How You Made Tiny Buddha Beautiful This Year: Our 2010 in Review

“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 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

1. 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.

2. 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!

3. Karen Mead, who shared her insights on Overcoming Perfectionism, received abundant praise for aromatherapy oils.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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!

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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!

10. Allison Miller, who shared 5 Random Acts of Love, became the Dear Abby of inspiration through Ask Allison.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Frank Ra, who reminded us to be mindful of Where We Place Our Attention, launched his Course in Happiness book.

14. 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.

15. Jeanelle Rabadam left her safe, nine to five job 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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!

19. John Anyasor, who shared How to Regain Control of Your Time, launched his eBook The Power of Enjoyment.

20. 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 forty-eight 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.

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

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Erin Lanahan

    Thank you Lori! I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you and Tiny Buddha. It is so healing for me to be able to share my real life experiences and the challenges I face, with others. I also love to explore the ways in which we can all shift our perceptions and look at life from a way that empowers us rather than feeling defeating, and I love how much insight I get here. You inspire me, this blog inspires me, and I hope to create something as beautiful as this in 2011. Thank you for showing me exactly what I want. Writing for this site has helped me in more ways than you know, and I will definitely be calling you soon for blog coaching 🙂 I cannot wait for that!!! I too have an e-book, video blogs, and a book in the works, and I am so excited to have you, and the participants on this site to trudge with. It’s so nice to know we are not alone! Thank you and Have a Happy, Healthy transition into 2011!

  • Lori – hahaha – WOW! I am awe-struck by your vision and totally inspired by your execution. Your exemplification of what’s possible when applying wisdom on “a path with a heart” makes the hair on my skin stand.

    I have two sets of goals usually. The first is the really “simple” foundational stuff. Things like living in integrity with my values, practicing gratitude daily, being consistent on “my fundamentals”…

    The second set is what we could call “stretch goals” (not snap goals, think of a rubber band). One of those goals is being part of a circle of friends who are the best in the world at what they do. I continue to hold that intention lightly and know that my relationship with you and the TB community is totally on purpose.

    Thank you for the continued support and warmth. To a MASSIVELY virtuous 2011 and all of the sacred simple moments that make it up. Virtual Hugs!!

  • Big congratulations Lori and happy anniversary. Isn’t it fun to be one?! xo Pam

  • Thanks so much Pamela! The one-year was in September but this is the end of the first full year. Wishing a healthy, happy 2011 =)

  • Slovydal

    Happy Anniversary!

  • I love your two different sets of goals. I was so inspired by you when we first connected, and you continue to set the bar high for living with passion on purpose. I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and I look forward to connecting more in the New Year!

  • Hi Erin,

    I’m grateful for that, too! Your writing is so honest and powerful, and it’s a joy to read all the comments on your posts and see that other people are equally touched and inspired. I can’t wait to see your eBooks, video blogs, and book. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I know they will all make a huge difference in people’s lives!

    Happy New Year =)

  • Thank you for being part of Tiny Buddha! It’s actually a little over a year now, but this was the first full year. Wishing you a wonderful 2011! =)

  • Tony Applebaum

    Lori, Tiny Buddha has definitely made a positive impact on me in 2010, and I look forward to more wisdom in 2011. Namaste. Tony

  • Sara Everding

    I love tiny buddha! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

  • Alba

    “Talk to me Tiny Buddah”, those are my very first words every morning. The first e-mail I check, the first one I open. Always feeling hopeful to have some kind of revelation in the Tiny Buddah readings and I always find it. I started reading Tiny Buddah five months ago, and I specially appreciate this compilation of “Personal Highlights” and “The Contributors and Their Achievements” lists, which will allow me to go back to all the articles I have missed. Thank you so much. Thank you for keeping everything simple and clean, just the way life should be.

  • frank

    Thanks Lori for all the sharing you did in 2010, and very glad to hear about all you have already lined-up for a great TinyBuddha in 2011! Also, thanks for mentioning my guest post.

