Tag Archives: friendship

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 smallbizsurvival.com.

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.

graduation card 2009

graduation card 2009

Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

simply the best simple post

Joanna Young asked for the near impossible. She asked people to identify their best post of 2008 and in 30 words tell why it is the best.

This is a huge task for me.

I have written a lot this year. You have written a lot back. Together we have written about 500 pages of posts and comments and links. I tried yesterday to tease out some answers, but that isn’t fair to you or to me.

So I’ll just decide.

In 2007, I started a series of 8 ways posts. They are a quick way to talk about sometimes difficult things. On June 18, 2008, I wrote one about friends: 8 ways to encourage a friend.

It got some traction from other blogs and has has some traffic through searches. But I’m not picking it just because of traffic. That becomes too easy.

This post is simply the best because it reminds busy people about the people behind the words and walls and bright shiny objects.

Here are three items from the list. Follow this link for the rest.

6. Forgive them (don’t tell them about it, just forgive them).

7. Reply to their emails, even if just to acknowledge receipt.

8. Never assume they know you care.

Oh. And don’t wait for the new year to start doing any of these things. Today would work.