website is currently being redesigned–check back in 2011!
- John Anyasor who shared How to Regain Control of Your Time launched his eBook The Power of Enjoyment.
- Jacob Sokol who taught us How to Crack Your Comfort Zone, quit his job, fell in love, went to a Jet’s game with Gary Vaynerchuk, and got 48 popular bloggers to share their most “unrealistic” accomplishments.
There were dozens of contributors this year so if I missed you, my apologies! I wrote this based on what I knew and what I read on your blogs. If you contributed to Tiny Buddha and you did something you’re proud of, add it in the comments and I’ll add it to the post!
If you haven’t contributed to the site, you can still feel free to share what you’re proud of in the comments. We’d all love to know!
Tiny Buddha Highlights
- Tiny Buddha has continued to attract interest from people looking to live mindfully and apply what they’ve learned. As of now, nearly 133,000 people follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter. The Tiny Buddha Facebook page has grown into a vibrant community where nearly 25,000 people support and help each other. I couldn’t be more pleased to see so much authentic, loving interaction!
- In September, for Tiny Buddha’s one-year anniversary, Joshua Denney redesigned the site. (He is available should you require design work—you can contact him at email(AT)thinkwebstrategy.)
- The re-launch included spots all along the site for sponsors. I have personally selected advertisers that align with Tiny Buddha’s mission of self acceptance, love, and growth. Based on their feedback, so far it’s been a huge success! (If you’d like to share your brand or product with the Tiny Buddha community contact me.)
- Just before Christmas, I introduced a Zazzle store with a small selection of logo- and quote-based products, including T-shirts and mugs. It’s a seed of something that might grow based on whether or not it interests you. If you’d like to see different types of products, let me know in the comments!
Tiny Buddha Plans for 2011
Going into 2011, I plan to continue posting blogs from readers all over the globe. Anyone of any age from any location can submit a post about applying wisdom to everyday life. If you’d like to contribute, read the submission guidelines and drop me a line.
I also plan to have a Tiny Buddha widget available soon so that you can feature Tiny Buddha’s daily quote within the sidebar of your blog. This is a new development, so it may take a month or two. (Incidentally, I may need a new developer, so please contact me if you’re interested and available.) I’ll keep you updated!
At some time in January or February, I plan to launch my first eBook. It will be a compilation of some of my most popular posts with a few that have never before been seen. At that time, I will also have a free eBook featuring some of the most inspiring stories from contributing writers.
At the end of the year, my physical book will be available through Conari Press. This is quite a ways away, but I plan to do a lot of fun promotions leading up to it!
Most importantly, in the upcoming year I plan to continue being authentic, sharing what I’ve learned, and learning from you. I want this to be a place where we can all be open about our struggles, hopes, ambitions, and accomplishments, while offering each other compassion, respect, and support.
I want to continue building Tiny Buddha into a brand that represents the wisdom we all possess and reminds us to access and trust it.
In case you haven’t noticed, there is now a Tiny Buddha YouTube channel. Look for videos in 2011—some from me and maybe some from you. If you have ideas for videos, share them in the comments!
Thank you for being here, being you, and sharing your light. You make a difference, and you’re appreciated.
Happy New Year!
Photo by alicepopkorn