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Looking Back on 2012

What an amazing year it has been for me. 2012 has been the Year of Discovery
First, I discovered Jason brubaker
He said two things:
You no longer need anyone’s permission to make your movie
What movie can I make today with the resources I already have available?
I have been trying to make a movie for some years but could never get enough funding and had keep putting it on the back burner. But this first statement girded my loins to take another look at it and the question made me look at what I could do rather than what I couldn’t do.
Not surprisingly, I found that I could go ahead and make a movie.
But it didn’t stop there. I found that I could broaden those statements to any part of my life or to the whole of it at once, namely:
You no longer need anyone’s permission to live your life
What life can I make today with the resources I already have available?
That has certainly opened up the creative circuits in my head and lead to the rest of the discoveries this year.
Thank you Jason
Then, I discovered  Chris Guillebeau
Earlier in the year, I joked with my friends that part of the reason for developing a web-based business was so that I could finally travel the world as I have wanted to do since leaving university. With a web-based business, as long as I have an internet connection, I can run it from anywhere. I told them that if I should start thinking about it seriously from this year or I was going to wake up at 90 and realise it was too late.
Then I just happened to find myself in the local library, just looking around at what they have, when this book leapt out at me. “The Art of Non-Conformity” was about someone who had travelled around the world and how I could do the same. On the website, he also showed how you could set up a website that would allow you to do just that. In his book, But he went one stage further. He had written a book called “A Brief Guide to World Domination”, in which he asked two questions:
What do you really want to get out of life? 
What can you offer the world that no one else can? 
For some reason, although I had seen those questions before, something about them (perhaps the wording) made me stop, take a second look and really think about them this time. When I did, they took me back 32 years to when I was aged 21 and I wrote a book called “Culture, Church & Community”. This was my attempt to answer the question: did the church have any relevance in the late Twentieth Century? My opinion was that it did to the extent that it was prepared to get out of its stained glass churches, get back to its roots and get involved with the pains of the world around it. So I dedicated myself to doing what I had written. Except there was a problem: my book did not have any answers to the problems it had highlighted. So I set out to look for answers that I could put into practice. Unfortunately, over time and due to the enormity of the task, I slowly lost sight of why I was doing it and how it was actually going to help others. I got caught in the minutae of life and woke up one day to find myself decades older and not really much closer to my goal.
So I took another look at my original goals and corrected my course to follow them instead of the trillion and one distractions that fill every day.
My answer to the first question is (to misquote Troma Movies):
World Peace Through Cyberspace
And my answer to the second question is simple. You see the question is a trick question. There can only be one thing that I can offer that no one else can:
Of course, some of you may think that is not much of an answer. But it is because over the decades I have learned not to be myself when writing. I had learned to write for business which is very stylised, even cryptic. I remember writing a very strong letter to the Income Tax Department on behalf of a client. I showed it to him and because he did not understand the stylised way of business writing, he thought that it sounded very weak. At that moment, a friend and fellow businessman popped in to see him. My client passed the letter to our friend for his opinion. After reading it, he said “Wow, you’re not taking prisoners are you?” At that point, my client thanked him and signed it.
The clincher came recently when I was talking to friends about the writing I have done on the net. One said, “I would love to read them, they must be so funny”. And I had to admit that they were not. In fact, they were quite sombre, even dreary and before Chris Guillebeau asked me that second question, I didn’t know why.
So learning to write like myself is a big deal. I am having to unlearn how to write Business-ese. It is really strange. When I speak, I find it easy to speak as myself and I find it easy to switch from that to Business-ese when I am in a business environment or even when I am just discussing business. Whenever business is discussed I transform into Business Maguire, faster than fibre optic broadband, able to leap business problems in a single bound and invulnerable to criticism and office politics. Then when I am finished, I put away the superhero costume and become mild-mannered Me Maguire. Yet when I write, I really am finding it hard not to be impersonal and distant because it has been so long since I have written that way. What I may have to do is get some speech recognition software and just chat to my PC. Nonetheless, I think the journey will be a useful one and worth the effort
Thank you Chris
Finally I discovered Pat Flynn
So here I am wanting to start a web business and I know that the website is the least important part of a successful business. You need a following. And to get that you need traffic. I had tried various things in the past and they have generated a small amount of traffic, got 29 followers and in my first year of business, I managed to earn 42 cents fromGoogle Adsense. It was clear to me that I had this great big yawning Grand Canyon-sized gap in my knowledge.
As I was thinking about this, I came across the  NicheSiteDuel where Pat and his friend Tyrone Shum were in a friendly competion to put a niche site into position 1 in Google. And he graciously put down exactly what he did to achieve it, how we could follow his example if we wished and what the results were. A complete recipe for getting more traffic
Thank you Pat

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