    All the best to you and your beloved ones for a wonderful start in 2011, peace and metta,


  • bobbie

    I discovered you this year, and I LOVE your site! May 2011 bring you continued success and happiness ~
    Thank you ~

  • I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it Bobbie! Thank you for being part of the Tiny Buddha community =)

  • Thank you Frank! It’s a pleasure to be connected and to follow your amazing work. You clearly have a lot of passion for helping people live happy, meaningful lives, and it shows!

  • I’m so happy to know this site has been helpful to you! That’s actually a small sampling of the contributions from the year. So many insightful writers have shared their perspectives, and it’s been such a joy to learn from all of them. =) Wishing you a healthy, happy New Year!

  • You’re most welcome–and thank you for reading!

  • Thanks Tony. Your positive feedback is a wonderful gift to take into the New Year. Namaste =)

  • Thank you for all the work you do bringing us Tiny Buddha. I have learned do much! It’s such a pleasure to have connected.

  • Thank you so much for existing, writing, thinking, believing and acting. I’ve never felt more at home in a community and I’ve got your determination to thank for that.

    I hope your journey is awesome Lori, and if there’s ever anything I can do for you from across the pond, just ask.


  • Thank you very much for this wonderful site… You have touched my life in ways i can’t explain in words. Looking forward to journey with you, your posts and tweets in 2011. Wish you a wonderful and prosperous New Year!!!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for your daily emails. I look forward to them everyday at 12pm when I’m at work because they are a like a ray of sunshine. Even when its a stressful day, your positive encouragement and insight help me to take a step back and see the big picture. I can’t thank you enough.

  • Likewise Kathryn! I learn so much here, too! All the different writers and the people like yourself who read and comment have so many amazing insights. Happy New Year =)

  • Awww! I’m glad you feel at home here. It wouldn’t be the same without you! You’ve put so much heart into your writing, and I always enjoy learning from you.

  • I’m so happy to have made a positive difference! I know the other writers feel the same. It’s a joy to watch the conversations that build around the posts. It’s nice to know there’s so much love and kindness in the world. Wishing you a wonderful New Year, as well!

  • Hi Jessica,

    I’m glad you find them helpful! I set them for that time because I figured it’s the start of the day on the west coast (where I live) and right around lunch on the east coast. I tend to write based on the different things I feel, and I know how valuable it is to step back and let go of stress. Thank you for being part of this community–and Happy New Year!


  • I’ve said this previously, but 2010 was the hardest & most challenging year I’ve ever been through in my 39 years. When I was desperate for some inspiration, I went online and started searching. I found Zen Habits which led me to Tiny Buddha. It immediately resonated with me and I subscribed to your Twitter feed and FB page in no time flat. I can’t tell you how many times the article posted on a given day addressed the exact issue I was dealing with right at that moment. I have felt so alone through this year and it might sound incredibly cheesy, but having this little community and knowing that other people had struggled with some of the same things really helped. It was so inspiring to read such hope-filled, encouraging pieces and know that I was right where I was supposed to be.

    I really appreciate this community and I have recommended it to many people… I will be a supporter for a long time to come! Thank you, Lori, for providing this place for us. I am so grateful for Tiny Buddha and all of its contributors!

  • Hi Alannah,

    I’m a huge fan of Zen Habits, and I’m so glad my post there brought you here! I cannot express how much I appreciate the honest, brave posts people have shared over the past year. It’s not always easy to write so candidly, but I know that’s what helps me when I am dealing with difficult times–writing straight from someone’s heart that shares an honest perspective on their own struggles and lessons.

    I’m thrilled that this site and the various posts have been helpful to you. There’s nothing more I could have asked in developing Tiny Buddha. Thank you for being part of the community!


  • Lwoodmass

    I am brand new to Tiny Buddha! Love it, and congrats on all the success. We all need input, don’t we? This is great! Thanks so much.

  • You are most welcome, and thank you. It’s a pleasure to meet you–welcome to the site! =)

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  • Pauly Paul

    Thanks Lori. I’ve happy I discovered you and this site.

  • Lori, you never cease to surprise — and amaze — me. I’ve said it before, but I fiercely believe 2011 is going to be your best year yet. Let me know how I can help you.

  • Thanks Brianne, and likewise! I’d love to get together again some time. Hit me up on email when you’re free! =)