Becky McCray changed my life

(Disclosure: Yesterday was Becky‘s birthday. So this is a birthday post. Except I got the date wrong. And I’m entering this post to try to win a free trip to SOBcon2010. Of course, I’m already going. And the flight won’t help. But still. The hotel would be nice. And notice, the post isn’t being judged, so I could write whatever tripe I wanted. But when talking about Becky, who wants to write tripe?)

Becky lives in Oklahoma.

I’ve driven through Oklahoma a few times. Some when I was little, before Becky was born. Some when Nancy and I were commuting between Austin and the north, while Becky was in middle school.

It is likely we never met face-to-face.

I actually met Becky online in 2006. I heard about a small business podcast she was doing, helped by Chris Brogan. I listened to an episode while Nancy and I were doing a garage sale. There was a comment line. I called and left an extended comment. Becky included it in the show and I became a regular contributor.

Becky pushed me to consider how I could have something to say outside my higher education and church circles. It led me to writing at

But so far, our story is about online stuff. And, in order to enter this in the drawing, there has to be more. Somehow, because the theme of SOBcon2010 is “Where the virtual meets the concrete”, we have to consider some way in which the online, digital, virtual world actually connects to what I really do, how I really live. And because you can’t find the Great Big Small Business Show any more, unless there has been some actual change somewhere concrete, all of what I’ve been talking about is gone, too.

Becky McCray made me go to SOBcon 2008 (and 2009).

Nevermind how. She did. I would not have gone if it weren’t for Becky.

  • Which means that I wouldn’t have conversed face-to-face with Liz and Joanna and Amy and Robert and Cheryl and Chris and Thomas and Paul and Shashi and Amber and Glenda and Deb and others. Those conversations have changed how I write in every setting, have made me think carefully about how I talk about God, church, relationship, people.
  • And Nancy and I wouldn’t have spent a delightful April morning having coffee with Liz.
  • And I wouldn’t try so hard to write as clearly as I can at 300wordsaday. com, a blog which has found its way into classes I teach face-to-face and even into a session of a class Robert teaches in Houston. Some people in a church in Houston know a bit more about prayer because of Becky.
  • And Nancy and I would not have this desire to sit on a ranch in Oklahoma with Joe and Becky and eat barbecue and talk about cattle.
  • And I go to our car repair shop in Grabill and value the service I get in this small town shop and look for ways to tell those stories at smallbizsurvival and in conversations around church because my friend Becky cares so much about small towns and encourages storytelling.

Becky has done this by being the kind of friend who says, “why couldn’t you do that?” and “I don’t understand” and “what if you did this and this and this?” and “you have green stuff in your teeth.” (Though she also knows that the green stuff couldn’t be vegetables.) She’s also the kind of friend that laughs at you when you put sugar in carbonated water at a SOBcon table and it explodes, and then who runs to get paper towel to clean it up.

Happy birthday, Becky. See you in Chicago in April. Thanks for being my friend.

For more from Becky, here’s our 5 questions conversation.

And here’s a link to the Great Big Small Business Show archives.

10 responses to “Becky McCray changed my life

  1. I love this post & I love Becky!

  2. That Becky has a habit of making life better for all of us. Kind of like you do.

    We’re a lucky bunch. Can’t wait to see you!

  3. Jon, I hardly know what to say. Except thank you. Thank you for touching my life.

  4. What wonderful ripples.

    Because I can see myself in this story too, meeting you at SobCon because Becky persuaded you to go, and you saying something that made me cry (in a good way!) and learn something I needed to learn, and some time later Becky sitting in my kitchen drinking tea and me showing her big trees in the gardens at Benmore, and having supper with Amy and her kids… and I could go on. As the ripples do and will.

    Happy belated birthday Becky!

  5. ah joanna. how well i remember. And Becky, thank you. And Matthew, I agree. And Liz, it will be a delightful party.

  6. Agreed. Becky is something very special. She is one of my besties for 2009 and will continue to be. I look forward to speaking along side her at the Oklahoma Entrepreneur Conference later this month.



  7. I need a friend like Becky! Often, as someone who works as a blogger and writer, it feels so impossible to stay on top of everything all by myself. There are so many opportunities and possibilities, that I’m usually left feeling overwhelmed, not invigorated. In the end, I keep plugging away at what I’m able to do, and try to be content with that. And in many ways I am!

    But then I hear stories like yours, about conferences and new friends and opportunities, and I’m eager to figure out what’s out there for me. It takes concrete connections, doesn’t it? Someone who believes in you and is even willing to give you a kick in the pants.

  8. you know, Kristin, Chicago’s not that far from normal (which is an amazingly peculiar statement.) And April’s not that far.

  9. Pingback: Only Hours Left!! Look Who’s Entered to Win a FREE SOBCon Trip — OR Get a $250 Discount | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog

  10. Can’t wait to meet you at SOBCon.For me the hotel and airfare makes going possible.